Wednesday, April 06, 2011

F is for Facing Fear

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z is a little bio about me. This will give you a glimpse into my work world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging. 

Three years ago I had a life altering car accident; no, no, don’t be alarmed, I’m alive and still here! (unless I’m someone else and I don’t know it - could be, you know, things like that happen all the time)
All righty then!
This accident, unlike the recent earthquake which knocked the entire planet off its axis, knocked me off my cute little tush, and in the aftermath of my own little “shake up” I was left to look into the future and pretend I could see what was coming at me head on. (no, not another car, damn you Universe)
Yes, there was a second accident, about eight months later...and no, you can’t vote me off this planet that easy! I made it through the second crash with my sense of humour still intact, but not much else. (okay, humour’s buddy ego survived too)
It’s scary wondering what you are going to do with yourself after plugging along for twenty plus years (almost thirty would be more like it) in the same occupation, but these are the facts and facing them without fear is my challenge.
At the end of twenty-six letters you’ll have some sense of what makes me tick and you will learn that I am a “crawl out of the hole, dust myself off and go back into battle” kind of gal! 
(My Proofreader tells me that I should think of some other word instead of “gal” because it’s a “sexist expression”; good to know - and who cares - I like “gal” and that’s that!)
“How serious were these accidents?”, I hear you asking in an overly concerned voice. (thanks, I appreciate the concern)
I injured my thumbs. (don’t laugh, it’s not polite)
Life as a human requires the use of these “opposable thumbs” to do pretty much all the things necessary that separates us from our closest relative; Monsieur Monkey and his homies. So I’m feeling like I have had a slight shift backwards on the evolutionary food chain! 
While I am still able to do many things - the other four digits are doing just fine, thanks for asking - I do struggle with aspects of my work. 
Due to my thumbs not functioning properly I no longer incorporate, in my schedule, the highly desirous and sought after Pedicure and its counterpart the solid Basic Manicure - two staples in my practice. 
But, when faced with the fear of losing ones livelihood one (namely me) gets creative and reinvents the wheel - anyone up for the square version - it’s the featured special this month. That aside, I surprised even myself at how creative I could be. (more in later posts)
(What now? My Proofreader is telling me “reinvents the wheel” is a “cliché and I should consider rephrasing”! Good heavens, who comes up with this stuff anyway. I’m refraining from going all “foul mouthed” by resisting the temptation of using a form of English that is consider beneath cultured society. Hey what the heck - I ain’t got no opposable thumbs, who the f*** am I kiddin’ about being cultured - I'm a stone's throw away from growing a tail!)
So, where was I, after that little outburst - no, no, don’t worry, the accident only affected my thumbs...okay...and arms...and my shoulders...and my neck...but the good new is it stopped just short of my brain! (not enough neurons left anyway to do much damage there)
Now, you may be wondering how does one function without thumbs. 
You are wondering this, right?
I learned to adapt; and truth be told I can “use” my thumbs; I just can’t grip or pinch with them. 
Try to visualize this scenario - I’m opening my wine bottle and since I can no longer do screw tops on anything (thank god for "fake" cork or I’d be a goner in the wine drinking department) I have to be very careful what I buy and how I open it.

In the case of wine, these new corks are not that hard to get out of a bottle, but I still have to get the corkscrew into the “fake” cork - and that is tricky. 
I do manage. I let very little defeat me, particularly wine bottles.
So tell me, could you manage without your thumbs?
Until G...


  1. I have a fabulous corkscrew that I reckonI could manage without thumbs. Screw caps I reckon are the wine worlds best invention

  2. I have carpal tunnel and, at times, cannot grip or pick things up because of extreme thumb pain. Seems like such a little thing, but that's when you realize just how much you use those thumbs!
    That said, I bought my husband the coolest and easiest to use corkscrew for Christmas a couple of years ago. How DO you get a corkscrew into those fake corks??

  3. Hmmm I am not sure if I could do it. But this question is one that you have to be in that situation and have had to deal with it to answer. Now I would say I probably couldn't do it, but if my thumbs were gone I would have to do it. Make sense?

  4. Jenny,
    It would be tough as I am an artist and a gardener. I could probably paint using my remaining fingers but I think I'd have to hire a gardener!
    Pinching sweet little cheeks might be a bother too. Say, I challenge you to a pinching fight! Sorry, sick sense of humour.

  5. Mynx
    Thanks for dropping by, it's always nice seeing your wine glass (full of my favourite colour of beverage) grace my comments area.
    Can you link me to a picture of this corkscrew of yours - I'm always on the quest for a tool that will make my "drinking" life easier!

    You too...send me a pic or a link to your corkscrew - I think the letter "C" should have been about these little contraptions.

    I don't envy you your carpal tunnel - I'm fortunate it isn't an additional feature with my situation - is something that is very common in my industry.

    As to getting into the "fake" corks - it's just the same as regular ones - I think they are made out of some kind of plastic. Since there is a shortage of cork in the world it is being eliminated in the "wine bottling" industry.

    You're right, if you had to cope without thumbs you'd manage. I was in thumb casts for three months - just do the visual and think "bathroom" learn real quick how to work around things!

    When I read your comment (as it arrived in my inbox) I just howled with laughter over the "pinching" challenge - really good to know there are other "sickies" out there!
    Glad to have you weigh in on this very important topic! Pinch, Pinch!

    Hugs to all of you!

  6. Jenny- I have had my corkscrew for about 5 years (birthday pressie) but it is a lever style. I found this website with pics but not sure if the prices are US or Aus

  7. Mynx - thanks for getting back so quick - it looks perfect, I'm going to track one down in my neck of the woods.

  8. Jenny: I can't imagine how difficult life would be without full use of my thumbs... You would have to get very creative. Wow. I'm learning so much in these posts! Yes, and pinching would be a challenge! ;)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.