Status Update

It’s been a couple of weeks since I got put in the Power Glove, and it’s been the biggest change of pace I’ve had in a long time. I’m still at work, and while I’m supposed to be avoiding using the rebellious buggers, my fingers still have to type from 7:30 – 4:00 – so I figured I could make a quick stop back in the blogosphere too. Because I miss you all an absolute TONNE.

My GOODNESS I miss electronic communication. I was told to stop texting (still not having caught up to the touch-screen generation, the keypad wasn’t doing me any favours), and I have subsequently lost all form of socialisation.  It makes you feel a bit rubbish when you have to stop contacting people the way you’re so used to, and then realise you’re the only one who usually initiates anything. 😦 I’ve run into the odd person on the bus, had one lovely dinner date, and a few phone calls from friends across the country, but other than that? I’m feeling a bit of a social castaway. What doesn’t help is not being able to blog or write – two of the things in life that bring me the most joy. Last week, I was over the moon when I saw Vista came with a fully installed speech recognition programme. I spent an hour training it and all seemed to be going well until I started trying to use it. Five mistakes per sentence soon became more trouble than it was worth, and the novelty wore off immediately. Does anyone have any experience with Dragon?

I’ve seen a hand physiotherapist twice in the last couple of weeks, and though the splints are helping me do things like, you know, actually dress myself and brush my own hair, without them there’s still a tonne of pain whenever I try to grip or hold onto anything at all. Why do we train ourselves to ignore our bodies when they’re trying to tell us something’s wrong? Why do we shut out the signals and hope it’ll go away, until it’s too late?

I recently read an interesting article about early 19th-century artist Henri Matisse, and feel somehow inspired:

Old age or illness are never comforting thoughts. For an artist especially, it can be a real horror. It rings up images of arthritis in which merely holding a brush can bring anguished pain. It threatens the artist’s lifeline to the outside work, his or her vision. It often entails frailty and fatigue where once there was strength and vigour. There can be sadness and despair, yet the creative urge never dies. Sometimes it is the one spark that keeps an artist alive and aware. It can be a harsh taskmaster, driving the aging artist, now with excruciating pain, and an uncertain, but nonetheless final, deadline to do that which in youth would have been quite easy. Where others might simply give up, the true artist adjusts. Claude Monet painted massive garden scenes seen through double cataracts with a brush bound to fingers which could no long grip it. Henri Matisse, in the last decade of his life, following repeated, debilitating surgeries, his eyesight also failing, and so weak he could no longer get out of bed, adjusted to his condition by moving to huge sheets of paper he could still see and large blocks of painted paper meticulously arrange by assistants according to the master’s directions. The work was necessarily abstract. No more could he create the intricate, flat, interior designs or two-dimensional painted figures that had long been the hallmark of his flamboyant style. His gouache on paper work entitled The Snail, created in 1953, just a year before he died, is an excellent example of the adjustments an old man made in continuing to do as best he could what best he loved. Much of his work is a testament to a man’s sheer stubbornness to persist in the face of years of daunting debilitation, giving new meaning to the phrase, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”

I hope desperately that this is only temporary. I hope with all my heart I’ll be able to, some day soon, fix this problem and once more be able to write whenever I want to instead of once or twice per month, to read your stories, email, engage in discussion, and to work on my creative stuff… it is my biggest dream and remains the sole thing that brings me most joy. But for now, I have to take this step back. A friend once told me, “if you have the urge to do something, and you feel like you have to do it, it means that’s what you should be doing“. I still feel I should be writing, but the Universe right now has other plans. I don’t know what those plans are, but, as with all the big things in life, I have faith that this is happening for a reason, and that somehow, that reason will become clear.

Okay. Enough whinging. I just wanted to check in to let you all know I miss you, and hopefully, if I can find some decent software, I’ll be able to rejoin the Internet soon. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone 🙂

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31 comments

  1. We miss you too, Em! I hope you’re feeling much better soon so you can rejoin the blog world. Until then, take care of yourself. We’ll still be here when you come back! XO

  2. Hey Em,

    My brother has gone through the same thing. He designed a wireless headmouse so he can look at what he wants to click on the screen and it works awesome. We should really package the thing and make a bazillion dollars but so far its just his personal prototype.
    Him and I have used Dragon’s Naturally Speaking about 8 years ago. It was highly customizable and with a quiet room and a good microphone it worked great. I highly recommend that program. Microsoft products on the other hand…

    Too bad the best acupuncturist I know lives 4 hours East of me. Rats.

    Thinking of you.

    Get well soon.

    Corey

  3. I definitely miss reading your posts but hope you are on the road to recovery.

    I used to work with post-secondary students that had print disabilities and Dragon Naturally Speaking was the program we had loaded on our library computers. It takes some time to train and set up properly but once it’s customized people have fantastic success with it.

    Also, you should read “When the Body Says No” by Dr. Gabor Maté (http://tinyurl.com/4p4edsw) He is amazing!

  4. em i miss your posts 10x more than you miss writing them!!! sending lots of good healing vibes your way……and if i lived closer i would be coming to keep you company every day. miss you & get better asap!!! xxx

  5. It’s good to hear from you again, but I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so cut off. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to call even if I did have your number on account of my location, but I hope things will look up for you soon. I’m mentally supporting you from overseas!

  6. Hi Emily,
    I’m so sorry about your hand. I know exactly how you feel. I’ve had problems with both of my wrists for years, spending months at a time in splints more times than I care to count. My entire career is dependent on fully functioning hands, there is nothing worse than fearing the loss of your career.
    That said, I am also blown away by our body’s ability to heal even when we have given up hope. However, I do believe that the mind plays a huge role in how we heal and I am learning to accept what my body is telling me so that I am working with it, not against it.
    Thinking of you, and wishing you well…

  7. Awwww Emily! 😦 That is just no fun. I realllllllly hope that whatever is wrong with your fingers heals itself and does it fast too! I’m so sorry that you’re going through this right now, and I wish there was some way to help. It’s so good to see you pop in though! But I do hope that you’re able to heal quickly and that you can start writing/designing/doing everything you love once again! Sending good wishes and lots of love your way. ♥

  8. Aw, we miss you too!
    I hope you start feeling better soon!

    try to stay positive and also – I know it sounds hoaxy but have you considered seeing any other types of healers? Like an acupuncturist or something? They may have other ideas that could help you get better quicker!

  9. Aw, I’m sorry you’re stuck without a lot of the regular communication channels. I miss you! I hope you get better soon, or that you’re able to figure out a way to cope. Sending good vibes your way. 🙂

  10. I don’t know what I’d do without my computer or being able to text… I take it for granted that I wake up and just get to use all my technology! Hopefully you get better really soon- or just join the world of iphones! Internet+texting+blogging all without technically “typing” hehe 🙂

  11. Hi Emily,

    I miss your lovely articles too!

    Yeah I know how it feels to realize one day that you are the one who does all the initiating. Sometimes it can even feel as if you are carrying the entire friendship or relationship.

    Hmm in this day and age, communication does not have to be through writing. Maybe it will be easier for you somewhat if you did a podcast or something instead? That way you can still communicate and share what you want to share with us. Just my two cents.

    Praying that you recover and return soon! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

  12. sounds good. and perhaps the next time something like this pops up, you’ll listen sooner. 😉 can’t wait to see your lovely words back up on the world wide web.

  13. I know all too well the feeling of “I should be writing, but the Universe right now has other plans.” I went through that for the past four months, but everything worked out, and I know it will for you, too. You’ll be back to writing before you know it! In the meantime, you’re missed!!! Hope you are feeling well!

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