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.