Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Since I got my splint off two weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about my first blog post.


Should I tell my readers about the joys of one handed-ness?

No washing dishes.
No folding of laundry.
No opening of water bottles, zip-lock bags, or jars.
No buttoning.
No pulling of zippers.
No driving.

A lengthy list it was, and it actually surprised me.

Wait. I can’t unlock a door with a key?

Can't pull up my pants? TMI?

I’m now in therapy twice a week.

BTW:  I love telling folks that I’m “in therapy”  -- I feel so modern. Most of them are sorely [no pun intended] disappointed to find out its of the “wrist and thumb” variety.

The Snap, Crackle, Pop title of this blog comes from my “therapy” experiences. My therapist, Jamie, works with my hand, -- and those noises -- *egads* -- emote from my wrist and thumb.

Jamie puts me through some awesome [except not] stuff.

A hot corn cob swirl -- I dunno what this thing is called, but I put my arm in a sleeve that feeds into a machine that slings hot kernels around my hand [to warm it up]. It’s my favorite part of therapy -- it feels so good. I can’t explain it. The machine is old. How do I know that? Not digital. It cranks and whirls, and the plastic top that keep the kernels inside is cracked. Jamie places old People magazines on top to keep the kernels from going air-borne. For the last two weeks, I’ve been looking at Tom Cruise and worrying about his marriage. Except not.

A wrist gym -- this mostly looks like a huge potato masher, but my therapy is to move a bolt from one side of its wire parts to another. It’s boring --- but I’m really good at it. Like competitively good -- well, with other lamers.

Putting pegs, screws, bolts, and other tiny items into little bitty slots -- enough said.

At the end of each session, Jamie brings out this gargantuan ice pack, frozen stiff like a shank of lamb, that weighs forty- two pounds. That sucker is super cold. And super heavy. It takes two hands to remove it, and that's not part of my therapy -- that's Jamie's job -- and she likes to prolong it.

Thankfully, Jamie’s quite witty herself and responds to my humor, unlike my orthopedic surgeon who was impervious to my charms until I told him, after seeing the swelling on my hand, that the “screw [you] put in my bone was too tight.”


BTW: My orthopedic is like 30 and reminds me of so many of the young men I taught. I just want to assign him an essay.

Note: There are some weird side effects to breaking a bone and having invasive surgery -- one of them? A vein I had on my left hand, that I knew very well its geography, changed longitudes. 

And that’s all you need to know.

I’ve read about fifteen books and have caught up to July 30 on my New Yorkers; one of the articles I read was seventeen pages and about Ben Stiller.


Cause I had time.

Here’s a sampling of the books I’ve read:

The Thirteenth Tale by Diana Setterfield --- a gothic tale about a successful  author who asks a journalist to write her biography as she dictates it to her. The only problem for the journalist is that the truth seems elusive as the author spins new tales each time the journalist probes for answers. I finished it, but it kind of got on my nerves. The journalist was both gullible and foolish. Plot point, I know.

The Good German by Joseph Karon -- never hold me to my exclaiming that I am done with historical fiction about World War II, but I totally loved this novel.  Part history, part spy-novel, part mystery, Karon weaves a dangerous tale about a US Army correspondent in search of his old girlfriend in post war bombed Berlin. I loved the history, the story, and the characters even though there was enough of those “wait, how does he keep from not getting killed?” in it to see that it would make a good movie. After I finished the work, I looked it up online -- duh, it has.  The opening scenes where Karon’s describes the desolation of a bombed out Berlin were effective, and some of the best description I ever read.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Forman --- Intrigue, deception, power plays and women  in 18th century English politics --- unusual, but apparently, Georgiana led the way in being England’s upper-crust female who manipulated, changed, and set the tone for some of the most famous struggles for power in their history. BTW:  All of these people, as presented by Forman, were  either philanders, gamblers or both.. How could people with that much money be that much in debt?  Man, addictions, I’ll say.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler ---  I knew of Phillip Marlowe from the old Humphery Bogart movies, but I had never read Chandler’s fiction. Full of the vernacular of the time with words like “dame, juice joint, and gadfly,” Chandler takes his time setting the scene,  and defining the characters, even though most of them are denizens who lived in the under-belly of Los Angeles and commit the crimes typically caused by people who operate under the religions of passion and money, but I enjoyed them.  I also read Lady in the Lake -- it’s a collection of four of his works.

Duel by Thomas Fleming --- yes, it’s probably the most famous duel in American history, and I didn’t know squat about it. What I learned from this in-depth look at the events that led up to Aaron Burr’s fatally wounding of Alexander Hamilton is that politics are ugly, and the people involved in its shenanigans will do almost anything to retain power -- including, in this time, to kill each other in a sort of accepted way. Huh?  I, for some reason, felt more for Burr than Hamilton, but that’s based on nothing more than reading this book’s perspective and determining that Hamilton was simply unlikable. This book also made me dislike Jefferson, darn it!

The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson -- it was the time period of this novel that hooked me as Thompson sets the story in the early 1970s and does a fabulous job of capturing the time. The hardships, both small and huge, of this mid-western family were very real -- and her dialogue, characterization, and plot believable. After reading this novel, I also read a collection of her short stories, All You Need is Love, and found them with their contemporary themes well-done.

All the Living by C. E. Morgan --- eerily Faulkner like, Morgan tells the story of a young couple who return, after a tragic accident, to his paternal home and try to make a go of a farm he inherited. The lyrical prose with its nature descriptions were staggering in their beauty in spite of the threat of a well-worn theme.

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer -- set in Hungary prior to WWII, the ominous cloud of knowing where the Jewish protagonist is headed did not deter this  from being a fabulous story of heartbreak and survival. Orringer’s narrative kept interest throughout -- and surprisingly, her descriptions of the work camps seemed new and eye-opening. Yes, I read yet another WW2 novel. Argh.

I also finished the last of the Anne of Green Gables novels. I’ve blogged before about how delightful these are to read. In her last one, Rilla of Ingleside, Montgomery uses the ugly background of World War I to finish out the series.  Amazing how she conveyed its impact on the residents of this small town in Canada.

That’s all I got.

I’ve missed blogging and reading and commenting on other blogs.

I’m back.

OMT: I tried Twitter.

*runs and hides*


  1. welcome back! i had a hand injury that required the hot corn cob swirly, but never knew just how to describe that particular machine. i do hope the recovery continues well.
    also, i loved The Invisible Bridge and have good memories of The Good German, so if you happen to read some more surprisingly enjoyable WWII fiction, i'm all ears. :)

  2. Oh YEAAAA, I have more book suggestions. I trust that I would like everything on your list....Loved the Thirteenth Tale :-)

  3. Mrs. Gillham! I observe at a hand therapy clinic every week, so I really understand/love this post. I'm very impressed that you're such a champ at the "wrist gym"! I hope you're doing well & that you keep winning against all the other lamers. ha!
    -Erin Brownlee

  4. You've been on my mind for a couple of weeks now, and now I know why the Holy Spirit was prompting me to get in touch: because you broke your wrist and I didn't even know it till now! Jeepers lady, what a drag. I'm sorry I've been so neglectful...

    *hangs head*

    I hope your therapy goes well -- welcome back to blogland (and stay away from've been warned!!)

  5. assign him the essay.

    it'll be good therapy.

    for both of ya!