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this aggravating, frustrating ...

Thursday, October 19, 2017
... mess, being literally 'handicapped', and limited to the use of one hand makes everything so time-consuming, including typing. Even so, I am doing pretty well. Taking longer to get every little task accomplished, but slowly getting there.

Knowing even though I will be struggling for weeks to come, a complete recovery is likely, and in time, there is the expectation to regain full mobility. I will get over this, and be back up to full speed, typing with all my resources. Thankful for technology, electricity, modern conveniences, safe, potable water on demand, reliable utility service, dependable transportation. Health insurance!

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

the 'columbus method'...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
... of typing is when you are so unskilled as to be 'looking for the keys and landing'. (You do recall what happened when the Queen of Spain underwrote the voyage of Christopher  Columbus?) Which is, of course, another description for 'hunt and peck', also known as Barnyard style. Everything written since last Sunday has been typed with one hand. Tedious to be sure, but do-able, after a fashion.

The Dr. required another set of pictures of my innards to decide if surgery would happen, so the bindings from Saturday night ER visit were removed. My hand and arm, previously swaddled and immobilized from finger nails to elbow joint really enjoyed the fresh air. A new splint was applied, but smaller, shorter, only covering half my palm. Which makes every thing about the menial daily tasks of life seem more manageable, though I am still typing with two fingers. 

Thankfully, not feeling nearly as confined, able to wiggle my fingers. After a number of frustrating attempts to tie my shoes yesterday, with only one hand participating, the result was most unsatisfactory. I tied them again after leaving orthopedic clinic, and was quite pleased with myself.  I have, for many years, claimed to be easily amused - but that small, mostly insignificant triumph was a real highlight in my now semi-disabled life.  Along with typing paragraphs galore on the blog with two fingers!


... update, if you are interested in knowing more. Time has not improved my weak stomach when discussing all things internal. Heaving seemed likely every single day while I was enrolled in the Biology 202 class with lab. Just the thought of the the odor of formaldehyde causes my stomach to feel like 'rough seas ahead.' I avert my face when approaching road-kill.

Conversation about surgery should be prefaced with 'you should sit down before we talk', as it makes me week-kneed and queasy.  In this case, reminding me of the title of an early Rolling Stones hit: "You Can't Always Get What You Want", and other distressing facts of life.  Just because something is a proven truism, does not mean it isn't unpleasant, profoundly distasteful as well as possibly gruesome. Your tolerance for the abhorrent might be elevated due to an addiction to NCIS/forensic-type shows, or too much zombie apocalypse viewing. As for me, it is too much like road-kill, I'm simply not looking!

The 'truism' here is that I will have surgery on my hand/wrist. Some extra parts put in to hold it all together. I don't recall if the Dr. said 'metal' or he might have just said 'plate', along with nine screws to keep everything in place. Sadly, I already know from viewing the photos, there is a small triangular/pyramid-shaped chunk that seems to be free-floating.  After it broke off from the place it should be attached on the radial arm bone, just below my thumb.  The plan is to put me back together, (like the nursery rhyme character who fell off the wall as passers-by laughed), and eventually be good as new, or  perhaps semi-good?

He said I should expect to be disabled for months to come. The recovery will take six to eight weeks. It will already have been nearly two weeks by the time he gets started, so I am looking at being indisposed until mid-December. Not at all what I had expected my immediate future would hold.

what has happened...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
... while this damaged body part has made me appear to be an invalid. Even though I have mostly been at home,  un-noticed by all who would ask a thousand questions, since getting swaddled at the ER with hand and arm bound in layers of ace bandage. I had to call in to the job, report an injury, making me unable to work. It is a huge annoyance, thoroughly aggravating, completely inconvenient. Especially and doubly so due to being my dominant hand.

There are a number of things that I have already discovered are impossible, or nearly so, as the level of difficulty when attempting with a single hand.  I challenge you to brush your teeth with the 'wrong' hand. You will find it to be amazingly tedious, and profoundly frustrating.  Plus, you will feel remarkably inept, like you've done a seriously shoddy job.

You will also have to have a grade-schooler nearby when you get dressed, after you realize you cannot tie your own shoes.  Tucking the laces in your socks is not a satisfactory solution. Nor is flapping around like an adolescent who does not pay for his own footwear, with no concept whatsoever of what is involved in keeping growing kids shod.

