You never think about the simple things you take for granted in your life. As most of you know, I recently had to have surgery on my wrist and have lost the use my hand for quite some time. The foolish, young, naïve person in me had thought that since the surgery wouldn’t be that major, I wouldn’t be in pain for very long. Given that this is considered a rather minor surgery I had every expectation of being back to work and back to daily life within a week. I was sorely mistaken when I discovered that at five days post-op I could barely lift a washcloth let alone do much of anything else. In situations such as this you realize the strange things that you’ve always taken for granted.
The simplicity of showering becomes rather challenging and it’s not something you ever have cause to think of as being a task that isn’t achievable on a daily basis. Realistically, you don’t take for granted typing on your computer and I am, in fact, typing this using voice dictation software which is by far the bane of my existence and something I despise using. And with the exception of once, a year ago, when I was running such a high fever that my husband had to help me shower simply to bring my fever down, I never had cause in my life to ever question my own ability to partake in this basic need.
But here I sit not even a week post-op, alone because my husband is in the field. And here I sit realizing that though he helped me shower two days ago I was far too weak and painful this morning to have him help me before he left and at this point it will be an unknown period of time before I will be able to do it again. It’s a strange realization to think that I’m not sure when I will shower again. It’s not that I don’t need to or want to shower, but this morning my husband had to help me take off my sports bra because I feared once he was gone and in the field I would be forced to wear it until he came home.
Luckily for me I do have someone coming to visit in a few days, but I wonder how wise a decision it was to feel confident that I was capable of being alone when I’m incapable of doing very simple things in my day. We took down the baby gates because I couldn’t maneuver them, we modified the kitchen so that could I access my food, and I had no choice but to have my husband portion out all of my dogs’ meals for the next 16 days. We take a lot of things for granted in our life, a lot of simple things.
Yesterday I was unable to move the washcloth that covered my icepack with my hand, today though I still can’t do that, for the first time in five days I was able to touch my fingertips to my palm and I considered that a large victory given the last few days. It may have been naïve of me to think that this “minor procedure” was going to mean that my recovery was faster than normal or faster than a human is capable of healing, but, nonetheless, I had and I am extremely humbled at the fact that I, myself, turned out to be just as human as everyone else. We all like to think we have some sort of super power and it is in situations like these that we discover that we don’t. We are in fact just as human as everyone around us, just as fallible, just a slow to heal, just as in need of help sometimes.