Please Press Pause

Twenty-three days ago I fell in France, broke my right wrist, was operated on under local anesthesia and released the next day.

Seven days ago I went for an x-ray and saw that my wrist was not in the right place. I came home, curled up in bed and cried for the first time since the accident.

Six days ago Philippe and I met with an orthopedist wrist/hand surgeon who confirmed my suspicion; got a second opinion who said the same thing. I had two choices: leave as is and heal, knowing I would have limited range of motion and possibly pain all my life or operate ASAP to correct the errors of French medicine. I sobbed in the doctors’ offices, on the street, in the car, at home.

Five days ago Philippe and I checked me into Laniado Hospital in Netanya for surgery. While waiting, I sat with my eyes closed and talked to myself, repeating the thoughts over and over, like a silent meditation: I love my wrist and pray for it; thank you Dr. Carmel for fixing it; I am strong and I will get through this. Dr. Carmel laid out the two possible scenarios: remove the two existing pins, reset bone in better/proper alignment, pin again (he told me there was a 1/3 chance it would work) or remove pins, open wrist, put in plate with 7 screws for life. l willingly swallowed two Valium before being wheeled into the OR. Philippe kissed me tenderly and whispered prayers to himself, to me, to anyone who was listening.

By the time I opened my eyes Dr. Carmel had left. Philippe told me the good news: the doctor succeeded in re-setting the bone without opening me up. While the healing would be hard, it would be easier than the alternative.

I spent that night in the hospital in such a deep sleep that I didn’t feel or hear the nurse check my IV and blood pressure until 4am. At 5:15, she removed it. At 8:30am, I felt hungry and ate a hard boiled egg and a bowl of Cream of Wheat. Around 9:30, the orthopedist making rounds stopped in and looked at my chart. He said no exercise of any kind for 3 weeks, no work for 4. I half-asked, half-begged him if I could teach yoga with just my eyes and my mouth, no movement at all. As long as I stayed seated, he said, I could. Philippe arrived around 10am, dressed me and escorted me slowly out into the morning heat and home.

Every day I wake up a little bit stronger, a little less groggy, and, above all, thankful. I stopped taking pain medication as of Monday and stretch my fingers as much as I can. Some friends set up a meal schedule for at least a week; some stop by to visit and keep me company and bring me lunch. One friend washed my hair for me yesterday. Another is going to the market. Friends and family inundate me with phone calls, emails and texts. I have been and continue to be showered with love.

In the past three weeks, I have mastered emptying the dishwasher, doing the laundry and eating with my non-dominant hand. I keep the top of the toothpaste off to be able to access it. I can teach yoga from a wholly cerebral place. And perhaps most importantly, I now know how to let go; there is no place I have to be, nothing that cannot wait. When fatigue overcomes me as the anesthesia leaves my body, I lie down on my bed, prop up my arm on a pillow, close my eyes and breathe.

This post is entitled “Please Press Pause” to tell you that while I heal over the next few weeks I need to take a break from blogging. I am thinking of you and sending you lots of love from Raanana.

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35 Responses to “Please Press Pause”

  1. Doris Fankhauser September 12, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    I feel so sorry for you and wish you all the best. I will be thinking of you in the next few weeks and I am looking forward to your next blog with good news. Take care of yourself.
    Lots of hugs from Armonk :)

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks, Doris. I am finally seeing the end…xo

  2. Jeanette September 12, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Wow Jen what a story. Wish I could be there to help you. Wishing you a speedy recovery and shana tova to you and your family. May it be a happy, healthy and peaceful new year .

    I will miss your blogs keep in touch .


    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      And same to you–only good and sweet stuff in the coming year!

  3. Mom/Grandma Marianne September 12, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    As Jeanette said, I will miss your blogs. Did you dictate this one or take hours to type? Well written as always! love, Mom

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      6 weeks later and I am using my right fingertips. Will see what next week brings…xo

  4. Marcia September 12, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    hey jen-
    so glad you are feeling better…..and Don wants to see the x-rays…can you email them?

    love you!

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:43 am #


  5. Steve Carlsen September 12, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Jen, I wish you a complete & speedy recovery. My advice is for you to do plenty of shavasana.

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Ha ha ha ha…and thanks!

