I am happy to report that Honey has had her casts removed. Her thumbs have been freed, and will now be permitted to interact with the rest of her fingers. This might not seem like any great thing to you, but for the guy that has been holding the spoon so she can eat, it feels like the Allied forces just liberated Paris. There are brighter days ahead!!
The accident, like all accidents, blind-sided us. No one sees something like this coming, except maybe Nostradamus. When an accident impacts your life, you roll with it. That’s what Honey has done. For eight weeks she sat patiently and let her arms heal and for those same eight weeks I stayed by her side. Not literally, but I was always within ear-shot. Honey and I have been living in suspended animation, waiting for her wrists to heal and the casts to be removed. We’ve started this year in a 6-week holding pattern.
The situation has now changed. Honey is not completely healed yet and will be in braces for the next 2-4 weeks. There will also be one last set of x-rays before the doctor is satisfied and will mark her file as “case closed”. From that point on Honey will deal with a physiotherapist, who will ultimately assist her in her recovery. There is still a long road ahead to full recovery.
The muscles and tendons in both arms are atrophied after being in the casts. The area that was damaged in the accident has not been allowed to move while the bones healed. Even though freed, Honey’s thumbs want nothing to do with her fingers. Squeezing her fingers together is something she must will to happen.
Honey is struggling with just about every small task that muscle-memory used to handle for her, as well as the pain and discomfort associated with the movement. I can see the focus in her face as she tries to pick up a piece of bread, it’s hard to watch. My natural instinct is to step up and help her, but I know that is not actually helpful. The darts shooting out of Honey’s eyes when I try, just affirms this knowledge. Rehabilitation requires the person rehabilitating to do the work, regardless of the discomfort. It sucks, but it is what it is.
She has no strength in her hands to hold a glass yet, but in the first few days since the casts have been removed, she has conquered spoon grasping and the two-handed shovel to mouth technique. Things are looking up! Every day Honey is able to do a little bit more and our hope is that Honey will regain enough strength and movement, to be able to handle most of her personal needs in short order. This is important because I must return to work sooner rather than later.
Returning to work presents an entirely different situation than the one we have been living with. Since the accident, Honey has not been left alone for more than short periods of time. My work day can stretch 10-12 hours, we need to be organized. Normally there would be a list that I could follow. But Honey still can’t hold a pen! I tried making a list when the casts first came off, tasks I must do before I would leave the house in the morning. Within days Honey had mastered every one of those tasks! I wrote half a page about spoons, sugar and cups! I resurrected the Tassimo coffee machine from the basement and spent $20 on discs for it!! This I did so Honey could get herself coffee when she woke. For the last two days she has been serving herself from the coffee pot using two hands and an oven mitt. I haven’t gone back to work yet!!
As Honey rehabs she will recover, and all the tasks that I have had to preform for the past 8 weeks, I will no longer need to handle. It is not just me that will be happy to get to that point, Honey too will be relived. No longer needing help to open a cupboard or charge her electronics. To be able to pour a drink and make herself a meal. To be able to hold a steering wheel and drive again. The things that she has not done for herself since Christmas, and many more things that are too personal in nature to mention. Rehabilitation will take time, but as each day passes, Honey regains both strength and ability. It won’t be long before everything will be right with the world once again. Except maybe for that pandemic thing…