Tag Archives: clumsy

Clumsy Me

Considering how clumsy my hands have been lately, yesterday morning I thought I was functioning pretty normal: no spilled coffee or dropped medicines, no broken dishes while unloading the dishwasher, efficient in time getting ready and typing (finger poke) a few quick emails. By noon, I was on my way down to the basement to start the top portion of a large painting.

I was having no problems getting my paint tubes from their assorted-by-color plastic containers on the floor and only had one jammed lid due to dry paint. The sole reason I forgo getting beauty nails at a salon is that I manage to paint my own nails (and hands for that matter) in a very festive way. I also chip my nails in a very festive way…and as such was my painting morning.

Somewhere along the way in the afternoon, the tides changed and my hands resumed their clumsy status. Of course the cold fingers could also be associated with part of the problem. I am very thankful that I have not done damage to assets like my laptop as I carry it from my room to the kitchen. I drop my cell phone repeatedly, but it has a protective cover–that is now cracked (time for a new one!)

Yesterday before dinner, I asked Mom to carry my laptop for me back to my room–a brilliant request as I was losing my grip on many other things during the evening…in particular, circular objects like my biscuit full of apricot jam and cylinder shaped objects like my Hazelnut creamer as I was pulling it from the refrigerator shelf. It fell to the floor, lid cracked, and about what I would blend in three cups of coffee spilled on the floor. It was the grand finale to my day.

I’ve written blog posts before about my hand history: how the muscle atrophy started, Occupational Therapy sessions, finger splints and other devices to help my function as my hands weaken, and my left ring finger resembling the appearance of a “Gonzo nose.” And although my MRI results since November have reported back as a stable status, there is a continuing message coming from some tumor (unknown) to the brain that blocks the message to the muscles in my hands–specifically fingers and thumbs. Hence, since November, I have experienced a loss of hand function…which means more weakness, more numbness and 7 more fingers that now too are starting to resemble a “Gonzo nose.”

In moments of clumsyness (or flat-out frustration, embarrassment), I sometimes have a moment of humor–where I can smile contrast to grunts or tears. Enter: Yzma.

EP8aT0z http://i.imgur.com/EP8aT0z.png

In Disney’s Emperor’s New Groove, Yzma goes from being Emperor Kuzco’s long-time guardian and advisor to being fired after she plays “Empress” in his absence. In a fury, she devises a plan to rid the empire of Kuzco and reign in his place. All goes well and according to plan until her handyman, Kronk, burns his spinach puffs at a dinner they prepared for the Emperor. Kronk dashes to the kitchen leaving behind the freshly filled cups on the platter, in which one is intended for Emperor Kuzco with poison. Upon returning, Kronk realizes his mistake, takes the platter to the side, blends all the liquids together returning a portion into each cup, and then gestures to Yzma not to drink hers. She quickly throws hers in the plant beside her, turning it too into a llama (but looks more like a horse.)

At the end of the movie, Emperor Kuzco has had an adventure that leaves him with a changed heart and a new friend, Pacha. As these two enter Yzma’s secret lab to retrieve the bottle that would turn Kuzco back into human form, Yzma and Kronk are already there. As Pacha tries to quickly grab the potion, Yzma knocks the shelf so all the bottles land on the floor. “Oops! Clumsy me,” is what she says. 🙂

My hands–as they continue in this weakening and clumsy state–are another part of my journey. I cannot lie that I have had many thoughts about what life will be like in the event I lose complete hand function. “What am I going to do when I can’t use these?” I cried a few months ago in the kitchen holding up my hands for Mom to see. Mom didn’t have any answers; I didn’t expect her to either. I know God holds the answers…to my prayers in all the uncertainties and fears, hopes and dreams. Unlike Yzma, I will never hear Him say, “Oops! Clumsy me.” Because He has promised me forever in the palms of His hands.


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Paintings

I am Protected

I am noticing the more my right hand progresses in numbness and the left in shakiness, the more clumsy I am getting. I constantly drop things like pens or silverware I am holding. Today I could not get a grip on the permanent marker I was attempting to write with and after a neat little hand stunt of marker flinging in circular motions, it landed on the table. I just had to laugh.

About an hour later, I am downstairs setting up my paints and canvas to finish a large painting that has been sitting in the basement half-finished for almost a year. (Yes, believe it.) My phone was in my pocket and I took it out to set it on the stool. I lost grip of it and it crashed to the cement floor. But it was protected…

When my Dad and I set out in February to seek a new phone for my upgrade, I had two options that were not flat Smart phone style with the touch screen. I can’t hold those, let alone use the touch screen with my fingers (especially now – even using the mouse pad on my laptop is getting extremely difficult.) I reasoned even then that sticking with the old-fashioned flip phone was the best choice. Because I drop my phone so often, Dad suggested getting a hard protection cover. Brilliant suggestion; the cement in the basement was no match for my phone cover!

Then I began to paint. Because I was painting a tall canvas, I knew that when I reached the bottom I would not be able to bend over and paint the way that I intended. I tried different ways to set it up, but ended with laying it flat on the table and working from the sides.

My sister had given me an apron specific for painters at Christmas. I always wear old clothes when painting and usually the apron. I forgot the apron today and with working from the sides of the painting, I started to get a fancy blue lined paint pattern on my shorts. Then I noticed my right hand had smeared in the paint on the board and left a huge print where there was not supposed to be any blueish-green color. Frustrated, but figuring it was a more abstract style of a painting anyway, I fixed it.

My thoughts have been on protection today. Maybe it started after yesterday’s experience of coming within about ten feet of hitting a deer about a quarter-mile from my house. Or last night when I came out of my room to get more water, I lost balance right next to the sofa and came within inches of hitting my head on the coffee table. Marcia and Mom were already in bed.

It is in these small moments, even to the monstrous health problems, that I see God’s protection. I am protected. There are still days to come but with this truth, I am living with an extra dose of gratitude.

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. Psalm 91:14


Filed under Uncategorized