You really can't cook anything. There is practically nothing you can do in the kitchen other than get a drink of water or put a dish in the microwave. It is very difficult to pour a glass of milk from a full'ish gallon jug, and impossible to peel a banana with one hand. You might eat cereal or soup from a bowl with a spoon, but chasing food around a plate with a fork in your 'wrong' hand is extremely tedious.  Preparing anything that needs a knife and the most minimal skills is simply impossible, as you need a hand to hold, while the other hand cuts.

I am trying to be optimistic, continually telling myself: 'this is temporary'. Knowing overall health is relatively good, and the wrist injury is temporary, something to eventually get over, with a return to being able-bodied and active. Feeling 'diminished' is difficult, and being less-than-able, dependent on others for tasks usually done without conscious thought maddening. So, here's my new mantra, which also happens to be a 'Choppyism', that I heard come out of my mom's mouth a gazillion times: This Too Shall Pass.

book review: "True Women"...

Monday, October 16, 2017
... a novel about women who were in Texas in the frontier era, gutsy, tough females who helped put down the roots that turned a wild, untamed country into a state.Written by Janice Woods Windle, who has been involved in politics in the state over many years. The main characters are so well formed, brought to life on the pages, believing they are fictional is hard to grasp.

The story line follows several generations of women as they are born, grow into adulthood, marry then start families. I have always been of the opinion that women as wives, mothers,  as they are caring for  others, modeling  compassion and character are the glue that holds families together. The durable Texas settlers found in this story are proof of their tenacity and survival skills. Resilient, resourceful and caring as they manage families, households and rough-and-tumble lives out in the western country where they chose to live.

"They followed Georgia and Ed Tom's conversation with exquisite attention, heads swinging in unison from one speaker to another..." (pg. 335)

the bad news...

Sunday, October 15, 2017
...post-concert fun. After the Willie show was over, we were fumbling our way back to the car in the dark, with only a cell phone to light the rocky, weedy, rough path: I fell. And broke something important. In my wrist, when my hands went out instinctively to cushion the landing. I knew it was going to be bad... even as gravity was doing what gravity does.

I was struggling to get up, with injured hands, scraped knees, and the help/support of my cousin. Just a few yards more, and we were in her car. With enough light to see how bad it really was. A big knot already on the back of my hand, and plenty of pain. She offered for us to go to the ER, but we went back to her house instead.

My thinking, faulty though it might be: I would rather spend the night in the waiting room of a familiar ER than a strange one in Atlanta. Called my dau., who had just gone to bed, to ask her to drive with me.  After a two hour drive, we (surprisingly) spent a only an hour waiting. Another hour being x-rayed, wrapped to stabilize and told to see the specialist. The NP who came in, had the images on her cell phone, reported she had already sent the wrist photos to the doctor. Amazing!

I am wrapped, and taped, and ace bandaged. Even though it was a short night, getting to bed after 3:00 pm, I slept remarkably well. Do think it might be due to morphine injection in my backside?

going to hear Willie...

... at Chastain Park in Atlanta. On Saturday night, after my volunteer stint for 'help the 'hooch'. We had purchased tickets months ago. I was looking forward to an evening of raucous and rowdy music.The daughter in Decatur was going (actually she was the instigator, planning to take me, as I would surely get lost out there in the dark.) Then she had a conflict, and could not attend. Whereupon, a cousin was lured into using the ticket,

I have not been up to Chastain in many years - before the era of GPS helping to find the way. In reality, I could have gotten myself there and back -but where's the fun in that?  There was huge crowd, all happy to see Willie and his honky-tonkin' crew. A beautiful evening in the amphitheater under the open sky. Too much light pollution from the city to see more than a few stars (and a constant stream of airliners arriving and departing from Hartsfield-Jackson miles to the south), but pleasantly cool for some rollicking entertainment.

Lots of imbibing going by attendees, who had brought picnics, tiny tables, candles for ambience. Coolers  for beer/wine, plates of party fare, stemware, tablecloths, frou-frou, as any real garden party should have. And us: with our little paper sacks from Chic-fil-A. Good music, good company, good fun. And, quite surprising to me - I did detect the odor of burning pot at all. How completely uncharacteristic for a Willie Nelson concert!