Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fortune telling

There is always someone who loves to tell you how bad it is, and how bad it will be. My first day in the sling and my wrist is not yet cast, my hand is brutally, grotesquely swollen. A woman leans into me I BROKE MY WRIST TEN YEARS AGO she holds it out toward me AND IT HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME, HURTS EVERY DAY she says. GET AWAY FROM HER he is a doctor and he applies pressure to my thumb nail. The blood drains and quickly rushes back, hot and pink. YOU ARE GOING TO HEAL JUST FINE.


So much for the theory that I can force my wrist to POP back into place. Last night in the middle of the night, only half aware, I tried to treat a persistent ache that had started anew by wrenching my fist inward and woke up screaming in pain. Pain bloomed through the entire joint, weaving roots through the delicate and complex network of bones. DON’T MASSAGE THE JOINT the doctor told me, THAT IS ONE THING I CAN TELL YOU FOR SURE, WRISTS DON’T LIKE TO BE POKED…LIKE YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW. STOP THAT.

Today I can’t pull the cap off my chap stick tube and I can’t lift my cup to my mouth and I can’t remove my right glove, all things which I keep trying to do with my left hand because I am left handed and apparently not quite as smart as a lab rat. Eating and driving hurt smartly, which is neat and all, but I especially can’t interpret very well, and I can’t very well not interpret. What the hell else am I going to do? I tightened the compression brace on my way over to the office and picked up five more jobs for the coming week. Money will solve this. America told me.

As I was walking back to the car my phone rang. It was the doctors’ office calling with lab results for a recent cholesterol blood test which I agreed to take on a lark, like YEAH RIGHT, ME? I AM A F*CKING POSTER CHILD FOR GOOD HEALTH… So when the receptionist informed me that my cholesterol was “a little high” I simultaneously felt every joint settle with a rusty sigh and my scalp drain of hair pigment and thought to myself GETTING OLD IS AWESOME.

I can’t even remember the last time I ate an egg.
I don’t even eat white flour, ever!

So I have high cholesterol, and track marks in both arms because it took no less then three jabs and a wigglewiggle to find a vein, a vein which was hardly enthusiastic about pumping blood at all. My blood pressure is on the low end of normal and my heart hardly beats, just stirs in its sleep once and awhile. All that blood is collecting in my left hand because I can’t get enough compression to ease the pain in my wrist unless the veins on the back of my hand bulge leaving the rest of my body freezing cold during the coldest SNAP of the year.

And cold! Holy Crap!!
Jenny, I feel you... its like, 29 degrees here not counting the wind chill factor. Viva Chicago, yo!

Being that this morning I went to work inside of a pure concrete building that radiates a dangerously resentful chill year-round on top of a hill that is scoured by freezing winds, I wore silk long johns, top and bottom, and stole my husbands down jacket so that I was functionally comfortable if hardly functional. Even pushing the puffy sleeves back my hands were barely visible inside the huge cuffs and my legs looked like pin sticks totally out of scale with my marshmallow down-puff torso. Who cares what my face is doing wrapped inside a ten foot wound-round scarf. There was little for me to do today but sit there and think in pictures anyway.

But I am telling this all backward. That was first.
THEN I went to the office.
THEN I got the call on my way to the car.
THEN I went home.

Now I am sitting in front of the heater, layers of clothing, swaddled in a blanket, drinking hot tea. The hot tea is a lie. I am only thinking about hot tea, about drinking it in a hot bath, about starting a fire just to swallow a few coals. COLD AND PAIN I BANISH THEE.

No such luck. This wrist will be hurting in ten years. It will tell me all about the cold, the weather. Just wait, it will be me trying to warn you.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New twist

Sometime recently, around Christmas maybe, my wrist started hurting... twanging or popping mysteriously at random times when I bend my wrist side-to-sideward. Where in the range of motion exactly the twang starts to twang I am not sure, nor why sometimes and not other times. It is the left wrist, the one I broke almost two years ago. I don’t know if it is rehurt or all new hurt. I started wearing a wrist brace to limit movement, then took it off when it limited movement enough that I determined that I had only imagined the problem, then was forced to rebrace myself when the joint again popped.

Right Human Anterior Distal Radius Ulna Carpals

The brace I was using, turns out, is for carpel tunnel syndrome the doctor explained to me when I went in for an examination, which wasn’t the brace I should have been using. More desirable is a wrap that provides compression for its swelling prevention tendencies. So I have been wrapping rather then framing my wrist with a metal insert.

There is a fine line I am finding between compression and cutting off all circulation but I am always investigating that boundary trying to get closer and closer without having to watch the veins on the back of my hand swell and feel the temperature all the way up my arm change ominously.

Right Human Posterior Distal Radius Ulna Carpals

The doctor thinks the break changed the internal anatomy of my wrist joint and yes, it is permanently changed. Perhaps there are calcified spurs that snag and hold the connective tissue like the plucking of guitar strings. Just the other day I realized I can release the worst of the pain by clenching my fist and forcing the wrist down and in toward the crook of my elbow until I feel the most tension and finally a POP, and though a little residually weak everything for the moment returns to normal.

I wonder how this is going to evolve over the years, how it will affect my interpreting and more importantly my aggressive driving abilities. I suppose I can still gesture significantly with my right hand though from its more internal, landlocked location it is inherently less responsive and therefor less expressive.

Monday, January 21, 2008


No, we don't have the puppy yet. These are just the most recent pictures we've gotten. He won't come home till around the first weekend in February and no, we don't have a name picked out. I believe you must meet a dog face to face to know its name. Clark, having seen only pictures, thinks 'Lloyd' might do just fine. But he is wrong. Very very wrong.



Are you kidding me!?

I am totally beside myself...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Old Year/New Year

Deschutes River, New Years Day 2008

I don't faintly feel obliged to recount the last year which might be one of the bestest highest achievingest of my life were it not for the fact that I feel like the same old person. I mean, despite the fact that I am cellularly, in part, the same person I was when I moved back to Portland, in part the same person that I was before that, that the tree that blossomed into me does have very long tendril roots, and despite that still the cells purge and regenerate, though admittedly slower all the time, that there are still some cells metabolizing that reside in me twined to a life now totally alien... but still... another year has passed and everything is new.


Last year I met a crap load of bloggers and some more then once, got married (HOLY SHIT) and love married life (HALLELUJAH!)... swam with stingrays and turtles... held paws while putting to sleep, at different times, two sagely and favorite dogs... had no flat tires... no speeding tickets... graduated with a degree (that actually reads 2006 not 2007)... moved... got a new job, a couple of them actually... got stuck in traffic... and did not make anybody cry for notsogood reasons for once.

2007, like 2006 scores off the charts for stress levels related to life events but with waaay more awesomeness and genuity.

And, my blog passed its 4th anniversary a few months ago, a milestone I raised an eyebrow to but did not feel compelled to raise a hand for. Yo, 2003 to 2007 and still tapping away.

Happy New Year!


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