One Hand Washes The Other – Feeling Incredibly Grateful

March 25, 2017 0 Comments

A few days ago, I sprained my left wrist while trying to get up from bed at 3 am to see my husband off as he left for the airport. I’d given the day off to our maid so I could stay in bed a little longer and have the entire day to myself.

As the day progressed, the pain became unbearable and only manageable as long as I kept it still. I could feel the pain shooting up my arms and radiating through my fingers too. I realized I couldn’t drive with one hand to the hospital but consoled myself by admitting how much I hated going to the doctor anyway.

But I’m surprised by how upset I’ve been by the whole thing. I couldn’t cook for myself – I cried when I couldn’t pour the contents of a saucepan with one hand or lift my dog up. Thankfully, it’s only my left hand. But, I love my work and I hate to think about the hit my productivity is going to take, but at a deeper level, I think my spirit has taken a more severe beating than my wrist or body.

I was feeling a little sorry for myself this morning when I watched this Amy Purdy Ted talk titled ‘Living Beyond Limits’ – you can see it here –

Amy Purdy’s story is incredibly inspiring! It is about how to make our life purposeful and worth living and not to bind ourselves with the biggest disability –limitation. It is about what should be the purpose of life – Living for the sake of living or showing others how to live a meaningful life, breaking all our confinements and boundaries.

Amy Purdy is a competitive snowboarder, massage therapist, motivational speaker, spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the co-founder of of Adaptive Action Sports. At the age of 19, a rare form of bacterial meningitis named Neisseria meningitis snatched both her legs below the knee, damaged her circulatory system, and affected her hearing. That was not the end of her tragedy, after a few weeks one of her kidneys had to be removed. Two years later, she received a kidney transplant from her father.

A Series of tragedies left Amy Purdy with chronic depression for some period of time but she neither gave up nor let the cruel circumstances beat her illimitable spirit. Amy accepted the tyranny of reality but resolved to live beyond limitations. She started snowboarding seven months after she received her prosthetic legs. She joined a snowboarding competition within a year since her legs were amputated and came in third place. Soon, Amy received a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation that helped her to take part in several snowboarding competitions held across the U.S. Today, she is known as the world champion female adaptive snowboarder. In 2005, she co-founded Adaptive Action Sports to help physically challenged people to take part in action sports

Heart Songs (2016)
Drawing 8 H x 5 W x 0 in

Well, that helped me put things in perspective real quick. Rather than feel self-pity, I feel incredibly grateful for the fact that my disability is just temporary, for the good health I’m blessed with 99% of the time, for the opportunity to do work that I love (and that I can do one-handed, just at a slower pace), and for my husband, who’s cheerfully taken on all household duties requiring both hands. It’s a refreshing reminder of just how good I have it.

UPDATE: Good news–the doctor thinks I just tore some soft tissue. He’s sufficiently confident that no bones are broken that he didn’t even want an X-ray–he just told me to watch the pain and check back in if it doesn’t improve. I can’t put weight on my left hand, and certain arm movements are pretty painful, but I CAN type and draw with my right hand just fine. So my gratitude continues to grow.