Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Broken Finger: Round Two

So, I wasn't expecting a curveball here with this whole broken finger fiasco, but it happened, and I'm trying my best to maintain a positive attitude.
We spent this past weekend in Austin, enjoying a "mini vacation" with family, and because of all the distractions, I often forgot about my finger in its splint. It was a lot of fun, but by the last day of our trip I felt, as I always do after I've had a lot of socializing, that I really needed some time alone -- preferably with my paints and brushes -- to "recharge." I was determined to go out and do some plein air painting, broken finger or not. We were staying in a condo on Lake Travis, but it was a little bit of a hike in either direction to get down to the lake. I carried my painting supplies all the way there, and realized when I arrived that my finger was hurting more than usual, as though the pins had shifted and were digging around inside the bone. Ouch!

Still, my determination won out. I enjoyed the beautiful late-spring flowers that were blooming among the rocks, and decided to do a painting with that juxtaposition as the focal point. I realized fairly quickly though that the longer I painted, the more my hand protested. My painting is perhaps worth finishing, but when I look at it, I have trouble seeing anything but the struggle, the clumsiness, and the pain it took in the process!

Indeed, all of last week, even with the cast gone and a spint to replace it, I struggled clumsily in my few attempts at painting. But I thought the end was in sight until...

Coming home from Austin, I scheduled my follow-up appointment with the orthopedist a little early, because I was concerned about the recent pain I'd been having. They discovered from the x-rays that it was, indeed, not where it was supposed to be. While the bits of broken bone were still in place, the whole joint itself had shifted, making it off-center on the bone below. The told me I would need another surgery, this time to put another pin down the tip to ensure it wouldn't move anymore. But that also meant going back into the dreaded cast, for at least another week... and I'd have to start the whole process over!  They said it may or may not have been my fault; the truth is, the injury was worse than the x-rays could reveal, and the ligaments must have been pretty damaged, since they hadn't healed enough to prevent the joint's gradual dislocation.

It is hard to overcome feeling discouraged, but I keep telling myself that if I could make it through this once, then I can do it again.

The surgery took place yesterday, and I am back in the cast, this time without any of my fingers free (just the thumb). The pain is worse this time, as are the side-effects to the pain meds. I am typing this with one hand, and thinking about what to do next. Perhaps another right-handed painting? ... :-) We'll see.

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