Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Remembering- posted Wed. Oct 12, 05

After hearing about a friend hurting his finger while removing floorboards, I got thinking about when I had my right hand operated on for ruptured tendons and my left arm frozen at the shoulder so I couldn`t move it from my side. Only the lower part of the arm moved up and down, but not outward away from my side.
Ruptured tendon happened from using tools so much. I not only helped around the house doing repairs, and taught the Cub Scouts for 15 years including how to safely use tools- both hand and electric, but I also worked in my husbands Bicycle Shop. There were times when you needed to hold a wrench in each hand, turning them in opposite directions to remove the wheel. This was the worst on the palms of my hands .
Well, I came home from the hospital with right hand wrapped like a boxing glove and went to therapy at the Hospital where they brought in those big heavy hot packs and just dropped it over my shoulder. I can still remember how heavy it weighed and how much pain it caused. But the heat was necessary to help prepare the broken loose shoulder for the exercises they put me thru. I was told that the shoulder had left jagged edges jutting in many places where the arm went into the shoulder socket which also had bones jutting out all around it. It was like when a board breaks with some places jutting out on one board and leaving the missing holes in the other half where the jutted bones once belonged. I needed to keep working the arm up and down till the jutted pieces were worn off-- like sanding the board till it was smooth again. Once my hand incision part was healed they also started exercises on it to get it to open again, They would work on the right hand, then right into doing the left shoulder. After a few days, I was sent home and told what exercises to do. I had a hole put over the bedroom doorway for a section of rope to go thru. At each end of the rope was a short section of a dowel. I needed to hold onto one dowel- letting the rope go thru my right hand between the 2 and 3rd finger so I could hold tighter onto it. Could only use the fingers- not touch the palm . I had to hold the other dowel in the left hand. Then I had to try pulling the left arm upwards by pulling the rope over the doorway with the hand that was operated on. Something I would never wish to go thru again. Took weeks of hard work to finally get the arm to go upward, but there just was noway to pull it to go backward so I lost part of the movement where you can normally reach behind your back. My left hand cannot reach as far backward or even up over the shoulder like it used to. Some days I felt like stopping as the pain was unbearable, but then I knew I couldn`t stop if I wanted a right hand that opened and closed correctly or a left arm that was useable again.
The Doc who operated told me to go back home and work with some more tools and then come back and see him in an other year. He said that op is usually done on carpenters and mechanics. My Dad had one hand operated on from repairing cars. Only his hand didn`t turn out as well as my right hand did. They didn`t have theraphy back then. Then years later I had the left hand operated on, only the other Doc had died from a heart attack on a hunting trip a couple years before.
Have you ever used a knife to separate two pieces of meat that had been in the freezer? I used to use a table knife. But this day my husband had left a steakknife on the counter. I picked it up and prepared to separate two frozen pork chops. Have arthritis in my hands so hard to hold small things tightly. The steakknife turned around in my right hand, slipped and off it went into one side of the pinky and out the other side. I might have done even more damage when Ipulled that steakknife back out of my finger. Yelled in to my Hubby that he needed to run me to the Hosp.. He came out, I was holding the finger under cold water and using pressure to try to stop the bleeding. Hubby looked at it and said it`s not that bad, all you need to do is put a tight bandage around it. He didn`t know I had already pushed the flesh back inside as it came out with the knife.
Well, I turned my hand over so he could see the other side of the finger-- He said "Get your Coat and lets get going". Got to the Hosp and was left sitting there for about 3 hours with my hand wrapped in a large bath towel to soak up the blood and keeping pressure on it. There was this little girl that kept talking to us and I couldn`t let her see how bad it looked. I was watching them taking others ahead of me. Finally the little girls dad told her to come back and sit with them and leave those nice folks alone. As soon as she left, I unwrapped the hand and the minute the nurse looked up to call the next name. I held the hand up for her to see. Boy, that got her attention. She jumped up and came running out of her office and told me to come with her. When the emergency room Doc started to look at it, i told him I didn`t need to waste his time as i needed a surgeon. he said- Sounds like you know what you did. Told him yes- can`t move it, so cut the tendons- can`t feel it, so cut both nerves, and it`s been bleeding badly, so cut the blood vessels. He took one peak and left to find a Surgeon. Well, two operations later and all my hand was closing up, only could open the pointer finger. Doc said If I didn`t have the little finger removed i was gouing to loose my whole hand. Told him I had to thing about it and left his office. Got home and called a specialist from a neighboring city that my oldest brother knew. After wearing metal braces with screw down section that forced the fingers open a little each week , I got all my fingers back working except that the little finger will always be at about a 45 degree angle. But I still have the finger thanks to finding a good Doctor. Wish I had him at the first op, but there was no time to hunt around , so had to use whoever was handy that night. Had the ruptured tendon also repaired during the second finger op as they were cutting the hand open anyways to try to lengthen the tendon hoping the finger might open further. Today i have a left hand that pushes everything out of your hand when I close it very tightly as that extended tendon pops up in the palm of my hand. But, as long as i can still accomplish things, I am still better off than many.

you sure have been through a lot dot but you are a survivor. when people are strong and take care of themselves and do what ever is needed then i call them hackers. you are a hacker. you can hack whatever comes along i beleive.
I didn't know that you were a woman. I am so sorry.
Am so silly and foolish.
Jac, Don`t give it a second thought. How would you be sure when we both just found out the other one exists. Mr Haney, I met in a Senior site some time ago, so he has had time to get to know me better.
You asked where I was for the missing year. Well, my computer crashed and I had to buy a new one. I couldn`t find any place where I had my blog info written down so I forgot how to find it.
Then one day , while still in the Senior site, Mr Haney mentioned his blog and invited us to visit it. I remembered I had been in the same blogs he was. That was how I got back into the blogs. Then I just started trying to think what I might have used as a password and after a couple wrong tries, I stumbled onto the right one and thats how I was again able to start posting again. Funny how your mind works. To remember the password I just started thinking what comes to mind when I think of my blog. and thankfully my mind came up with the same thought for the password that I had used a whole year earlier. Also funny how it happened during the same exact month, a full year later and still the same meaning came to mind. The mind sure is awonderful tool.
Jac, thanks for reading my posts. From all your replies, I can tell you must have read them all. I can tell you that I also have read most of yours even if I didn`t reply to them all. I did enjoy reding them. Keep up the good writing. Even someone of my age can enjoy your writings.
Good morning Mr Haney. I guess you soon learn how to handle whatever comes from all the lifes experiences that hit you in the face. You have two choices, you can buckle under and give up, or you can keep fighting to find a way out of the ordeal- the best way you can. I came from a family that was never a quiter, Had a father who was still repairing cars long after he was retired. He passed away at the age of 73, two months before his 74th birthday and repaired a car the night before. Mother was still bowling in her early 80`s. I will tell more about my Parents and their outlook on life in my blog. Then you will see where i got my strength to keep fighting whatever life hands me.
I have noticed that you are also one who keeps fighting on. Life is what we make it - my motto has always been " Never say (I can`t) until after you have tried and given it your all" That way you can most always accomplish what you set out to do. But I still am willing to admit when it turns out to be something more than I can still do-- such as letting others help-- I could probably do my own roof if someone did all the heavier lifting for me, but that would be stupid of me to to chance my trick knee up on a roof. Being stupid isn`t what I need to be. So, my sons can do it so much safer. I also believe it smart to let others do some things for me. Walt often told me I was way too independant when it came to ask others to do what I am still able to do. But, my upbringing taught me to depend first on myself, then on others when I truly need the help. I think you are also a lot like that.
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