Every single night I wake to find that both of my hands are asleep. Sometimes I hardly make a mental note of it before drifting back into dreamland and other times I try and shake them awake…but other times they are so numb that I think I have surely done some sort of nerve damage to them with the way I contort my arms around myself while resting. The kind of numbness that no amount of shaking or banging against the side of the bed will fix. I have no choice but to lay there as the prickly pain of feeling slowly returns to my hands and sometimes it takes a long time for that to happen. Sometimes it scares me.
Lately, my problems with my hands have moved into the daytime. On bad days I can barely unscrew the baby’s bottle top for a refill. Not to mention the strength that I do not have to open the caps on his medicine bottles. I have not been able to remove the top of Connor’s water thermos in weeks. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to attempt to play my violin right now. I might have mentioned that it scares me. It does.
I am only 34 years old. I might be here another 50 years and I assume this is not going to get better, on it’s own, as the years go by. I do not have any pain while typing and no shooting pain in my wrists or arms but my pain is pretty much localized in my thumbs and up to my first two fingers. You know those little sticks that contestants hold in their hand on Jeopardy? Go ahead, mime that you are holding that in your hand right now and use your thumb to press the button to let Alex know that you know the answer ( and plan on answering in the form of a question, no doubt. ) That motion…the motion of pressing down the button with your thumb…that pain makes me want to cry when I try.
I have always been fascinated with hands. I find myself always capturing close-ups of Corrigan’s little chunky paws whenever I can. I do not normally print them to tuck into albums or even post them online but I always take several photos each time I have my camera out. Everything that Corrigan does involves his hands right now. I love to watch as he discovers what wonderful instruments his hands really are. I wonder what he will do with them over the course of his lifetime. A concert guitarist, an artist, a surgeon…his hands have no idea yet what they will become and I pray that his hands will never fail him…that he will not ever know the pain of arthritis…that they will be strong enough to do whatever job is asked of them…and still be gentle enough to cradle my grandchildren’s heads when they come screaming into this world.
Lord willing my hands will still be strong enough to press the shutter button on my camera so that I can capture those moments for many years to come.