Last week, I broke my wrist. Slipping on wet grass, I came down hard, put my hand out to save myself and the damage was done. Even before I got to my feet, I knew what I had done. The body, I believe, has an innate understanding of its state, even though the brain refuses to accept it.
I kept hoping that the swelling was only a strain, but eventually was persuaded by my friend Jan that I must go to A&E where her diagnosis of a break was confirmed.
So, my wrist, luckily it’s my left and I’m right handed, is in plaster, which is proving to be a very interesting experience.
Firstly, I had no idea how much I needed both hands to do the simplest of jobs, like wash up. Secondly, what a lot of frustration this involves. I’m typing this blog, but so much more slowly than usual and constantly hitting the wrong keys. I’ve already deleted the whole lot inadvertently.
This slowness has permeated my whole life. Everything I do takes longer and is occasionally painful, like unzipping my backpack. I feel slow and clumsy and not quite myself. I’m not saying this to moan, I’m lucky that my break will heal and there are only four more weeks before the plaster comes off, but because it’s made me much more aware that there are people who have to deal with being like this all their lives and that in the past, I’ve been the first to be impatient when someone fumbles forever in their purse, or walks at a snail’s pace taking up the whole of the pavement in front of me.
That’s been a salutary lesson.
So has the slowing down, the doing only of the essential stuff, the need to be mindful, especially of where I put my feet, which means seeing, hearing, sensing more of what is around me – good practice for a writer.
And there is the kindness of people, who keep offering help, bring flowers, ring to see how I am.
Not all bad then… though I do wish I could do up my own bra.