Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Waxing Pensive

Today was one year from the "maximum improvement status" on my wrist, which meant a check-up phone call from worker's comp. It is really amazing to me that something so small has caused so much life change. Forgive me for writing my thoughts out on here. I think we're all friends. 

The BYU worker's comp lady wanted so badly for me to give her good news that I didn't correct her when she said I probably had more function than I thought I would. The truth is more that I've gotten used to it. I remember when I first got the cast off, my wrist felt like some alien appendage, and I would act like at any point it might jump up and strangle me (like Wormtail's silver hand. Harry Potter? Anyone? Anyone?). Maybe I don't have more function, but I've figured out ways to still do things with my life. Can't snowboard? Well, I'll just go Cross-Country skiing. If I strap on an ugly wrist brace, I can actually do a lot of things. I've learned to lift with my forearms, which is not quite as handy (haha, I'm so puny), but means I can still move things. It still hurts to type though and with the weather comes annoying aching. In fact, it hurts every day. But again, this is not as devastating as it seemed at first. 

I have to be more careful and I have learned to expect pain or discomfort, but that is definitely endurable. Weirdly, this whole experience has actually done a number on me with how I feel. I honestly went through the first 22 years of my life thinking that I could do anything. Suddenly I found myself with an injury that would affect me for the rest of my life and I wasn't ready for something like that yet. It's made me stronger, but in a very subtle way. In some aspects, I am more afraid and cautious than I used to be (you won't see me doing handstands any time soon), but in others I am fearless. Yeah, I had to give up some of my dreams, my grad school admission, my career choice, and a lot of activities. Am I ok? Yeah. Can I still do so much with my life? Of course. I have found myself pretty much at the low of lows and I survived. It's probably what helped me brush off my recent Oregon school experience with little more than a hearty chuckle. Do I know where I am going right now? No. But I like it. It doesn't scare me anymore. I have felt and experienced what it is like to have everything turned upside down and I know you get through it. 

Initially I could not understand why something like this had happened to me. I'm a relatively nice person. I pay my tithing. It seemed so horribly, bitterly unfair. But now I know I can handle anything. Instead of destroying my confidence and leaving it in pieces, this experience broke it down and slowly made it into something better. I know who I am and I know what I can do. I'm not saying I would wish for it again, or even that I'm to the point where I can feel grateful for it. I just have come to terms with it, and can acknowledge the changes it has made.