A broken wing

This is not a drasha. This is not a sermon or a religious exhortation. It is a simple observation of the human experience from the perspective of someone who is typing these days with one or maybe two fingers on my left hand. I could make this a column about neuroplasticity and coordination. I could make this a piece about psychology and surgery or about quality care issues in health care settings but in the end it is a self indulgent piece. It is all about my recent hand surgery and how I have been itching to get back to writing.

Ten days ago I had hand surgery on my right hand. Note that I am right handed. I was in a sling until yesterday with the almost delusional idea that once the massive bandage and sling were removed I would immediately regain full function of all my fingers. That was not to be. I am one day post sling and a cumbersome wrapping with a much more comfortable band aid and tape but I now have a good few weeks of rehab to look forward to before things in my hand work again the way they should. I cannot wait anymore to write so I am dong the best I can with one hand, my non-dominant hand.

I now, at least temporarily, sign my name with my left hand and I must say It gets better everyday. The writing I do is starting to look like a two year olds  handwriting. It is quite amazing how the brain functions – how some areas attempt to compensate for others that are not working so well. With time my left handed signature might actually start to look like a four or five year old childs writing. The doctor said that the fingers on my right hand will need wound care and therapy to reduce the swelling and gain back the strength I need to use it again. So much for Passover cleaning…No, I did not choose to have the surgery now to get a free pass for Pesach.

I can’t wait to get back to playing guitar and writing. This experience reminds me of the Asher Yatzar – the bathroom blessing. It is good when things work the way they are supposed to, especially physically. What we take for granted may someday come back to bite us in the hand if we do.

So for those of you who sent me E mails and tweets asking – I am feeling good and I hope to become more adept with both hands over the next few weeks. Regardless, I am back to writing albeit very slowly and deliberately.

About the Author
Dr Michael Salamon ,a fellow of the American Psychological Association, is a 2018 APA Presidential Citation Awardee for his 'transformative work in raising awareness of the prevention and treatment of childhood sexual abuse". He is the founder and director of ADC Psychological Services in New York and the author of numerous articles, several psychological tests and books including "The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures" (Urim Publications) and "Every Pot Has a Cover" (University Press of America). His newest book is called "Abuse in the Jewish Community: Religious and Communal Factors that Undermine the Apprehension of Offenders and the Treatment of Victims."