Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'll try anything to get my wrist back to what I would consider 'normal' . I realize that will take some time, my doctor and therapist say at least a year before even the swelling subsides completely and not even that is a guarantee. They've even said I might have swelling indefinitely and loss of range of motion.

Do I need to tell you that I will not accept that?

Meet Apparatus Number One:

You read right.


Implying there will be at least Two.

One to gently bend my wrist left to right, the other to turn my palm up. God willing.

I just received it today and had it on only once. I have to wear it three times a day at 30 minute intervals. There's a dial that I have to turn to increase the pressure and range of motion. I didn't like the idea of it when I heard about it the first time and I loathed it even more from the second I saw it.


At the time, I had apparatus envy.

Another woman receiving physical therapy received her apparatus and it was significantly smaller and need I say, when speaking of apparatus, smaller is definitely better.

Sure we joked about it for a few weeks before her's arrived and when it did, I tried to convince her it wasn't hideous and that it would help, you know, all positive stuff like; thank God you don't have to wear that in public, no one will notice it, it looks great with that shirt.

And then . . .

I saw mine . . .

Well, ironically as kismet would have it, we saw it since said woman was also present when it arrived. Right away I could see the difference, and so could she. The communication that flurried between us - through our eyes, our breathing, and our shifting-in-our-seats body language was fast and furious.

My body language was saying "REALLY"? "Really"?

Her's was saying "Geez. Poor kid. Didn't see that coming".

We both smiled and laughed our resigned-to-change laughs and jumped in with both feet, or arms as it were. And, believe me, I realize that God truly has not brought me this far without His keen sense of humor. I get it. Oh, I really, really get it.

The kicker? Apparatus Number Two, that the woman had? It will be here in about three weeks. It's the other one I'll be using three times a day.

And when I'm through with them and they've served their purpose in my life, I will be fast and furiously donating them as the Sales Rep who fitted me suggested, all the while doing a celebratory, completely healed jig, bending and flexing my wrist.

Thank you apparatuses.

How hysterically funny is that?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Was I still Running?

When my cast first came off, I was amazed at my immobility. At times I still am, but I'm also amazed at my progress. I've been going to physical therapy 3x's a week for this, my fifth week in a row, and I'm pleased with my efforts and my results.

The hand and arm exercises are pretty basic, lift, press, squeeze, separate, make a fist, stretch, all things your learned to do when you were a baby. It's not that you've forgotten how or that your hand has short term memory loss. On the contrary, your body has amazing memory but the stiffness that follows a broken bone is something you're probably never really prepared for, even if someone describes it to you. Here, let me try.

After your cast comes off, imagine someone taking hard plastic, heating it up and molding it to your arm (your dominant arm) in an awkward position. Then they put Velcro on it to make sure it's secure in keeping your arm immobile...kinda like a cast. You can't bend your wrist. You can't bend your elbow. Your fingers are useless. Your shoulder is feeling all of that restriction and is stressed and clicking. Oh and just for good measure, the sun has set on your day and the swelling has once again returned as it does every night. The plastic like cast on your arm is increasing in pressure and pain. Ok, I think you're ready now. Now, try and make a salad or feed yourself. Bathe yourself. Brush your teeth. Blow your nose and try to sleep comfortably...hahaha none of those things are possible - sure maybe some are if you use your other arm...but that's cheating. By now, you've already had to take a couple of anti-inflammatories and pain killers but by the time they kick in, your misery level reaches new lows.

Then in the morning, start off with a warm soak and then...start moving it. Against all instincts. Push. Pain. Push. Pain. Breathe. Stop. Ut-oh. This is hard. Bones have stiffened. They are resistant to change. They are resistant to movement. The ligaments are stiff and painful. The odds are not good if you're faint hearted. You must persevere if you want to ever use your arm again and what choice do you have? Or, do I have? I have only one. To continue running this race.

It's kinda like that every morning. You have to start from scratch and if I happen to not be going to Physical Therapy that day, well what then? Do I skip my exercises? Heaven forbid!

If I did not do my exercises 3 x's a day, everyday, my arm would be perfectly happy to stiffen up and cease working. Did you know that? You actually have to force your wrist to bend, your elbow to bend, your fingers to bend. They literally do not want to go. The inflammation and swelling and trauma prevents them from smoothly, efficiently and painlessly doing what they were made to do. You have to train them to do what they once did without your input - conscious input that is. When I go to reach for something now, it is with much deliberateness. Nothing or no action is too mundane as for me not to pay close attention to it. I have to. I can drop something, as I've already done countless times. I can trip and fall and God forbid, break my arm again. No, the time has come for proceeding with caution.

And I'm reminded of a recent incident that brought some light to the subject of impulsiveness, fearlessness, and lack of consciousness. I was in the store with my husband and we were browsing some electronic equipment. We stopped to speak with a Sales Manager and while my husband and he were speaking, I noticed some small children running past us. Nothing unusual about that. Except that, perhaps now, everything has such a deeper meaning that there is nothing usual...but everything is amazing.

I noticed that the children weren't just running to get somewhere. They were running to get every where. From here to there. From there to here. Up and down. Over and out. They never ceased running. I couldn't help but ask myself, 'was I still running'? I mean, I am FULL of energy just like those children. With a smile on my face, and with reckless (Websters def. of reckless; marked by lack of proper caution: careless of consequences) abandon, I would run until I couldn't run anymore or my lungs would give out, or it was time to go inside, or I got hurt....hmmmm.

