Tuesday, November 16, 2004

If I forget thee . . .

Around the time that I left Israel a few weeks ago for a month's vacation, I started feeling tingling and numbness in the fingers of my right hand. At first I thought "Oh my God, I'm having heart failure, I'm going to die." Then I thought "I've finally done it, I've gotten diabetes, and now I'll get blue toes and I'll never be able to eat anything tasty ever, ever again." But I calmed down when I realized that the pain was only in my right hand, not my left, and not in my feet. So then I thought "Ah, my stress-injury symptoms are returning. Better get that fixed before I get full-blown carpal tunnel syndrome and need surgery."

So today I went to Dr. Claire, a nice doctor from England, who first refused to prescribe sleeping pills for my insomnia unless it persists for another few days. Then she told me that before we explore things like physical therapy or "expensive and painful" nerve conduction tests, I should put my arm in a sling and my splint for 4 days and let it rest completely. Completely, she said, as in no computer, no using that hand to put on a pocketbook, no using it to get dressed, nothing. Nada.

This is basically the end of my life for the next few days. If you don't see many posts, it's because I'm sitting around doing nothing, because what can I accomplish in this world without my right hand?

Yes, I'm exaggerating, slightly. I'll cope somehow. And, being the spiritually-oriented person that I am, part of me is thinking that this is an important opportunity to slow down, really think about what actions in my life are important enough to do even with only one hand, muse about how lucky I am to have two functioning hands in my life, etc etc etc.

There is also part of me that is a little spooked that just as I left Jerusalem for a fun-filled 5-week vacation in which I hardly thought about Israel at all, my right hand "lost its cunning." Wooooo. Creepy!

But in general, I'm trying to figure out how much I can still use my right hand while pretending in my mind that I'm letting it rest for a few days.


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