Saturday, November 29, 2014

Things I can't wait to do...

I am not complaining. Please understand, I know how blessed I am to be healing. Every time a wounded soldier is on tv, I am quickly humbled and reminded of my minor discomfort. But it doesn't stop me from thinking of what I'm looking forward to doing once I can use my left hand again.

Tie my shoes.
I've been wearing slip-on shoes. Or boots. At first I wished this had happened in the summer so I could wear flip flood, but I quickly realized winter is better. Pants hide my legs which were bruised and are now hairy. I can ask Bill to tie my shoes but the last time I did that we went shopping. I left him in the coffee shop and walked around by myself (he was meeting a friend), and when I went to try on clothes I realized I couldn't. If I took my shoes off, I couldn't get them back on.

Wash my hands.
Yesterday, I asked Bill to wash my right hand. It felt so good to have the back of my hand washed, I didn't realize how much I had missed it.

Put on lotion.
This goes (pun necessary) hand-in-hand with the hand-washing previously stated. This time of year, no matter how much we run humidifiers, is so dry. I can only put lotion on my finger tips, thumb, and a portion of my palm. It's not enough.

Put in my contacts.
I cannot hold the bottle of solution in my right hand and hold my contact. It won't work. Instead I've been wearing my glasses. I am glad that I replaced them just a few weeks before the accident.

Wash, exfoliate, and dry my left hand and forearm.
Whew, it's not in a cast but it sure smells like one. I took off the "arm sock" and brace and soaked my arm/hand last week. I'll soak it again tomorrow, but I'm guessing this is just the smell of dead skin cells. I really hope I'm the only one that can smell it. And if I'm not? Everyone has been very nice to ignore it. Or run out of the room gagging without me noticing.

Cut my own food.
Again, I can hold my toothbrush or a piece of paper, but anything heavier is too much for my now very weak left hand. Cutting food is out of the question. Bill (or someone sitting next to me) has to cut it for me. Fork-tender is a much appreciated form of cooked food that I am currently interested in. Or soup. Or sandwiches.

My few years of piano lessons are coming in handy. But a keyboard on a computer is obviously different then a piano. My hand often blocks letters and I think I'm hitting one key, but I actually hit the one next to it. Which can sometimes be obvious to spell check, until it's a word like of or if. I've used the delete button quite a number of times. Or I've hit enter too quickly and shared complete nonsense.

There are plenty more but, as I just shared, typing is difficult and I'm ready for a break.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

snow legs

On my way to my HPC meeting Wednesday night, I had a flashback to driving in New Jersey. In that flashback I remembered how every day, driving on the Parkway, drivers would slam on the gas and then slam on the brakes. From twenty feet forward, to a complete stop. It was almost everyday that I couldn't wait to come back to the midwest.

And here I was Wednesday evening, on 131, not doing what had caused me great stress all those days in NJ. With all the snow and cold, drivers were being courteous, everyone was leaving plenty of space between them and the car in front of them, no one was driving like an idiot, everyone was going the right speed, no one was slamming on their brakes, everyone was paying attention. It was like a choreographed dance of the snow cars.

Bill calls that "snow legs"; what we need to find in order to drive safely through the winter. You may know the term as "sea legs" which we became familiar with on our cruise seven years ago. But here, in the winter, we need snow legs.

Who knew we'd be finding our snow legs so early? Of course after last winter, how did we have time to forget?

This leads me to my snowflake request of years past. I don't need them this year. However, if you have incorporated them into part of your Advent activities, or need something to do on a snow day, I will gladly accept them. I'm just not making my usual plea.

Friday, November 21, 2014

not just a cold remedy

In church the Sunday after my car accident, a peer told me that when she was a dancer she used Vicks VapoRub on bruises. She said it's the witch hazel that's in it that helps draw out the bruising. I figured I'd give it a try, what was it going to hurt?

Do you know, it worked?! I've used it off and on since, and while it didn't magically make the bruise disappear, it has definitely made a difference.

And now you know!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Airbags and seatbelts

Many of my readers know about my car accident. My car/airbags saved my life. I'm not being dramatic.  It was a very serious accident. I haven't written about it, not because I'm having PTSD, but because I'm typing one-handed.

I have a fractured left hand. Other then a banged up right knee, which is still bruised two weeks later, I had one small cut over my right eye. That's it. I am so thankful.

The last thing I remember (I'm guessing I closed my eyes) is seeing the car turn in front of me. I don't remember the actual impact or the airbags going off. From what others have told me, I'm even more grateful for that.

It's been very interesting. I guess I'm part of, or conducting, a social experiment. When someone sees my hand, they ask what happened. When I tell them it was a car accident, nine out of ten people go on to share about a car accident they were involved in. Today, at the checkout at Target, was no exception. Except she was not as lucky as me because her accident was long enough ago that her car did not have airbags. She showed me the scar across her shoulder and motioned to the entire length across her body where the seatbelt had bruised her. She was going 25mph. I was going 50mph. We both had tears in our eyes for the other as we realized how lucky we both were to be sharing this with each other.

I posted a picture of my car on Facebook, or what was left of it. I'm not going to post it here, because it can be very upsetting if you haven't seen it. I think most of you have though. I'm going to pointedly not post it as a way to move on. I don't need the picture to remind me. For at least the next two weeks I have the brace on my left hand as a constant reminder.

To end with a bit of humor, we live in a decidedly two-handed world. The humor comes if you were to be a fly on the wall watching me do the simplest things like button my pants or unscrew the lid to a jar of peanut butter. Knees, teeth, and my left elbow have become quite handy. Every time I use my teeth, I think of my dentist. I'm sure she wouldn't be happy. But sometimes that's all I can do!

Stay tuned, I have a lot more time to think, so I'll be writing a few more posts!!