My left hand first started hurting after making 15 chicken potholders for the opening of 3 Pears Gallery in Vermont. It’s that muscle between the pointer and thumb. I lowered my stool so there would be less pressure on my hand and was mindful of relaxing it while sewing. I tried repositioning my hand, but found I didn’t have as much control. I thought of all the Carpal Tunnel nightmares I’ve heard about and knew I didn’t want this to get any worse than it already was. What would I do, I thought if I couldn’t make anymore streaming pillows or stitch draw on my potholders. And what about all the ideas I haven’t even come up with yet, If I couldn’t draw with my machine, they would never happen. I thought of Grandma Moses, she was in her 60’s when her arthritis got so bad she couldn’t do her needlework anymore. So she started to paint. I always told myself I’d be like Grandma Moses, if for some reason I couldn’t sew anymore, I’d do something else.
I wasn’t at this point yet, but my mind was. And off it went, not to the creative place of all the other directions my art could take, but to the dark place of the possibility of not being able to do what I wanted to do. I kept at it for a while, until I was all worked up and really starting to scare myself. So I took my complaint to Jon, knowing he could at least calm me down. And he did. I rested my hand for a few days, sewing Jackie’s quilt, the kind of sewing that doesn’t hurt my hand, put heat on it at night and made a appointment with, Roseanne, my Chiropractor. I know if you catch this type of injury early it’s easier to heal. And as much as I admire Grandma Moses, I’m not ready to give up drawing on my machine yet, if I don’t have to.
And it looks like I’m not going to have to give it up. I saw Roseanne today and she adjusted my wrist and massaged some muscles in my arm and elbow and did some other stuff that I can’t explain. I might have to do some more massage on my arm and elbow, but the damage is minimal and I should be good to sew. Tomorrow I’ll try it out on a pillow I’m making for Wendy. And I’m trying to remember that anything can happen at any time, and to be grateful for what I have.