My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
Yesterday’s visit to the lead doctor of my physiotherapy treatment center was eye opening. The doctor manipulated my hand beyond what I thought was possible, and it was very painful. I think it was actually the true definition of excruciating. My husband later told me that he couldn’t even watch, that it looked and sounded too horrible.
The reason it was eye opening is the fact that a lot of whether I can ever use my hand again will depend on me, and that’s a lot of pressure. I have a low tolerance for pain, for one, and I also had this expectation that attending the physiotherapy sessions would be the magic bullet for getting better. The reality is, if range of motion will only be restored by passive aggressive manipulation of my fingers at least three times a day, a lot of that manipulation has to come from me. I am trying to wrap my mind around this physical torture I am going to have to put myself through at least three times daily for the foreseeable future. So far I can’t do it. I now have the word of two medical professionals on this, yet it is almost noon and I haven’t performed any passive finger manipulation yet. What if I just can’t do it? I am reminded daily of the myriad answers to this question.
A friend just wrote about being at a ski hill in BC and how great the conditions are for skiing: “So much powder.” I was instantly brought to my last memory of downhill skiing and the realization that it might be my last time. This hand, in its current stiff state, would be a huge liability on any ski slope. Even if I didn’t need to hold a ski pole, there is a huge risk that would I crash and make the damage worse. A stiff finger is more easily broken. How many other activities have the same expectation of supple fingers for damage avoidance? Just how marvelous are fingers anyway? They truly are, and we don’t even think about it.
Today my thumb-middle finger gap is 5 cm. Now I just have to wrap my mind around doing the exercises I need to close this gap. Wish me luck.