Yeah, I got hurt sometimes and you know what? That slowed me down. Made me appreciate my physical abilities and lack thereof. Having asthma slowed me down. Having ear infections slowed me down. For the first year of my life I had braces on my legs since one leg was shorter than the other when I was born breach. I'm not sure, but that might've slowed me down.

I'm starting to notice a theme here.

Why slow down? Perhaps it's to control ourselves, our bursts of energy. Deliberately and consciously.

I was going as fast as the skateboard I stepped on in my mind on July 18th. I was not going slow. I was not paying attention. I was still and there, up and back, down and out. The answer? I guess I'm still learning to appreciate every breath, every step, every minute of every day.

This particular struggle has taught me that, among so many other things. Life is a race and we should be in the running, but on a very deliberate, well thought out, well prepared-for course, as all good courses are. We need to know where we're going and how we're going to get there, preparing for and weighing consequences and proceeding with caution...kind of like setting goals, making them happen, and troubleshooting when necessary. You know, life lived with greater deliberateness, greater consciousness.

I realize that children run with such abandon because, at the end of their day, God willing, they're falling into the arms of Mom and Dad who take care of every need that they have. They will be fed, bathed, loved and tucked in at night so that they can rest in preparation for another days running. In the morning, they need only open their eyes and their needs are met. Breakfast, clean water, clean clothes, and a ride to school where they run and run, unless the teacher sees them and instructs"no running in the halls children, slow down"!

We're all born like that. We have boundless energy that mostly needs to be shared, contained, controlled, modified, managed, slowed down, expelled, utilized, understood, and in some cases it's so off the charts it has to be medicated. Meditation, contemplation, prayer, music, silence, sleep, daydreaming, night dreaming, Reiki, EFT, chakra balancing, dance, exercising, sex, being in nature, being around animals and plants, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, chiropractic, massage, yoga, chi-gong, reflexology, acupressure, acupuncture...I'm sure there are more, but these are some ways to work with, release and re-charge energy in ways that are manageable, palpable and extremely useful. Will we ever understand energy fully? Perhaps, in the next dimension.

For now, energy in human beings is a phenomenal thing. If we only knew. . .

We, as physical beings having a spiritual experience, are the same. We're God's children running the race of life and hopefully resting in our creators arms and believing that our needs are met. Even when we stumble, fall and break ourselves a little bit, our Father/Mother is there to comfort us, to help us to absorb life's lessons and to nudge us on in Spirit.

This may have broken my arm, but it didn't break me. It may have broken my bone, but it didn't break my Spirit. It may have broken my stride, but it will not prevent me from finishing this race and yes, I may be trotting a little slower than the rest, but my finish will be no less rewarding.

My eyes and ears are open. My steps are steady. My mind is clear. I am living with greater deliberateness.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Interpret this . . .

If you've read some of my blog by now you know I dream vividly. I have experienced lucid dreaming and have even had bouts of sleep paralysis spanning over some twenty five years. It's all very intriguing especially as of late.

Of course I've had the dream where my arm slips out of the cumbersome and hard cast, and the ones where my arm isn't even broken only to wake up very disappointed. Truthfully, I'm just so grateful to be returning to a normal sleep pattern but the dream I had the other night...this one is worth mentioning.

It all starts out with me and my brother walking at night on a movie lot. He does stunt work for a living, so that was pretty normal but then off in the distance I see these huge lumber tractors with massive claws on the ends and they (at least two of them) are flinging huge logs up into the air and making a very chaotic and dangerous situation. At that point I decided not to go any further for fear that I would get hurt. Seriously hurt.

The next thing I see is a man smashing something over and over, still night time. I couldn't tell what he was destroying, but I could sense that whatever it was had some value. I got closer, close enough to see that he was smashing big, ceramic, African-tribal masks...CRASH! SMASH! BAM! One right after the other with no remorse or concern. Before I could say or do anything I see more people (two other men) standing behind the first one. They are smashing beautiful, clay pottery. Unbelievable waste and destruction! I could not contain myself and I began to scream and beg them to stop. 'STOP! PLEASE, I said, GIVE THEM TO ME! Don't break them!'

Then I'm home with some acquaintances, still night time. A few people are leaving and as I walk them out to the front, glass door I see that the door has a hole in it. The glass stayed in the door except for a hole the size of a doorknob, as if someone threw a rock or something. As I am digesting this random damage, my attention is being distracted by some people outside my big, bay windows on the front lawn.

I am unbelievably calm as I realize that they are here to commit a random act of violence against my home. I try to shoo them away but they aren't swayed when all at once, I get a full picture in my mind of what they are getting ready to do. They are going to blast out the windows in my house in one shot with these huge hooks attached to chains that they are attaching to the outside. I immediately leave the house to call 911 and go for cover. I remember at this point, I specifically say to myself 'Windows can be replaced, whatever damage they do, we will repair it. No one will get hurt and that's the most important thing. Things can be replaced, people can not."

I return to my house the next day in the morning light, and I am met by a female police officer taking statements. I see my house, windowless back in the distance. I am at peace. I am unharmed.

Dream ends. I wake up.