A mere two weeks after beginning this blog in 2012 I fell and smashed up my poor left arm– and I’m left-handed, of course. Surgery. Plate. Screws. A cast, physiotherapy and a lot of pain.
Resilience I always tell my clients. Whether it’s an economic downturn or the loss of a government funder, regroup and adapt.
Within four days I was pecking away with just my right hand. I had a long-term client I wanted to keep and focussed any writing and keyboarding there first. On that same fourth day, as luck would have it, I landed a second client and offered to let them withdraw or wait for one month until I could recover enough to reliably use both hands. I’m grateful they waited. Thirty days later I was working about 35 hours a week … spread out over seven days and evenings.
Sometimes resilience means a realistic appraisal of abilities. My new website and Blog hovered there like a broken promise but it hardly felt fair to be typing away on an “optional” activity when I had two very patient non-profits waiting for fundraising dollars and a charitable application. So the Blog languished.
Fast forward a few months and I began writing my next piece. Wrote a draft and rather than posting right away decided to let it stew overnight for a morning rewrite. Got in the back of a cab to go to a volunteer meeting and we were promptly hit from behind stopped at a red light. No damage to the cab but I was adjusting a tight seatbelt at the time and pitched forward and back, hit my head on the headrest and snapped both hands back and forth wrapped around the shoulder strap . Over the next week the fingers and thumbs in both hands began to swell and swell and there was the inevitable whiplash and let’s just say it’s taken eight months, more physiotherapy, hand splints and two injections to recover completely.
I still had those same two patient clients. No one had seen anything like this before so everyone assumed I could continue to work and type if I was careful. I tried typing half days, then every other hour, then every other day. Finally my doctor said I should stop using my hands entirely for a month. I had completed one project with only a couple week’s delay but there was that other patient client and together we agreed they needed to hire someone new — good for them, resilience.
Well I took that break and I found using a stylus on an iPad easier than two-handed typing for a time and embarked on a campaign to retrain both hands, often a finger at a time. Oh and in case you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned voice-recognition software, turns out it isn’t a good time to start these programs when your hands are newly-injured because of all the corrections you have to type during the software-training stages.
I have recovered fully … again.
Maybe the moral of the story is that I’m not meant to have a blog but as I’m not a fatalist I prefer to think this had been an unlucky period and I need to continue to be resilient. So right after this blog you’ll find the piece meant for a year ago – rewritten of course. Rewritten with two good hands and without taking time away from any other commitments.
Oh and I have that software and a microphone/headset ready to install and train away … just in case.