In early July, I sprained my right wrist. Or at least, that’s what the doctor thinks I did. It’s a bit of a mystery, really, since I don’t remember how/if I did it. Be that as it may, the tendons in the wrist began to hurt excruciatingly.
After a couple of days of winging it, I gave in and visited the doctor. He took a look, asked me to turn the hand this way and that and frowned. Looking at me he declared, ‘Well, you appear to have sprained it or put your weight on it somehow. It doesn’t appear to be RSI, from the other symptoms.’
I was then asked to wear a wrist brace for 2 weeks, which stretched to three weeks eventually.
As a result, I had to stop using my right hand. My dominant hand and I had to stop doing anything with it. It is in moments like these that you realise exactly how much you rely on your hand, without even thinking.
I couldn’t hold a glass, unscrew a lid, hold a knife or a pen, grip a door knob, and of course, I couldn’t type. That was it. In a moment, I had gone from blogger to invalid. And while a part of me was grateful for the support I was getting from the family and neighbours, the Type A person within was seething with frustration. As the week stretched into the fortnight, I was positively fuming at the fact that I had to give up work, cooking, folding laundry and every other task that was seemingly second nature to me.
After a while, the frustration ebbed and gave way to introspection. I found the time to read again, more than I had in the last 6 months. I watched TV, something I hadn’t indulged in for over a year. I spent time catching up with friends over phone calls- long, languid ones. Evenings were spent talking with my daughter and I noticed how her eyes sparkled and her smile widened with each conversation.
That’s when it came to me.
I had forgotten how to do things slowly, until this incident compelled me to do it anyway.
I couldn’t blog, which also meant I couldn’t work on a social media strategy or build my business in any particular direction for 6 weeks. Work had come to a standstill but I had incredibly supportive clients who agreed to wait for a fortnight for me to get back to form. My blog stats took a hit, big time, since I wasn’t actively promoting the content anywhere.
But instead of being restless, I had finally made peace with it. Because in all of this, I understood the bigger lesson: Gratitude and slowing down.
As a result, I started off a 30-day declutter challenge on Instagram on the 1st of August. One reason was I wanted to clear out the clutter in my home but the bigger reason was that I wanted to clear out the cobwebs in my mind. Everything I read in this period helped me focus on these concepts.
I’d been chasing things: stats, subscribers, page views, clients, almost without realising it. Despite all of my talk to the contrary, I had fallen victim to the numbers game. This entire incident brought home to me the importance of things that really matter.
Health, happiness and peace of mind: three things that cannot be quantified and cannot be rushed.
And so, I slowed down. I started saying it out loud, as a reminder to myself. Every post on social media that went up in this period was after due reflection and contemplation.
The wrist pain hasn’t vanished yet and I think it will take its own sweet time to disappear. Fine motor movements that include writing and gripping a knife are still very difficult. In the meanwhile, I’ve hired extra help to cut vegetables for my meals.
Because, in the grand scheme of things, numbers really don’t matter when you have an injury that stops you from doing something as simple as lifting a spoon to your mouth. What truly makes a difference is if I have the time, energy and love to learn from this experience and put that learning to good use.
The mind is fickle. It tends to forget. We wake up with good intentions today and they disappear when the body is back to normal. Keeping that in mind, I am keen to ensure that I don’t forget.
And so, I have the wrist splint, sitting on my work desk. It is a constant reminder of the pain I went through. Seeing it everyday is a humbling thought.
Our bodies are incredible things that can heal themselves. The only things they need, like everything good, are time, patience and care to make it happen.