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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.)


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13 Responses to Blog: The little things…

  1. Janice says:

    Hoping your recovery goes smoothly and you are back to playing the violin very soon! Day2Day is such a personal project, I love the flexibility of being able to fit it into our daily routine, or whatever works, at any time, place or moment. So glad you are continuing with it even though it’s been a bit of a struggle lately.

  2. Jan says:

    Alison, I’m so glad you are on the road to recovery! I had a similar experience (numbness and tingling on the fingers on my left hand) about 9 years ago, about this time of year. In fact, I remember having an MRI at midnight on 23 December…. And those nerve impulse tests – I felt like a frog being pithed! They never exactly determined what caused mine, except that it was higher up. As quickly as it came up, it went away, about three months later. Bizarre! But you are right – any time any little thing goes wrong, it really affects us, doesn’t it?

    Good for you for getting back to your Day2Day project! Maybe you will inspire me….xx

  3. Sandy Norman says:

    Alison, I hope that your healing continues to progress. Do what they tell you to do and rest it when you can. We never realize how much we depend on our hands until we can’t use them. I am “one-handed” for 4 more weeks because of a re-injury to my hand. When people ask what I did it’s really hard for them not to laugh when I tell them it was a scrapbooking injury. Even my doctor laughed. 😉 I aggravated a tendon sheath in my wrist trying to complete a digital project so I could use a p2P coupon on the books. Just had a cortisone injection on Monday with an immobilizing splint. Hoping it works because I don’t have time to repeat the surgery.

    • Alison says:

      Oh dear Sandy! That is not good 🙁 The things we do for love! Hoping you’re much better soon.

    • Avril Lawson says:

      Goodness this scrapbooking is really more dangerous than one would think!! For the past couple of weeks I have been wearing a thumb splint on my right hand. It looks awful, but it really does help so I have been trying to be diligent about wearing it every day. Trouble is as soon as it is off I do a little thing that makes it painful again. I am hoping that in time the splint will realign the joint so that it gets better permanently. Good luck to everyone with their injuries 🙂

  4. Deanna Emmert says:

    Glad you are healing well. Can’t tell you what an inspiration this blog is to me! I have been on-again-off-again about the D2D project, but when I was in the midst of moving, I really missed it. Now it’s been really hard to get out and get photos: new location, not many interesting things to photograph around here, rainy Oregon weather, and stuck at home without a car, have hampered me in getting new photos. But if you feel OK about using older photos, then I guess I will feel OK about it too. Hmmm…wonder if there is anything I can go back and use for this week’s theme as the weather is going to be quite rainy again! 🙂 Thanks so much, Alison! I’ll be praying for swift healing of your arm and better movement of those fingers! 🙂

  5. Asmaan says:

    So glad you are on the mend Alison!…wish you a speedy complete recovery!

  6. Justine says:

    So glad to hear your elbow is on the mend Alison and that you are getting those Day2Day pages and photos up to date … in whatever way, shape or form that works for you right now 🙂

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