Three weeks ago I rolled my Ford Explorer not far from home. Thankfully we were all wearing seat belts and nobody was seriously injured. Four of us walked away from the wreckage bruised and sore, but alive. We are grateful to guardian angels and seat belts. My biggest injury was a wrist fracture. At the time it seemed a small price to pay considering what COULD have happened. It was my first auto accident in about 30 years, and a scary experience.
However, learning to live without the use of my dominant hand has been enlightening. For two weeks I had this bulky soft cast that I called my lobster claw. It went from my elbow to beyond the first knuckles on my fingers. I had to ask for help with everything. Getting dressed, getting undressed, brushing my hair, fixing food. I couldn’t carry a pot of water to the stove, do laundry, or even get on the computer (hence my long absence from writing!) Several trips each week to the chiropractor for adjustments, and I have been dependent on my husband to drive me back and forth. If we’re out of something, I can’t just hop in the car and go get it.
For a strong-willed, independent woman, there have been times I fussed about not being able to do for myself. But I’ve learned to appreciate the returning skills and try to be patient with the recovery process (which someone was kind enough to remind me takes longer when you’re over 50…thanks for that!) And I measure the weeks in terms of progress and milestones. Everything takes longer when you’re learning how to do it with the other hand/arm. It took nearly two weeks to be able to dress myself, and even now there are times I need help. This week I got to take a shower all by myself! I won’t be able to drive for a couple of weeks yet, but I’ll get there eventually.