Taking for Granted


Many times in life we get a wake-up call, and this one was obviously a biggie for me.

I love the outdoors: hiking, climbing mountains, mountain bike, as long as I can breathe in fresh air with great views, I am in my element. Unfortunately I had a mountain bike accident four years ago, and that changed my life significantly. In the process, I almost lost the use of my hand completely. Every ligament in my hand was torn off.

I had no idea how serious it was, so by the time I got to a hand specialist he explained to me that if I do not have an operation in the next few days, the bones in my hand will fuse with my wrist, and I will never regain the use of my hand again. (This took three weeks, four doctors and a lot of convincing from my family to get to this point…)

Needless to say, he scared me into oblivion, and despite my debilitating fear of doctors, I was operated two days later. It was a gruelling operation and took the greatest deal of the day to complete. I am very squeamish, so I am not going to go into detail here, but for the brave ones, you can Google :”scapho-lunate dissociation, tendon harvest , tendon synophectomy,  arthrotomy and reconstruction” procedures. My entire hand had to be rebuild, sinew was harvested and they drilled holes through the bones to connect them with the new ligaments. (this is the short non-medical version).

After rebuilding my hand, it still took a year before I regained the full use of it again. Every muscle had to learn how to function again and it took a lot of tears, frustration, months of physio therapy, excruciating pain and determination, until I was able to clutch an object again.

But as always, we only realize what we have after we (almost) lose it. During the recovery time I realised that I have a gift that I am not using, and the fear of never being able to use my hand again, made me even more determined to take up art after my recovery.

Not only was I left handed now, but also only one handed, which had serious challenges in itself! I started drawing with my left hand, and quickly realized that I was ambidextrous, although I think anyone could learn to do it, since we use the same brain, just a different tool. Imagine the people who had to learn to draw with their mouths or feet! There is always sooooo much to be thankful for.

I am so grateful that I have fully recovered, was able to start my art career, and I am consciously trying to never take anything for granted.


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