What the surgery did determine is that this was never going to get better on its own, and may not still. It's up to the nerve to heal now that the compression has been released. It was, however, badly compressed. As soon as the wound heals I can employ massage to prevent scar tissue buildup and hand exercises to improve strength, but most of the actual healing process is beyond my control. Knowledge of this has admittedly brought me down, but that sad feeling could just be the pain and fatigue from surgery, and dealing with what is currently an utterly useless right hand. I lost my temper today when I failed to wrap a band around my hair - so I threw my hat across the room and stomped all over it. Childish as it is, sometimes a temper tantrum feels good.
When my mom heard about my surgery, she offered to spend her birthday driving across Colorado with my dad so they could drive me to the clinic and stay by my bedside as I woke up in a recovery room, groggy and begging for apple juice. My mom was very sweet to take care of me over the weekend, and I feel lucky to have her. It was especially fun to show my parents our new home and the surrounding mountains.
The hat-stomping incident occurred after they returned to Salt Lake, when I decided to get some fresh air by walking up to my neighbor's house to deliver a check. The process of getting ready - changing into outside clothes, adjusting my new arm sling, writing and signing a check with my left hand to a satisfying level of third-grade-penmanship, applying sunscreen, and putting on shoes and socks - took a frustratingly large amount of time. By the time I got to the hair tie and hat, I'd had it, and let my hair whip and tangle in the wind. Dark clouds built overhead as I walked. After three miles I still hadn't found my neighbor's house (turns out he moved his street sign) but by then there was thunder directly overhead, and I needed to hurry home. When it started to rain I tried jogging, but that was far too painful and ill-advised. Then the sky opened with heavy rain and nickel-sized hail, and all I could do was duck beneath a pine tree and hold my good hand over my neck as hail pelted my head and back, and rain soaked the bandages I wasn't supposed to get wet.
"Mom would not be happy with me," I thought. (Sorry, Mom.) I felt like crying, but I'd already spent all my tantrum energy on a hat.
Instead I waited for the hail to subside, then walked the rest of the way home in a downpour to change my bandages and dispose of the disintegrated check that I'd spent such a long time writing and carrying up the road for nothing. Sometimes it just feels like there's a dark cloud hovering overhead. But things get brighter. I know that.