For the most part, my health has improved dramatically over the last twenty-one months—but I still have some little glitches, and one of them is that occasionally I wake up in agony, because the middle finger of one of my hands is severely inflamed (it can be either hand). I can’t bend it, I can’t straighten it, and I certainly can’t touch anything with it because the pain is excruciating. Today was one of those days.
A few years ago, I learned that sometimes running hot water over the affected hand for a few minutes will make the pain go away quite suddenly. Not today though. No matter how many times I tried the hot water treatment, the pain remained. Usually, even then the pain goes away by itself by lunchtime—but not today. And wouldn’t you know it—everything I planned to do today required the use of my left hand? Typing on my computer keyboard was out of the question. Every task on my to-do list was undoable without the use of my hand. Even closing my car door was a real challenge.
While dealing with all this pain, I had to get dressed, so I put several articles of clothing together, making an outfit that I thought would be whimsically bohemian. Instead, I looked like an aging vagrant who was wearing her entire wardrobe at once. I had to change, even though undoing buttons was extremely difficult and painful.
One thing I could do was go to my watercolor class, but I was pretty apathetic about it because by then I’d been in pain for several hours and I was just so tired of it. I painted a vase of roses and a rather roguish-looking pumpkin that I ended up being kind of happy with. It was just such a relief to focus on something other than the pain and what it was keeping me from.
By the time I returned home I needed a nap. I find pain very exhausting, and it didn’t help that I was also chilled most of the day. I couldn’t really rest, however, because the pain wouldn’t let me. That’s when I gave up. I broke my fast so I could take some pain meds. (I can’t tolerate ibuprofen on an empty stomach.)
When I got to my writers’ meeting this evening, the meds had taken the edge off the pain, which was great because my more immediate concern was the possibility of frostbite. Our public library is always cold, but today they outdid themselves. I am so thankful I wore my warmest sweater! I kept my hands in my sweater to keep my finger from getting worse.
The bright spot at the meeting was the lady who hadn’t seen me for a while and didn’t recognize me at first because I’ve lost so much weight!
Back home afterward, I finally had enough relief to be able to type! Not pain free, but doable with gritted teeth. So it’s been a rough day. Tomorrow will be better. I’ll be sleeping with warm socks on my hands in hopes that my hands will be back to normal in the morning.