The activities on my list blew the annoying pain off the radar, well, until 2019.
My grandmother died in January of that year at the age of 101. My mom had been in Texas at her bedside, and I volunteered to drive Dad across the Lone Star State to the funeral in my beloved Marfa.
Arriving at Grandma’s house where all the family had gathered, I noticed my left hand was tremoring. To be honest, I had noticed it before, like after working hard in the yard or when holding them in certain stationary positions, like “prayer hands” at daily mass. This seemed more pronounced, “But,” I told myself, “this is a pinched nerve caused by the still dull pain in my back. It’s tremoring because I have had my arms up on the steering wheel. It’ll go away.”
The tremor actually did subside in the following days. Yet, after returning home, it would rear its menacing head again anytime I did anything strenuous. I managed to ignore it for several more months.
I don’t usually make resolutions on New Year’s Day, but in 2020, I decided it was time to face my fears and get a physical. I pulled into the parking lot first thing on that January morning, took a deep breath, and opened the door.
The nurse practitioner, Stephanie Metcalf, was absolutely wonderful. She listened intently and responded gracefully. It was clear that her intention was to do nothing short of helping me. Allowing me to play a role in my own healthcare, together we decided that the best course of action was to seek physical therapy.
After twelve sessions of massage, manipulation and focused exercise, I returned to Stephanie, reporting a massive improvement in range of motion and reduced, but not eradicated, left hand tremor. She recommended I follow up in three months.
The follow up was never scheduled.
A global pandemic will typically alter future plans, or so I’ve heard.