Balance

Since my hand has been getting better, I've started getting more active again. I rarely don't do something just because I'm still stiff, because I can usually figure out reasonable ways to make things comfortable (and using my hand helps strengthen it!).

However, that slowness I was forced into seems to have nearly vanished. I’ve felt the need to go for runs as often as possible because I didn’t work out at all right after the pins were put into my hand, and had to begin again slowly. I also have been struggling to understand all the medical bills we keep getting, so I’ve been spending way too much time pouring over health insurance papers. (I’ve learned a lot I wish I didn’t have to. 😜 Long story short, we’ve got decent insurance, but they’ve found ways to not cover as much as they used to…).

Since it's springtime, all the baby cows are out along the trails I run!

We have two trips coming up, though (a weekend in New York at the end of the month, and 3 weeks in Europe next month), so there’s that! But vacations also involve a lot of planning (planes, trains, automobiles…hotels, food, museums…) so I’ve also had that on my mind. At least that’s fun research!

With my hand getting better, I’ve also been cooking more, because I can actually hold things (imagine not even being able to drain a pot of pasta), and I can wash dishes now, too, since I don’t have to be worried about getting a cast or splint wet. This weekend is my mom’s 60th birthday, so I’m cooking her a yummy meal. 😋

I also am finally going to start sewing again! Hubby made me a GIANT table out of an old door, and I just bought some fabric to make a skirt, and I can’t wait to get started tonight! My craft room is still a mess from having to re-organize and make room for the huge table, but it’s clean enough to start a project (and I could keep procrastinating FOREVER if I strive for organization perfection and don’t just start).

It’s exciting that I’m able to begin doing the things I love (and that the more I work at it, the more I can do). But I’m having a hard time balancing activities, chores and relaxation. I’m doing so much that I’m tired a LOT, and I think I’m just trying to make up for lost time. Luckily, because we have some trips coming up I’ll be forced to do things a bit differently, which I think will greatly benefit the balance in my life. 2016 started out a bit rough, but it feels like things are looking up :)

One-Handed Adventures

Tomorrow, I hopefully get the pins taken out of my hand, which hopefully means I get to start getting back to my normal self. This whole ordeal has really made me appreciate being able to function at 100%.

So, I thought I’d share a bit about my one-handed adventures, because it’s been a while!

Baking:

I very much enjoy baking and cooking, and I had cookie cravings, and my husband’s birthday was last week, so I didn’t let having broken fingers completely stop me. I kept recipes simple - I needed to be able to use my stand mixer, and nothing could be too crazy large or heavy since anything I carry is with one hand. I did make some pretty sweet little footballs for the Super Bowl, though!

Cleaning:

Don't worry, this sock is clean.

For a while, my “cleaning” consisted of small organizational tasks, trying to keep common areas looking nice, but as I started to feel better, I was able to start sweeping and vacuuming. I know it sounds lame, but after a while you just want your space to be clean, and clean-looking. As much as possible, I’ve tried to only use dishes that can be thrown in the dishwasher, because I still can’t hand-wash things because I can’t get my cast wet. I have been able to fold laundry, but it’s a very slow process, and turning socks right side in is a royal pain in the butt.

Exercise:

With the pins in my hand, I haven’t done yoga, and I miss it. The pressure that could potentially be put on the bones, even in modified poses, isn’t something the doctor wanted me to do, so I (very impatiently) am waiting for the day I can go back. So instead I’ve been walking a lot, and finally, about 3.5 weeks after my surgery, I started running again. Easy runs, slower than I’d like, but I’ll get it back.

Creativity:

All of my usual creative outlets require two hands: crafting, sewing, playing my instruments… I guess at least I can call these activities physical therapy once I’m allowed to start doing them again. I tried making myself an orange bow for the Super Bowl, which ended up looking pretty stupid, but whatever, it was the only orange I could find. I also made a construction paper card for Nathaniel’s birthday, which was ok, but would have been a lot prettier if I’d been fully-functional. My sister, her boyfriend and I all went to a painting class, too, and luckily I got by just fine with one hand.

Going out:

At least my cast matches my favorite dress!

Most times this is fine. Every once in a while I have to have Nathaniel cut my food for me (one time a waitress asked if she could). But the biggest difference is that everyone asks how I hurt myself (and many people joke that I must have punched someone). I don’t mind - it’s nice that, in general, people are extremely friendly, kind-hearted and wish me well. Most people agree, though, that the story is pretty lame, and I should make up a story about saving babies from a burning building. ;)

Here’s hoping that tomorrow goes well, and that I’ll be closer to normal soon!

