Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hand Gratitude

Because I've been referring to my finger with very unkind words the past few weeks, I decided to give gratitude a try. And honestly, having such problems with my hand has also made me realize how much I take the whole thing for granted when it isn't screaming at me.

I've learned a little bit lately about how the hand works. Or I guess I should say, the fingers. They are sort of remote controlled. The fingers don't have muscles of their own. Instead, they have tendons that fit perfectly up into a tight, little sheath and that is how the fingers bend. However, if those tendons become even slightly inflamed, you've got a problem. The ligament gets stuck going in and out of the sheath. (Oh, and by the way, that particular problem has a name: TRIGGER FINGER.) So isn't it sort of amazing that we seldom have problems with our hands considering all we ask of them?

I wasn't even aware until recently that I ball my hand up into a fist when I sleep- like a baby. So even when I sleep, I tend to put my hand/fingers in some awkward positions. Then there is also all the weird bending and stretching my fingers do when I'm awake. When I play the guitar. When I grip my tennis racquet. Eating. Writing. Holding the leash when I walk Zoe and/or Scout. Washing my face. Shampooing my hair. Holding the blow dryer. Cooking. Brushing my teeth. Knitting. Typing. Even when I run, I want to hold my hands in a loose fist. These movements are normally so effortless that I don't even think about them. But these simple daily tasks have not been so simple lately.

One way or another, with a given amount of time, I'm sure that my pinky finger will start cooperating with the rest of my hand. And at first, I'll be so grateful. And then, I'll probably stop thinking about it much at all. And honestly, for that I will be even more grateful. Maybe that's the beauty in any kind of pain or dis-ease: To force us to stop and be aware that typically, things work the way they are meant to. The body and all of it's parts are so intricate and amazing, really. The human body was put together masterfully. Considering all we put it thru on a daily basis, it holds up surprisingly well.

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