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Drawer wars

May 16, 2009

Thought for the week: I would rather have my optimism quelched than my pessimism vindicated.

I came home from the occupational therapist with a cool-looking splint on my left wrist that will probably draw high-fives from the spike and chain-laden punks on Sixth Avenue. The OT issued me a splint for my left wrist only, assessing that I had tennis elbow in my left arm. I thought this scarcely odd because both of my elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands present exactly the same deep, sharp aching pain, burning, and tingling. It’s largely my own fault, because I have determined to delay the MRI until I see how much the OT helps. The OT thinks that I have tennis elbow in my left arm and admits she has no idea what’s going on with my right despite the identity of the symptoms on both sides. In my experience it is not unusual for medical personnel to think this way.

The pain is now causing me to lapse into paranoid mentation. I wonder why foundations can’t stop settling, so the doors can close properly without using full-body force. Why are these doors united against me? Why are all the drawers in my house so stiff? Why is the dining room buffet bent on my destruction? Why does everything have to be so hard and cause shooting, burning pain? Why are common, everyday household objects so hostile? Even the padded, heated steering wheel of my beloved Audi has become my enemy. I’m snapping at objects.

All right, I can’t keep demanding that everything in the world change to accommodate my current limitations. My husband is applying paraffin to the tracks of the drawers. Then he will re-plane the door of the chicken house. He is a trooper to cheerfully agree to resume eating store-bought bread. For me, it is heartbreaking to think of not baking our own bread. But I have to eliminate exposure to torture wherever possible.

I have a new bookstand, a fabulous, flexible, versatile ergonomic one that enables me to read without holding up my book. This is a wonderful boon, and yet my hands still become stiff sitting in my lap with nothing to do.

RSIs by all accounts can take many months or even years to resolve. My OT says tennis elbow can usually resolve in 8 to 12 weeks, but admits that I may have other processes going on. It’s important to me to remain optimistic and grateful for the help I am getting. I have the incredible, unflagging support of my husband, who would change the world for me if he could. And I need to remember that injuries like this have leveled and disabled big strong working men. I honestly have no idea what I would do if my actual livelihood were at stake. It’s only pain, I tell myself. I’m one of the lucky ones.

This is the third post I have written and launched on my blog using voice recognition software exclusively. The software seems recalcitrant and slow to learn; it is sometimes narcoleptic and amnesiac, but ultimately quite useful. I suppose I can identify with the first four qualities and aspire to the fifth.

  1. kamelda permalink
    May 20, 2009 5:10 am

    Lauren I read this on Sunday and have been praying for you since. I’m glad you can use the voice recognition software (what a feat in itself) to post.

    Your speaking writing style reminds me of Meg Murray in Madeleine L’Engle’s books, one of my favorite literary characters (and so effective in combating the forces of darkness — her stubbornness was her great gift!)

  2. May 20, 2009 6:20 am

    Thanks, Heidi. I love people who consider stubbornness a gift. Doctors tend to consider “self-directedness” an undesirable trait.

  3. May 20, 2009 7:38 am

    Sounds like the doctors would do well in Camazotz. I found the section in the book and it made me laugh: I wanted to send it along.

    [Mrs. Whatsit] looked steadily at each of the three children in turn. “You will need help,” she told them, “but all I am allowed to give you is a little talisman . . . Meg, I give you your faults”.

    Her ‘faults’ being stubbornness and spunky defiance. Even IT couldn’t assimilate her and she saved the earth from going out.

    I love (and am grateful) for people whose gift is stubbornness, dearest L. Praying for rest and healing for your hands today.

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