I haven’t been able to do as much making as normal since I hurt my thumb at quidditch practice a couple of weeks ago.
I actually think I was rather lucky. The injury was absolute agony at the time. I was convinced my thumb was broken. On the way to get it x-rayed, I felt like I was cursed. Images of hand surgery, weeks of recovery and permanent damage to my dominant hand filled my mind. What if my fine motor skills were affected? What if I no longer hand the ability to take a project from idea to reality?
The x-ray revealed no fractures, for which I was incredibly grateful. But that was where the diagnosis ended. My thumb was either sprained or strained, I was told not to play contact sport for at least two weeks, given a splint and sent on my way. I was so worried that I went to my GP on the Monday, but they weren’t able to give me any clearer information, apart from telling me again that soft tissue damage takes 2-6 weeks to heal.
I spent the next few days pretty depressed. You don’t realise how much you use your right thumb until it’s hurt. Everything was an inconvenience, I couldn’t craft or exercise and the splint hurt my wrist. In addition to all of this, our regional quidditch tournament was taking place the week after the injury. How could I lead my team and feel I’d made a contribution if I couldn’t play?
I went to therapy and my analyst asked if I’d seen a physio. I laughed- I’ve never been to a physiotherapist in my life. We spoke about how she kept coming up with solutions and advice for me. Was this a response to my feeling powerless in getting better?
Even though it was expensive, going to see the physio was a massive relief. She carefully assessed my hand and told me what she thought was wrong with it- a strained muscle. The power and movement in the thumb was normal. I was unlikely to do more serious damage if I played at the weekend.
Psychologically, I think that having the input from the physio allowed me to switch from feeling like a victim to feeling resilient. Perhaps I was recovering more quickly than expected because I am strong. I also think it was important that I took action and helped myself.
I rested the thumb for the rest of the week and then tried some gentle throwing and catching on Friday. My hand was okay! Amazingly, I was able to play in the tournament with very little pain or loss of function.
Photo credit: More Quidditch Photos on Facebook
Knitting isn’t too painful, so I’ve been making some slow progress on the last long rows of my Wonder Woman shawl. I think it’s looking great! I’m going to Bristol for a conference this week, so hoping I’ll get to finish it up.
Here we have yet another instance of craft reflecting life. Being able to bounce back from an injury and lead my team in the tournament has helped me to feel like a strong and capable woman. A bit like a certain superhero.
A few weeks ago I found myself desperate to make something (read: trying to work on my thesis) but lacking in craft materials. I dug through my sewing box and found the last scrap of the aida I bought years ago when I discovered subversive cross stitch. I remembered an idea for a project that came to me a while ago. A friend at University had a wonderful book called Mr Concerned’s Talking Book of Therapy. It was a kind of spoof self-help picture book that played a selection of stock phrases when you pressed buttons on the side. Ah, I found a picture! Thanks, internet.
The phrases were read in a typical American ‘analyst’ voice and the phrase we listened to the most, and which I still remember nearly ten years on, was:
I improvised the little floral design using a picture I saw on Tumblr as inspiration. I really like the way the back-stitching looks, it makes the flowers pop much more. The reason the lettering goes over slightly is that this piece of aida was only just big enough for the lettering and I wanted to be able to frame it.
It’s such a shame WordPress doesn’t support GIFs cos I made a cool one that you can look at here.