History on My Hand

It’s funny to me that people often remark on the absence of a wedding ring on my left hand, but rarely do they notice the lump of scar tissue that bulges between mid-ring finger and the place where a knuckle would be (but in my case, is not).

Nor do they remark on the gnarly scar that extends from the outer edge of my left pinky to the space between my pointer and index fingers. A scar that would be constantly, awkwardly rubbed by a ring, if I could manage to fit one on my finger.

But maybe people are more likely to comment on the absence of something lovely rather than the presence of something so…severe.

I used to think of my left hand as hideous. At the time of the accident, I joked about feeling like the Bride of Frankenstein.

I was driving when the car turned over once before landing upside-down in a ditch. My right hand was on the gear shift, my left hand on the steering wheel. The windshield shattered but did not break, instead warping as one piece to come down like a dagger across my hand, trapping it on the steering wheel.

It was gory.

A plastic surgeon was needed to reconstruct my hand.

The damage was not just cosmetic; tendons were severed and my hand was rendered useless while I attended months of physical therapy.

I was just 21 at the time, a newlywed, a new mom, a full-time college student. For months, the trauma to my hand caused a ripple of trauma through even the most basic needs in my normal daily routine.

Those were hard days.

Last week, I had minor surgery on my wrist, and again find myself unable to depend wholly on my left hand.

It’s so – SO – minor in comparison to my previous disability. This time I have the use of my fingers, and my wrist will be back to normal function within a few weeks.

I am grateful for the relative nuisance this is compared to the magnitude of my injuries 17 years ago.

But I admit, memories of that difficult time have floated back to me like an echo this week, and I have to shake myself free of the sadness.

Because even when we overcome something as challenging as I did, sometimes a little sadness at the suffering remains.

I am grateful for the small reminder this week of how far I have come, and in a way, grateful for the new scar that becomes the newest addition to the history on my hand.

hand scars

{yesterday's scars, today's bandanges}

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  • Liz

    Reading this had me grabbing my hand. 😉 I’m sorry for the previous trauma, and I’m curious about the people who ask about your ring. I often leave the house without a ring on and every once in a while, I wonder if others (women) wonder. 😉

    You have quite a story behind your scars, but I think scars are a sign of life lived in so many ways. My #silverlining anyway.

  • Thank you for sharing your story- you are so brave & courageous. I think it’s part of the healing process to acknowledge the trauma and reflect on how it has changed you.  I hope your recovery goes well & the surgery was successful.

  • Liz Thompson

    Thank you for sharing the story of your hand, Stacey.  Yes, you have come a long way and wishing you the best of luck as you continue to heal.

  • Monina Wagner

    You have come so far, my friend! But this past surgery will now just take its place in your “story” as does all the others that make you the wonderful person that you are.

  • Twinchaser

    I just want to hug you!!  xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • I had no idea you’d hurt your hand earlier. That sounds awful. Something like that impacts everything in your life. I hope you recover quickly from your surgery.