Long long story, so go to the bathroom now before I start.
As you might have noticed, I've not posted a whole lot for nearly two years (except a couple Good Omens Exchange pinch hits, because I'm not entirely dead and that's just a given). Things have been tough on me both mentally and physically for a long while, and a couple years ago things broke me down to a point I just couldn't deal with online as well as RL offline, so something had to go and RL offline wasn't an option. I had to cope with a lot of stuff -- a cat got very sick (but not dead), finances got briefly dire (mostly straightened out), my fibromyalgia got so out of control I could hardly move or sleep (it's improved greatly), and I had some hand injuries (still recovering), among other things.
Now I haven't been completely and totally absent from everywhere online this past year -- a few Twitter or Tumblr posts here and there -- but it's been sporadic and not very art-oriented because of physical limitations. And that's what I'm talking about here today.
It was right around the time of my last journal entry here that I had my first hand injury. I fell going up my basement steps, and the edge of a step hit hard across the right palm, leaving a bad bruise. It hurt so bad I got it x-rayed, but fortunately there was no break. However, a month or so later I developed a bad trigger in the middle finger, right where I'd hit the stairs hardest. I did physical therapy, ultrasound, ice packs, braces, and eventually after ten months of hell I had to get a steroid injection. Let me tell you, a huge needle in your palm fucking hurts. But it seemed to clear things up... until about March of this year, when I had to do it again. Actually hurt worse the second time, and they told me if it ever came back I would most likely need surgery.
Things went well for a while, handwise. Though I had to deal with massive fibromyalgia issues and eventually went to pain management -- getting IV infusions of vitamins, injections of lidocaine in my back, electrical stimulation, etc. -- eventually that started to recede and I was feeling quite a bit better by August.
Then I fell again, this time on my front porch in the rain, and landed again on my right hand. Unfortunately it was quite bad... my hand went backward, and I landed with my entire weight on the edge of a brick step. I genuinely thought I'd broken my wrist, and my palm had a great gash that was bleeding profusely. I barely got inside, and was trying to keep pressure on the wound while calling 911 for an ambulance, then went into mild shock as I was calling my husband to meet me at the hospital.
(The whole ER experience would take another journal entry to relate, so I won't bother. I've written a letter of complaint to their management about the shit experience I had there.)
Luckily my hand and wrist were not broken, but the sprain was severe. I couldn't move my fingers or turn my wrist for several days, and couldn't make a fist at all for a week. I wore large brace and a massive bandage over the open wound for weeks. I was literally confined to home because I couldn't drive, couldn't grasp or lift with my right hand, and could barely do anything for myself with only my left hand... which has mild carpal tunnel that got worse because of all the extra work it was forced to do
The gash on my palm was the worst part of the injury, it turned out, because I'd ripped multiple layers of skin completely off and there was no way to even stitch it closed, I just had to let it slowly heal over. That took about four weeks, as I developed an allergic reaction to the antibiotic cream by about week three so it took even longer to heal than it should have. It left a surprisingly small scar -- about 1/2" long and 1/4" wide -- but it was deep, and attached itself to the fascia at the base of my thumb so I could barely move it.
That's when I had to go to physical therapy, which was quite painful at times. They had to rub and even scrape at the scar to make it loosen up and re-heal, and massage and exercise my whole hand to get full range of movement back. We also worked my left hand since the carpal tunnel was worse. All that lasted about five weeks, twice a week... and of course the strenousness of the exercises aggravated my trigger finger into returning. So I have to see the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday, and if I can't convince him to give me another injection I'll probably have get an operation. That means I'll have another scar, this time along the heart line on my palm. I'm crossing my fingers (on the LEFT hand, because I literally cannot on the right) that I can just get a shot and be done with it.
So that's where I am as of this moment. I managed to get this year's GOE artwork done already, so I could be free to get surgery if needed. The best news about it is that the procedure's recovery rate is supposed to be about 90%, which means I might never have to deal with the trigger again. I can live with another scar as long as it heals straight.
The whole messy process has done one good thing for me -- I no longer live in fear that I can't cope without my right hand. I used to have literal nightmares that I would lose my hand and my eyesight, which would've made me probably suicidal a couple years ago. As it turns out, my eyesight has worsened as well, but I'm working around it. And my hand has been damaged numerous times, possibly will need surgery. But right now it's no longer terrifying, because I already survived it.