Back in May, I had what was a significant hand surgery — fixing a torn tendon and in the process reconstructing the end of my pinkie by grafting tendons borrowed in my ring finger. Because of this, I’m now recovering from two accidents — the pinkie itself and the ring finger which was the donor.
What I have learned is that the majority of surgeons under-sell the recovery procedure. In my case, the scar tissue from the surgery is a massive barrier to recovery — it’s now stopping my tendons out of”gliding” properly, which is what allows you actuate your fingers in both directions.
So I have been going to occupational therapy for the past couple of weeks to work towards regaining movement in my hands. It’s really 8 different projects to recover fluidity on either side on all 4 knuckles (3 in my pinkie and one in the ring finger).
The progress has been slow — every session I discover the number of degrees of movement I’ve gained (or lost) in every knuckle, in every direction. It’s frustrating, because especially in the region of the significant reconstruction, it is tough to feel any movement or progress.
But I realized now that in the worst place there’s at least a wiggle. And functioning that wiggle — even a little piece — gets you a little further along, and empowers a bit more. So I must think that progress is possible and operate the wiggle so that tomorrow I will work it a bit more.
Like with a great deal of things, it’s not easy to accept that progress occurs slowly and incrementally, as opposed to quickly and fully. But I am trying to remind myself, that like with everything, we’re working with compound interest and the purpose is to gain a bit better each day, and then build on that.