It’s funny how the little things seem to affect us the most sometimes, isn’t it? Back in August I noticed that two fingers on my left hand were feeling a bit strange. They were numb and tingly (at the same time!) and I didn’t seem to have much strength or normal movement in them. Crunch time came when I tried to play violin in church the next Sunday. It just wasn’t happening! I struggled through that morning, having to concentrate really hard to get my fingers to do what they’ve been doing automatically for 35 years. It was frustrating and a bit scary! You know how your mind starts imagining all the worst things that could possibly be wrong…
Finally I figured out I should see a doctor about this. The numbness was getting worse, and I was struggling to do everyday tasks like dressing, typing (kind of essential for all my jobs), cooking, cleaning (well, to be honest I didn’t struggle all that hard on that one!). After doing some checks to rule out other causes like diabetes (normal blood sugar – yay!), my doctor sent me to a neurologist for a nerve conduction study – which was fascinating! I had electrical impulses sent along my nerves from the wrist and then from the elbow to the fingers. The technician showed me on the screen exactly what was happening – and it wasn’t good! In comparison to my right hand, the signals just weren’t getting through to my left hand.
Evidently I had an obstruction of the nerve at the elbow. It’s the ulnar nerve (the one that yelps when you hit your funny bone), and apparently it runs right through the elbow joint and sometimes gets trapped there, being squeezed by the bones. So I was sent off to see an orthopaedic surgeon about releasing it. My surgeon was very chipper about the whole thing – it’s quite common and straightforward, apparently, and he was confident I could get full function back. Well D-day came on November 6 and I went under the knife. In a couple of hours I was sitting up having that wonderful first cup of tea, with what seemed like a massive bandage on my arm and a thumping headache.
The first week after the op I didn’t get a lot of sleep. It’s amazing how conscious you become of the injured part – especially when you roll over in your sleep! A couple of weeks later, I have seen some small signs of improvement in my fingers. Recovery for the nerve will be a long, slow process, so I’ll be exercising my patience muscle along with my hand! Now that the wound has started to heal, I’m getting better sleep. I have a scar that looks impressive now, but should heal well. (I won’t inflict photos on you!) Some of those everyday tasks are getting easier to handle.
Anyway, enough of the boring details. My point is that in the grand scheme of things, this really is a very minor medical issue. But even little things can sometimes have a big impact on us. You might have noticed that I haven’t posted many Day2Day pages lately. I kind of fell off the D2D wagon when all this was happening. I struggled to pull my camera out regularly, and to find the motivation to go looking for photo ops. But now I’m gradually getting caught up again. Because I really DO love the Day2Day project – and I really do love having that completed book in my hands at the end of the year. I’ve given myself permission to use some older photos, to take all the photos for a theme on one day, to finish the weeks out of order and not to beat myself up about it.
If you have ever started a Day2Day project then given up because you missed a day, or a week, or a month, can I encourage you to give it another go with me?
Here are some of my “catch up” (nearly completed) Day2Day pages. (Content used: p2P Daily Files kit, 2014 D2D Pixie Dust, Pixie Dust Looking Up, Pixie Dust Monday to Sunday 123. JumpStart Designs Denim Diva Bundle. Fonts: A Year Without Rain, Not Mary Kate, Palatino Linotype.)