Time

Almost seven weeks have come and gone and I still have a cast on my right forearm. I could almost say I have grown accustomed to being one-handed. Supposedly, hopefully, if all goes well and the x-ray results are good, the cast, along with the four pins sticking out of my wrist underneath, will be removed on Tuesday. For now, I stretch my fingers, curling them into as tight a fist as I can make and opening them to spread every hour, doctor’s orders. Then, if all goes well, I start PT on Thursday. I still don’t know when I’ll be able to drive or push a grocery cart or cut a carrot. Only time and hard work will tell.

As of the last few days, I have noticed the small stuff, the little things I can do with my dominant hand now that my fingers are stronger and my wrist is more stable. The top 20 include:

  1. Hold my Braun electric toothbrush to brush
  2. Break dental floss and floss between six teeth on top and bottom in the middle of my mouth
  3. Dolphin pose: Come onto the floor on your hands and knees (in my case, to the belly). Set your knees directly below your hips and your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists. Firmly press your palms together and your forearms into the floor. Curl your toes under, then exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins. Continue to press the forearms actively into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them away from the spine and draw them toward the tailbone. Hold your head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang or press heavily against the floor. Continue to lengthen your tailbone away from the pelvis and lift the top of your sternum away from the floor. Stay between 30 seconds to one minute. Then release your knees to the floor with an exhale.
  4. Dolphin plank pose: Start in Dolphin Pose, knees bent. Then walk your feet back until your shoulders are directly over the elbows and your torso is parallel to the floor. Press your inner forearms and elbows firmly against the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and spread them away from the spine. Similarly spread your collarbones away from the sternum. Press your front thighs toward the ceiling, but resist your tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward the heels. Lift the base of your skull away from the back of the neck and look straight down at the floor, keeping the throat and eyes soft. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. Then, release your knees to the floor with an exhale.
  5. Eat sushi with chopsticks in my left hand
  6. Hold an envelope with one hand to open it with the other
  7. Same idea to hold and peel a banana
  8. Hold a pen in my right hand and sign my name; the results resemble signing with my left hand
  9. Hold a knife with my right hand and fork in my left to help scoop up food
  10. Touch the tips of my right thumb to my pointer finger, middle finger, ring finger and almost to my pinky
  11. Hold the razor in my right hand to shave my left armpit
  12. Put on earrings
  13. Hold a book with both hands and turn pages with my left
  14. Tree pose: Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle. Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot. Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.
  15. Warrior 3 with Jennifer Aniston’s yoga instructor, Mandy Ingber. (Please note: I cannot interlace my fingers behind my back)
  16. Fasten my bra
  17. Carry an empty cup in my right hand
  18. Use my right fingers to type and text
  19. Light a match
  20. Preparation for flying crow pose: Begin in Tree pose (see #14), standing on the left leg. Remove the right foot from the inner left thigh, and place the right ankle just above the left knee instead. Bend the standing leg to come into a forward bend, bringing the palms of the hands to prayer position resting on the bent front leg. Hold for a few breaths and change sides.
Each of these movements requires mindfulness in its purest form. Everything I attempt I do slowly, gingerly, to test my strength and see. And whether or not I succeed, I take note in my mind. I am acutely aware of when I use my hand, if it cooperates, how it feels.
I may be months away from being able to do any version of crow pose, but I am ready to fly…

Me in flight with Charlie as base, White Plains, NY, August 2011

Leave a Comment

19 Responses to “Time”

  1. Doris Fankhauser October 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Bravo, you learned to do a lot of things. And how did you type all this??? with one finger…
    You will be getting there – just be patient! Thinking of you xoxo

  2. Amy Mindell October 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    baby steps!! Nice post.

    • Jennifer Lang October 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Baby steps indeed. I tell you it’s a lesson in letting go….I have no agenda for most of my days. Unless Philippe or a friend come and take me. It’s still too hot to walk and the cast is heavy….blah blah blah…

  3. Susie Crumpler October 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Hang in there, Jennifer! xoxoxo

    • Jennifer Lang October 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks, Suze. What’s up out yonder?

  4. Mom/Grandma Marianne October 6, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    As your mother and very familiar with your talents, I was sure you would come up with a goodie and you sure did! I smiled my way thru this!!! love…

    • Jennifer Lang October 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Thanks, Mom! xo

  5. Annette October 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    You are the poster child for determination and inspiration!!!!
    Keep up the great work.

    • Jennifer Lang October 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      Many thanks, Annette. How is re-inventing yourself going?

  6. Susan October 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Using chopsticks with your left hand?? – very impressive!!

    • Jennifer Lang October 8, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      I just wrote this to my friend Jeanette: I learned as a kid growing up in Bay Area, lots of Asian food always. But the day after my first surgery in France we went for sushi and I couldn’t fathom using my left hand for chopsticks and ate with a fork. Seven weeks later, after having become quite adept with my non dominant hand, it was relatively easy. Ate sushi twice last week and used them both times. What an accomplishment!

  7. Auntie Mona October 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Ah, dolphin plank pose, that which in my own mindfulness can squeak maybe 25 seconds to hold and count. I like your instructions!!! Keep lengthening your list of accomplishments!!!

    Xo
    Auntie Em

    • Jennifer Lang October 8, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      I am impressed if you can do that for 25 seconds. Nice!

  8. Zondra Barricks October 7, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Fantastic to read your blog once again…..welcome back and may the healing continue steadily. XOXOXZ

    • Jennifer Lang October 8, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Thanks, Z. Leat, leat, as they say here, slowly, slowly.

  9. RutiAmir October 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    If you have wings you can fly. In my eyes you are flying right now.
    Freedom is never to be found within temporary forms, but above them.
    What an inspiration!
    Hag sameach
    Kisses
    Ruti

    • Jennifer Lang October 8, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Beautiful, toda, Ruti.

  10. Jeanette Lerner October 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    Eating with chopsticks, still on my list of to be accomplished, never mind with your left hand. Bravo Jen. Keep on fightling

    • Jennifer Lang October 8, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      I learned as a kid growing up in Bay Area, lots of Asian food always. But the day after my first surgery in France we went for sushi and I couldn’t fathom using my left hand for chopsticks and ate with a fork. Seven weeks later, after having become quite adept with my non dominant hand, it was relatively easy. Ate sushi twice last week and used them both times. What an accomplishment!

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