Like all of us, perhaps even more so, orthopaedic surgeons want to do something exciting and challenging. Something different. Another carpal tunnel? No thanks. When the test results come back and it's something "rare", Johnny and Susie have just scored this year's hard-to-find-totally-sick-Christmas present with full bragging rights. That present gets their full attention. For about as long as it takes for the next big thing or next birthday to some around.
My kinda-cool Kienbock's Disease got delivered, opened up, and played with for awhile. Now, I'm the scruffy Taylor Swift doll under the bed, hair matted and skirt askew. Nobody wants to play with me.
So, I play by myself for awhile.
I visit my GP and confess the story behind my surgeon's refusal of treatment. I'm still feeling a little crazy, unkempt, guilty. To her credit, she thinks what I asked of him was perfectly reasonable. She reassures me. We will find you another surgeon. Give me a week or two. Neither of us knows yet that the week or two will stretch to months.
I go back to my one-armed life. I've figured out some things, like if I keep driving straight, it's not so hard. Sure, it takes me a little longer to get around but hey, I get there. I discover parallel parking is even harder now than it was on my driving test 20 years ago.
I clock that it takes 10-12 minutes for my cast to drip dry as I wait on the mat outside the shower, squeezing the fibreglass and gortex every so often.
I quit running because even though my cast weighs only a few pounds, my back and shoulders get out-of-whack and it hurts. I probably look silly too. I continue with aerobics though and feel guilty when the sweat drips from my cast and leaves small puddles on the floor as we leap about the room. I worry I'll slip. I worry one of the sweet, little old ladies that frequent my gym will slip in my sweat puddle. There are a surprising number of sweet little old ladies that frequent my gym.
I'm surprised what a good sous chef my husband makes and he kindly shows me how the food processor works. Chopping is quite tricky with one hand. Tricky and dangerous. More than one cucumber has shot out from underneath my cast and flown across the room.
My soon-to-be three-year old is getting quite adept at buttons, laces, and zippers. He even tries to help me with mine. Now, if only he could get my ponytail right. Don't even ask about the toilet thing. Or bras.
I write right-handed on the classroom board. My letters are almost legible. When I was a little girl, my mom would sometimes get me to practice writing with my right-hand - just in case you lose your left hand she would say. Creepy.
I stop typing. It's awkward with my cast propped up on the desk and my other hand is too sore from doing double duty. I can't mark my students' work or add comments on their essays. I miss email. The techie at the college where I teach sets up a voice program for me, so I can leave private audio messages for my students in the computer lab. I install it on my home computer too and start send voice emails instead. I think it's brilliant. I try to explain it to my friends and colleagues but most don't get it and never open the audio files attached to the emails. I think they think that I'm sending them spam or dirty videos. I am relieved when the spring session comes to an end.
I am coping but I have also become keenly aware of why God designed our bodies with two of mostly everything.
During all of this, I'm worried. What is happening under those layers of gortex and fibreglass? KD is a progressive disease after all. The clock is ticking. I also need an MRI to confirm or refute the diagnosis on my right wrist. Only a specialist can order one. My GP comes through in early March: I have an appointment with a new surgeon for mid-April. Sure, I can wait 5 more weeks. No problem.
|Beck - Timebomb .mp3|
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