Still thinking about hands and all they do.
There was a period in 2006 when my hands and wrists were so crippled by carpal tunnel that I couldn’t squeeze your palm in a weak handshake, let alone a strong one. I couldn’t open jars, even simple ones. I couldn’t lift a skillet with one arm. It hurt to drive. The pain awoke me at night.
I made an appointment to see a specialist. It was scheduled for 9 weeks later. A few weeks later I moved my wrist and felt an excruciating and audible crack. The surge of adrenaline took my breath away and I remember grabbing my wrist and crying for a few minutes, terrified that something terrible had just happened and that I would be spending more weeks in pain.
And then it stopped.
I have no idea what happened. Only that there was pain, and then there wasn’t. Having no symptoms with which to complain to the doctor, I cancelled my appointment. My wrists occasionally bothers me, but they have nothing like that episode; nor the years before, when the aches were dull and constant, just not agonizing.
Since that time, my hands have done some things that I’d never imagined:
They’ve spread lotion on a belly-turned-watermelon, as a new life stretched my skin.
They’ve clasped a baby just seconds after she exited my womb and have clasped her to my heart every day since then.
They’ve kneaded dough for bread, pizza, and cinnamon rolls.
They’ve painted my kitchen cabinets a color I love, but was afraid of.
They’ve made crafts and threaded a few needles.
They’ve squeezed a nasal bulb syringe and held ice on a child’s swollen lip.
They broke my fall when I tripped.
They held on when my bike rolled off the path…