Recently I mentioned how CMD tried to wheedle me into letting her do acupuncture on my left hand. Last week she decided against wheedling and just did it. My eyes were closed bc she was putting needles in my face and when I cracked one eye open to see what was happening she was standing very close to my left hand. She was opening needle and wipe packets so I had a moment to think about the possibilities of what would happen next. Then I felt her wipe a spot on my left hand clean. AAAHHHH! I screamed silently and wriggled around in mute protest since I couldn’t say anything bc of the needles.
She assured me she’d do it very lightly, it would be okay, and I figured there was nothing else I could do so I let her poke me. It was fine bc she just barely grazed the surface and there was no manipulating of the needle like she usually does. She caught my eye and I could not suppress a titter at the ridiculousness of the situation. CMD has remarked on how squeamish/jumpy I am but she has also noted that it’s not overly surprising given that I was asleep for so long.
I have noticed over the past few months that my left hand might be regressing. So I did OT-style motor skill practice, downloaded a motor-skill game app to play on my phone with my left hand, and let CMD poke me. I really noticed the difference in my left and right hand grips when I started carrying things at The Gym.
I need to be able to carry things with my left hand since I’m more confident in using my right hand to stabilize, e.g. when I’m “cruising” in the kitchen. I also have a great fear of dropping a kettlebell on my foot, so I really need to strengthen my grip. Last Friday Trainer D made me just hold some kbells with a narrow stance. I tried to explain that I can barely stand unweighted with a narrow stance without incident but he was disinterested in this argument. So I insisted on standing with my back against (near, but not touching) a wall, just in case. I didn’t fall down, but I could feel the kbell slipping out of my left hand near the end.
So lately I’ve been working on strengthening my grip by carrying a book around in my left hand. JLSS took the picture up top – it was at K’s shower, and I nabbed a phone book from the back hallway to hold while she opened presents. (Side note: like my bracelet? Big jewelry doesn’t really fit in with my lifestyle anymore but I couldn’t resist getting this piece from my friend M. When I heard she had started a new Silpada business I selected this lovely toggle bracelet within 20 minutes on the ride home in the car.) At home I carry around a small, square Animal Encyclopedia.
I carry books bc this used to be an OT activity – you sit in a chair and see how long you can hold a binder or whatever they give you. Now I’ve graduated to walking and carrying. In addition to being able to carry things around the house I want to be able to carry a purse in my left hand (since the right holds Leo). Right now the purse bounces awkwardly and gets in my leg’s way, and I obviously don’t need further interference with my gait. My idea is that strengthening my grip is phase I of strengthening my whole left arm and shoulder, and Trainer D says if I can get the muscles to work better then my arm will hang normally and stuff won’t bounce around when I carry it. It doesn’t bounce when I carry things on the right, so I believe him.
Strengthening my grip is illustrative of the significance of this whole experience. I like to tell people that I’m more fun to be around now that I’m disabled and my social filter is compromised. It’s Me: Unfiltered. Fasten your seatbelts!
But most of the time I’m the one who needs to hold on tight. There is an element of stubbornness in my character that has aided my recovery, especially in the beginning. Now the stubbornness has mellowed, but I’m still rather…scrappy…let’s call it.
I heard a message on the radio once that pointed out that if we’re going through something we need to be like Jacob and insist on holding tight to the Lord and coming out on the other side with a blessing. We also enjoyed a message on Jacob on Sunday – I was glad bc it reminded me to write this post. To review:
Genesis 32.24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Jacob walked with a limp after that encounter but he also got a new name.
That’s a great story. It didn’t capture my imagination until I started limping myself. So now I’m trying to strengthen my grip on multiple levels. There are obvious physical logistic reasons for me to do this, but the most basic reason is that this is what I was meant to do.
Philippians 3.12…I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB