My seven year old nephew really wanted to know what ‘trick’ his auntie had been doing on the skateboard when I fell and severely broke my left arm the day before New Year’s (thankfully my non-dominant hand.) I humbly explained I was simply learning to balance; push, stop, push, stop. I was having a lot of fun. And then there was the next moment.
I was informed this week, the wrist fracture is at the outer limits of worst I imagined requiring
surgical repair: a messy fracture through the radius with some bone shattering and 20% dislocation requiring screws and a metal plate. So I get to be part bionic at 44. I’ve been seeing patients with the forearm immobilized, moving differently, more slowly, and still providing good care, at least that’s the feedback I’ve received.
After careful discernment and multiple opinions, ‘ve chosen Dr. Wagner at Seattle Hand to restore my wrist to a healthy state. Surgery is scheduled January 22nd. Likemost self-employed with individual plans, premiums are extortionate, cover little and have huge deductibles. And further due to the vagaries of insurance, and my surgeon of choice, all expenses willbe out of pocket.
Dr Wagner has generously reduced his fees, considering the circumstances. And still the surgery alone is $5600 which doesn’t reflect follow up splinting, imaging, rehab and lost income during
recuperation. I imagine it will be $7-8K through this journey. I’ll be out of clinic the week of January 22nd and then resume seeing patients following Dr. Wagner’s counsel about pacing.
Several people have urged me to open to the generosity of mycommunity. So here’s an invitatin for those who are willing to support me to continue to offer all I do in the world. I would be most grateful if you’re moved to
contribute toward the surgery cost via GoFundMe.
Amy’s Watercolor Show
Miro Tea, Ballard
March 1 2018
While I thought about canceling the Watercolor show scheduled to open March 1st, half the show is currently complete in my studio. I trust there will be windows of mental clarity while recuperating from surgery. And my right hand can continue breathing paint and mountains. More than half the paintings sold at the show opening in 2014 and this will be smaller, 10-12 pieces. If you’re interestedto purchase work you may want to mark your calendars for te evening of March 1st. And I hope all who are local will come for the lively, festive gathering. Timing and details will be sent closer to the time. This week, I will be updating the gallery of paintings on my website.
In response to life’s unexpected hiccups, I have pretty strong intentions about how I direct my mind. I have a lot of tools to guide the catastrophizing. And sometimes I have ‘helpers’. The day after I learned I would need surgery, I was visited by someone. In 1998 when I was doing health related social service work in Nepal, a young boy arrived at our hospitality house seeking medical care. He had fallen out of a tree while cutting fire wood and had a compound fracture in his left arm (the radius having broken through the skin). It had taken 30 men (rotating shifts) 2 days to carry him down by stretcher along treacherous Himalayan paths. I have a strong visceral memory of being with him at Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. I perched behind the teenager as he sat in a wheel chair, my arms gently resting on his own, holding the young one howling as the Orthopedic provider tore the bandage off his infected wound.
I recall the smell and the light and his keening. He died within 16 hours of sepsis. I do not remember his name. However, the memory of his pain and presence is strong and has provided a healthy counterbalance to my experience in this moment. So I have been holding his soul tenderly in my own heart, offering up gratitude that I am super healthy and alive.
Please remember the preciousness of your own vital body and this precious life. It can change so fast. I appreciate any contributions toward surgery and please share my GoFundMe campaign via FB etc. as you are moved.
As always with wishes for your own vital health and well-being,
Header photograph of me in clinic by Thomas Crocker. Watercolors current original work from the past few months.