Unforeseen Circumstances

Had a haircut last weekend - definitely can't Make my hair this pretty on a normal day, let alone with only one hand.

Had a haircut last weekend - definitely can't Make my hair this pretty on a normal day, let alone with only one hand.

Ten days ago, I was home from work earlier than usual, because the bunny had an appointment. I decided not to go back to work because I only would have been there another 20 minutes before the work day ended. So, because there was still daylight, and I had just gotten a new running outfit, I decided to hit the pavement and log a few miles. Little did I know that I would LITERALLY hit the pavement as I rounded the corner, as my toe caught a crack just right to make me go flying. I honestly don’t know exactly what happened. I was in the air, parallel with the ground, and I caught myself stupidly with my left hand, which was also the hand holding my phone (which is completely fine). I was in a bit of pain, hoping I was fine, but I looked at my hand and immediately knew something was wrong. My knuckles looked out of place, like there was an extra bend (the wrong way) in my fingers. I wish I had taken a picture. I think I was in shock.

Luckily a neighbor saw me, helped me up and walked me home. (I apologized for cussing in front of his kid, but he said he understood based on the fall.) Once inside, I sat on the couch and started yelling for Nathaniel, who thankfully was home, and so was our friend, Grant, who was such a help and hung out with us the whole evening. They both came running up the stairs from the basement, and once I showed Nathaniel my hand, he insisted we go to the hospital. He had to find his wallet, so he sat me at our kitchen island, and I said, “I think I’m going to pass out,” and then I did. Luckily Grant kept me from hitting my head. I woke up after being out about 15 seconds, which Nathaniel has described as the scariest moments of his life because my eyes were open but I wasn’t really there. Coming out of it felt like vividly dreaming so hard that my body just wanted to stay asleep. I do wish I could remember the dreams, though.

Grant chauffered us to the hospital. While we waited in the waiting room, we played “Heads Up”, the Star Wars version, which Nathaniel said I was better at while I was in pain. Finally we got back into the ER, where we had to figure out how to get my engagement and wedding rings off, because my fingers were SUPER swollen. (Note: If your fingers ever start swelling, take your rings off immediately.) Soap did not work, and they kept saying how its easy to cut them, bend them, then have a jeweler fix them, but my ring has meteorite in it, which can’t be bent, so we had them try a different method, where they put thread under the rings, then wrap the thread around your fingers, which helps compress and even out the swelling. This was by far the most painful part of the evening, but it did work.

I then got some X-rays and waited… Finally when the X-rays were done, the doctor confirmed that my middle and ring fingers were both broken, and mentioned something about a prescription for Percocet, where I quickly chimed in, asking, “Can I have some now?”. Yes, you heard me right, I had to ASK, after 1.5 hours in the ER with broken fingers, for painkillers. I hadn’t even been given a numbing shot before they tugged my rings off. They decided to give me one pill, then wrapped my hand in a temporary splint.

The next day I went to see a hand doctor’s assistant, who said I shouldn’t need surgery, that I should be able regain full functionality, but that because the breaks are close to the joint, I might have some pain in life… At least it wasn’t worse. My head and face are fine, my knees are fine, and I can still function, though in a gimpy manner. A follow appointment revealed that in order to get my ring finger properly aligned, I need a pin surgically inserted, so that will be happening on Tuesday... But I will do anything to get my fingers to 100%!          

I am frustrated by several things I can’t do:

  • I can’t open everything myself.
  • I can’t play my stringed instruments.
  • I can’t wear most of my clothes, because they either won’t fit over my cast or I can’t do the buttons/zippers.
  • I can’t tie my shoes.
  • I can’t do my hair.
  • I can’t sew/craft (yet? I wanted to make a Valentine's Day outfit...)

Sure makes you appreciate being able to use both hands. But this is just an obstacle. There are still lots of things I CAN do, like:

Broken fingers can't keep me from my fitness routine!

Broken fingers can't keep me from my fitness routine!

  • I can still go to work, and type one handed!
  • I can go to yoga, finding modifications that work for me (lots of dolphin and forearm plank)
  • I can still run (and I put my phone in a pocket). I’m thinking of investing in a sports belt of some sort so I can have it tucked away no matter what I decide to wear.
  • I can drive.
  • I can still use my dominant hand. So, so thankful I didn’t break my right hand (or my face)!. 

Anyway, there’s a recap of my crazy injury - seriously, who breaks their fingers on a run? Hopefully there won’t be any more curveballs thrown at me during the recovery. And since I can’t just mend my bones with magic (where is Madam Pomfrey when you need her?), I am going to use this as a learning experience, and make sure I do everything possible to get back to 100%.