Sunday, December 17, 2006


It was easy to let other people take care of my hand in the first three weeks. The hideousness of it was safely concealed beneath a cast and pain killers. I refrained from looking at it or the xrays at my doctor visits. Now I have to remove the splint 6 times a day and manipulate it on my own. At the physical therapy office, surrounded by others in worse states of disrepair, and coached by an encouraging therapist, I'm a trooper. But alone with my sad hand, which feels like some foreign inanimate object transplanted at the end of my arm, I am prone to the most unbelievable pathetic bouts of weeping and self pity.

While I follow the prescribed excersizes it's clear how much the essence of my entire life, being, identity, and self worth has pivoted on my hands. In the context of me as an illustrator, puppeteer, fire dancer, doll maker, and artist, what I did, the risk I took, the mistake I made, was abominably stupid. My self is more in my right hand then in my heart or my head, and here I am, pretty much useless.

And I'm unexpectedly wishing to avoid the therapy. I try distractions to make it easier: music, tv, friends, wine, books, meditation, pets. But so far nothing works, so I shut myself up and indulge in outrageous pathos for the half hour that I warm and stretch my hand. I'm sure I'll eventually get used to it but for now my melodramatic side is winning out.

Photo: the hand today. Bruise fading, strange hard thickness of skin on palm and fingers persisting. I can make a better fist now.


nicole said...

Wow! I've finally gotten caught up reading blogs and! I wish you a speedy recovery, and thank you for documenting it here.

I had serious back/neck/shoulder/hand pain a few years ago and did physical therapy as well, so I can understand the self-pity, the pain, and the difficulty. :)

Best of luck,

Anonymous said...

Time heals all wounds... but all in their own time. I'd say it sounds like you're rushing things a bit. Don't be so hard on yourself..

I see that 'writing' isn't on the prescribed list of distractions... might give that a try. Who knows, there might be a novel just waiting to find the light of day. Appease the restless artist within!

I'm reading a book about Margaret Wise Brown, who'd spend whole summers lollygagging about just stirring the pot of creative musings.