Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Gimpy Gardener

This is my right arm.

This is my right arm on drugs --
              anti-inflammatories, that is.

My name is Toni, and I am addicted to diggin' in the dirt.   And now I have a new medical term to add to my vocabulary.  Radial tunnel syndrome.

I hold in my splint-adorned right hand the humble No.2 pencil.   This pencil represents the amount of weight that I am allowed to lift with my right arm for the next two months.  Ne'er a trowel, a shovel, or my favorite 3-pronged digger shall grace my fingertips for 60 days.

How can you get this lovely fashion statement with weight restrictions included, you ask?    Well, you can start by pruning half of Tarrant County, then you can install 600 feet of green metal edging, then apply multiple yards of compost and about 150 bags of mulch, remove half of the remaining grass in your backyard with a pickaxe, and then put down 2 cubic yards of decomposed granite.  Did I mention the pallet of flagstone?    Oh, and when you're not busy doing that, go lift some weights for fun.   I'm sure I left out a few things, but you get the picture.

I am in the process of undergoing therapy for the next two months, as, occupational  therapy, that is.  My husband keeps saying, "Make sure you tell people you're going through occupational therapy, not just therapy, so they don't think you're, you know, crazy or something."   I don't know, after two months of not being able to dig in the dirt, I might just need a little of the other kind of therapy!

My therapist tells me that I need to learn to PACE myself...a concept that, to date, seems unfamiliar to me.  He also said that there can be no more "landscaping marathons."   It would be best if I can limit my work to 2 hours at a time.    2 hours?!!!   I'm just getting warmed up in 2 hours.   He also said I need to "throw my hand tools away."    Surely he can't mean my Felco #6 pruners or the aforementioned 3-pronged digger.   Are you kidding me??!!  He is not kidding.   He advises me that I need to learn to use different tools to accomplish my gardening tasks, tools that engage large muscle groups, instead of the little ol' supinator (forearm) muscle.   Who knew?!

I am about 2 weeks into my 8-week journey to splint freedom.  There is no dirt under my fingernails :-(

I guess God will slow us down when we won't do it for ourselves.  So I am taking this time to rest, to read, and to listen to wise counsel -- oh, and blogging, too!   Hopefully soon I will be back to diggin' in the dirt (albeit slower diggin', but diggin' just the same).

So take it from me, learn to stop and enjoy the fruits of your labors a little bit more than just laboring.  

Take care and happy gardening.   Get some dirt under your nails for me, will you?

Toni :-)


  1. Oh no poor you and you are so right about the almost breathless addition of the word occupational!

  2. I love your comment about "this is my right arm on drugs." You are quite the humorous blogger. I will visit often!

  3. Hi Toni,
    It's good to meet you. I saw you just started blogging in the fall, so I came to see your first few posts. I am commenting here because I can relate to what you went through.

    A few years ago, my husband ordered a couple tons of gravel to shovel into our back yard, because no grass would grow there. He was going to do it himself, and I was about to go see a friend, but it was trying to rain, so I canceled my plans and helped him. I ended up with tennis elbow. After trying a number of therapies, I ended up with a non-invasive surgery.

    I hope you are all healed up by now. I need to get some housework done, now that I am awake. I plan on coming back to see your current posts later in the day. (I am off work until Monday, because I work at a school.)