When something bad happens, it can be difficult to get past the shock, the pain, the helplessness. It takes time, and everyone has their own process. For me, a sign that I am past the worst and heading for healing is when I am able to see something positive in the experience.
I am thinking mostly of emotional experiences, such as suffering a loss or witnessing a tragedy, things many of us have done lately. I have recently been undergoing a physical experience, though, that strikes me as a sort of microcosm of the recovery process.
About 8 months ago, I fell and broke my wrist, and as a result my right hand, my dominant hand, was completely unusable for many weeks. Then, just as that hand was becoming functional again, I had to have a procedure on my left hand that meant I had to wear a splint on it for a month.
I am currently in physical therapy for both hands, and within a few months I should be more or less back to normal. What has surprised me the most is finding out just how complicated hands are, how many muscles and tendons have to work together to do something as simple as picking up a glass or opening a door.
At first all I could think about was the pain. Next came the frustration of not being able to do so many ordinary things, and needing so much help. Soon, though, I was able to rejoice in small things such as being able to touch all my fingertips with my thumb. Yesterday, I was writing a grocery list, and I realized that it was easy again. I wasn’t struggling at all. I got so excited!
My injuries have put a spotlight on all the things hands do, and how incredible it is that all their parts are able to work together to accomplish them all. I am lucky that my healing is going well, and it looks like my difficulties will all turn out to be temporary. In the process I have learned to notice more of the things we all tend to take for granted, the seemingly small things that are actually huge. I wouldn’t say I’m glad it all happened; I still would rather it hadn’t, but I’m feeling particularly grateful today, so I thought I’d write about it.