It happened in early June, playing baseball of all things, kids vs. parents. I ran to stop a fast, hopping grounder and succeeded, but in the process I fell, hitting the ground with my left palm in such a way that I broke the little scaphoid in two.
For a while I couldn’t use my left hand at all, and I kept it in a sling and out of trouble, feeling a bit like I was inside one of my favorite, odd little poems from long ago:
The animal I wanted
Couldn’t get into the world
I can hear it crying
When I sit like this away from life
– Kenneth Patchen, Collected Poems, (New Directions) 1969
Now I can use my left hand somewhat, but it’s still in a cast, and it can’t bear the weight of anything heavier than, say, a paper plate supporting a burger, a mound of potato salad, some greens, and perhaps one of those great greasy chocolate-chunk cookies. My fingers are free, but my thumb is immobilized, and can only flex to its first knuckle, so I can’t grasp anything. I can sort of type with both hands, but absurdly slowly. It’s faster just to hunt-and-peck out emails and comments with my good hand, and to use handwriting (fortunately I’m right-handed) combined with dictation, for longer strings of text like this post.
So for the time being, I need to abstain from freelancing; despite the almost magical powers of my computer’s dictation features (the ones that were added to Mac OS 10.8), I’m just way too slow right now.
If all goes well (and so far so good), I should be back in action very soon; I’ll keep you posted in the comments!
Whoo hoo, no more cast, as of yesterday! I feel so extremely free! Now I can type with both hands, but still fairly slowly and tentatively, and I’m looking at 6 weeks of physical therapy (It feels a bit like I’m using my hand for the first time). But already I feel my ol’ snappiness coming back; I’ll let you know how it goes!
So typing is going along OK, but I just had my first PT session today, where I learned that I can’t just type with my left elbow in the air; I’ve got to rotate my left hand so that my fingers are more or less straight, with my elbow pinned to my side. And man, that hurts my wrist, due to the stiffness there.
So realistically, it looks as though I won’t be able to take on any work until the end of September, but I’ll comment back if that changes.
Ok, I can now type at my normal speed, in more or less my normal position, and without pain. So this little story is thankfully over. : )