Monday, July 4, 2011

4 tea towels, many stitches and a broken plate.

The background to this post is found here. A short version is that I had surgery to repair a nerve in my hand after cutting it open with a broken plate whilst washing dishes.

  1.  Patience
I am right handed and my left hand is very inactive a lot of the time apart from the obvious such as driving and riding a bicycle etc. When I cut my right hand - I had to learn patience and quickly. I had to be driven around. I showered with one hand as I was not to get my hand wet. The big test of my patience came at work because I had to do everything left handed. It was slow and was very trying at first and very slow indeed. Eventually, I got it right and it got faster as the first week went on. Along the way, the limiting factor was the pain felt in the hand if I used it for long periods or even at all. The common things that I could not do are: picking up a kettle, writing and using the stapler. As the hand has got better I have tried to keep the left hand working as much as possible. I am learning to use it very quickly indeed.

  1. Everything happens for a reason.
The week before this incident occurred, I stated that I was going to teach myself to write left handed. You can say that I tempted fate but I know for a fact that this happened for a reason (or many reasons) and fate had nothing to do with it. I do not know exactly why this happened in Gods great plan for me or my family but He knows best and I am going with Him on that one.

  1. Everything can change very quickly
The actual event of getting my hand cut was no more than 1 second! That one second will change my life forever. That might sound dramatic but it’s true. My hand may or may not get feeling back, our bank balance was hit pretty hard too and we are much wiser now than just 2 weeks ago. This all because of a plate that I should have left to fall and brake. The events following that 1 second also did not take that long. The first hospital visit was about 2 hours in total which is not bad. The second hospital visit was about that too. The surgery was only about 47 minutes long.

  1. Support networks are critical
All communication channels were used and most of the popular social media was used during the 2 plus weeks that we have just gone through. The first communication was telephone and then sms (text) then email, twitter and facebook amongst others like blackberry messenger and Whatsapp.
These were all critical in the distribution and receiving of many messages. The information flow outwards and the support flow inward. The support was definitely overwhelming and came from all over the world. The best support was still from family and close friends right here in Durban. There was a visit in visiting hours from my mom and her friend as well as my wife’s oldest friend who sat with her while I was in surgery.
These support structures were of absolute importance to us in order to get through this tough time and it made a huge difference in coping with the trial.

  1. Driving
Another aspect of the injury has actually taught me to go back to the (correct) basics of driving a car. We drive 2 cars between us. One is a Chery QQ. An amazing little car with the lightest of steering. The other is 1995 VW Golf. An amazing car with amazingly heavy steering. Having driven the QQ since the injury – driving one handed was not really an issue. Today I started driving the Golf. Being tentative with my hand forced me into going to the basics of turning a car with two hands on the wheel. A very good lesson to learn.

Although many things at the time can seem very testing and can easily get us down, if you step back from the situation and review it constructively, you can learn a great deal from the tough situations. These lessons could and, if used properly, will make your life easier after the tough situation has passed.

No comments:

Post a Comment