  6. Laurie Luongo September 12, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Out of pain comes… so much to learn, so many possibilities. You may say you were teaching from a cerebral place but I know there was a lot of heart in there as well. Invite the lessons, stay connected to the universe that supports you. xoxoxo, Laurie

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Laurie, you are so spot on. Thansk for the reminders! xo

  7. Laura Rotter September 12, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Refuah shleima, Jennifer……wishes for a sweet and happy new year!

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Likewise, ditto and all that jazz!

  8. Cheryl September 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    With Best Wishes for a Happy & Healthy New Year!
    May your path to healing be smooth and successful.
    I know that your yoga practices will be wonderful even (temporarily) without your own movement. I enjoyed your practice during your summer visit to White Plains.Thank you.
    L’Shanah Tovah!

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Many thanks, Cheryl. I am amazed at everything I can do on the mat–lots of warriors and lunges and poses on the back and belly and recently on my forearms. Time will help…shana tova to you too

  9. babs September 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    We wish you a complete recovery and a happy and very healthy new year. I am so glad that the troops have rallied to your aid.
    Barbara & Bob

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      Thanks, you two. Troops have rallied indeed and I got more daring, taking bus to Tel Aviv (with my girls) to get out. Saw some movies. Also did a lot of nothing. Letting time pass.

  10. Jade September 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    Hi Jen,
    I’m so sorry to hear about all your recent “mesaventures”; sending you healing energy will be part of my yoga practice in the weeks to come. Regarding the inability to exercise, I had a Tai Chi teacher who used to make us lie down and just imagine that we were doing certain movements. He claimed that if you really did this, trying to imagine the source of the movement and all the sensations along the way in great detail, as far as your nervous system was concerned, it was as good as doing the actual movement. May be you can give this a try…
    Love and kisses, and happy new year malgres tout.

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      Merci, Jade. That is such an interesting idea. Another person just told me her TaiChi teacher told them to imagine they have a third leg straight underneath them so when they lift one off to balance they have two still… Slowly I am seeing the light. Gettting stronger every day. xo

  11. Liba September 13, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Jen – I can imagine how hard this must be for you! Sending you lots of feel-good-vibes. Wishing you an easy recovery in the new year. Love, Liba

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks, Liba. Shana tova to you and Brett. How is married life? Work? Queens?

  12. marina September 13, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    Wow! Pause is right! I know you and your practice will be stronger as a result! Sending you lots of love for a speedy and complete recovery and a Shana Tova, ve Metuka. Love M

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      Maybe… I get on my mat everyday and do a hand-less practice. Who knew? It is a learning process and a true slowing down.

  13. Zondra Barricks September 13, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    Stay strong. You are surrounded with love and with your wonderful attitude and all the support from family and friends, you will get through this. All our love at this time of renewal, Shana Tova – Z and Family

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks, Z. Got your email too. Thank you for letting me know you are there. I so appreciate it. Slowly, slowly. Enjoy NYC!

  14. nina September 14, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    Ahhh I was wondering why I did not hear from you on Sunday….I am sorry for your accident and for your new surgery, but it sounds like you did the right thing and found the right provider to give you the best treatment you can relish in as you get stronger and stronger and use your hand more and more…, stay well and yes, breathe…..Nina

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Thanks, Nina. I am making my way back slowly to the land of the two-handed…

  15. Brynn Suagarman September 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Refuah Shleimah!
    I hope that the coming year is full of healing energy for you and
    Peace for all of us!

    • Jennifer Lang October 5, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Toda, Brynn, for the long overdue good wishes and for the fabulous Indian food last week!

  16. Doris Fankhauser October 6, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Jen – what is the name of the town where you live now? The daughter of a friend is moving to Israel for a year and wants to take yoga lessons.

    • Jennifer Lang October 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      I am in Raanana, about 15 min north of Tel Aviv. Where is she going to be? I will teach anywhere if asked….xo

  17. Amy December 17, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    Hi Jennifer,
    Very belatedly catching up on your blog and just discovered this post! So sorry that happened to you, and glad to see it seems like you’re starting to recover relatively well. Keep up the good work at P.T.! Hope you are otherwise well.

    • Jennifer Lang December 17, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      Thanks, Amy, for the belated get well wishes. I am recovering. Did my first plank last week. With a whole new perspective. How are you and your munchkins? I hope hurricane Sandy free and ready for a restful holiday season. xo

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