Saturday, September 24, 2016

Oh my... where to begin?

I haven't posted for awhile, and for the most part, the reason was good, though more recently, it's just been lack of energy. 

About thirteen months ago, I was in a freak accident, and broke, among other things, my neck.  I had always thought that a broken neck was a death sentence, or at best, guaranteed wheelchair subsistence for life.  Yes, that can still be the case, and believe me, I know how lucky I am!  Kudos to my local EMT's for doing everything right and nothing wrong, and to my neurosurgeon and his team for being simply brilliant!  Also, if my son hadn't been there, I would have died on the spot.  He was first in a long line of those saving my life.

I'm walking just fine, except for some mild balance issues.  Apparently, there are nerves/muscles in the neck that inform the brain about balance.  But for the most part, that is still good.  I'm in a walking program at a local school, and there's no doubt about my progress.  I started a year ago with my Aspen cervical collar and a walker, and did one lap.  When summer hiatus was over a couple of weeks ago, I returned to do 18 laps the first night! (Six laps = one mile) 

My hands and arms are still problematic.  Nerves don't heal all that quickly, so I was given a 12-18 month time frame to expect healing if it's going to happen at all.  Left hand lost much strength and dexterity, though the arm is pretty good.  I can reach for stuff, but often drop it, because my grasp isn't what I have come to take for granted over these many decades of life. Still, there is slight improvement there, after 13 months.  My right hand is nearly 100%, though just short of it, and thank goodness, I'm right handed.  My right shoulder is a bit of a mess, probably from the original trauma, where two ribs on the upper right side were also broken.  Can't reach upwards easily, or far.  Working on that with PT.  Big issue with my right arm and hand are the constant pins and needles sensation.  Meds help, but don't fix it entirely.  Gets a bit tiresome, really.  But I'm glad to have basic functioning in that hand.  Hey, I'm touch-typing right now!
Fortunately, as important as the brain-to-hand connection is to making art, the eye-to-brain connection is far more important, and that's unaffected by the accident.  I did join in the 29 Faces In February Challenge this year, and created my usual sketches from movie stills.  My choice of movie(s)  was the X-Men series.  I had to take photos with my cell phone, and upload to Facebook from that.  My son cleaned out several rooms of the house, thinking it would need to be renovated for wheelchair access, and in doing so, packed away my good camera, which loads directly into the computer.  Much stuff is still packed away, in the barn, including the camera.  If I knew where it was, I'd go straight for it.  Hence, there are no new photos in the computer since the accident.  So, I don't know if I can upload the X-Men pieces to the blog.  There must be some way of getting them from the iPhone to here.... will have to look into it.

Sadly, in July, my brother passed away, my last surviving brother.  He was de facto keeper of the family photographs, just because they were there when he moved in to the old homestead.  His son didn't want them, but I jumped at the offer to take them.  I expected about a dozen, but instead received a windfall of treasures dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century.  Those were courtesy of my grandmother's scrapbooking.  I feel so blessed to have them!  Want to archive them in some way for the rest of the family to access freely and enjoy.  Meanwhile, this week, I've started a drawing-a-day personal program, not just for drawing, but to do any artwork.  For the most part, I want to work off of these marvelous photos!  Again, can't post pics here yet.  But this is where I am at the moment, anyway. 

I have much hope for the future, even though the original trauma, my return to work, and a couple of my meds all contribute to a pervasive energy lag.  I'm still alive (that prospect was in a certain degree of doubt prior to my first surgery) and I can get around just fine (my neurosurgeon said, during my first office visit about six weeks after my discharge, that he had gone into the first surgery hoping I would have enough use of my hands to operate the controls of an electric wheelchair!) and I can still make art.  I count my blessings all the time, believe me.   I'll try not to wait another year and a half to post more, LOL!  Oh, and I'll try to avoid freak accidents, too.... heh heh.