August 25, 2011

Just a friendly reminder.

Having been without the use of my left arm/hand for the past two weeks, I have been reminded of how perfectly splendid it is to have two hands, both in working order.

I missed my beloved left hand for too many reasons to count.

Of course, there were all the expected things, like eating, writing, and flossing my teeth.  But I was a bit surprised by how cut-off I felt from my creative side as a result of not being able to use my hands.

All I could do was peck away at my keyboard with my index finger, one letter at a time, and while it saved my sanity to be able to do so, I quickly realized that I like holding materials in my hands and feeling the process as something tangible and useful or beautiful emerges.

Frank Lloyd Wright said:

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs 
but the push-button finger.

And as I look around at the way people employ their hands most of the time these days, I am inclined to agree.  That's why, at least for the next while, I'm going to try to remember every day why I create in the first place, and how it feels --  the beautiful process and privilege of making with my hands.

Susan M. Hinckley
Small Works in Wool


  1. You're not going to tell us what happened with your hand? There must be a story there, too, and we're bursting with curiosity!

    Yep, we always learn to appreciate what we have when we lose it. Speedy recovery and I'm glad you can type again! I love your posts!

  2. Thanks, Rachel -- I had surgery to move the nerves that run down the back of my arm to the front of my arm instead. No, I wouldn't recommend it to any of you...but the joy of having the enormous cast off (at last!) is pretty heady stuff.

  3. Ouch! I've never heard of that being done! Amazing what they can do nowadays.... Sorry you had to go through that, Susan!

  4. Better than the alternative, which was my left hand becoming a useless claw . . . yup, a claw. That's the word the doctor used (shudder!) Thanks, Rachel.

  5. OK, now you have to tell the whole story. What caused it, what it's called, etc. Just gotta know the gruesome details!

    Did you ever hear that joke? Susan of the deformed hand hobbles up to the saint and says, "Saint, saint! Please make my hand like the other one!" Zap! The good hand shrinks up.

    (About 6th grade pastor's kid's humor. With special effects, of course...)

  6. hahahahaha -- pretty funny! Trapped ulnar nerve -- about 14 months ago it started to feel like I had smacked my funny bone any time my arm was bent, which was very annoying for things like sleeping. I rigged up a sophisticated 4-pillow sleeping system and tried to ignore it. Anyway, I asked my family dr. and he didn't seem overly concerned, just told me to get an orthopedic guy to look at it sometime. Several months later, I happened to look it up online because it was annoying me even more than usual, and I found out that you need to get it fixed immediately because muscle wasting occurs and they can't repair it. I made an appointment asap. And by the time I went in, I'd already started to lose some strength/function in 2 fingers. Brilliant, Susan. But in my defense, my family dr. could have been a little more dramatic in his response... just sayin.

  7. Oh yes -- the claw? That was about 3 years down the road...

  8. Glad you could put up with my humor... After I posted it, I rolled my eyes and groaned at myself.

    Good thing you were proactive! Smart, smart, Susan!


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