Getting some nerve back: nature + faith

ulnar nerve palsy

Ever since my accident last October, I haven’t been able to feel my pinky finger on my left hand, or part of the ring finger, or the front and back of the hand below those fingers. How big a deal is a pinky finger you might ask? I might have thought it wasn’t that big a deal before I lost the ability to feel and really use mine.

You’d be amazed at how often you use that finger. Among other things, I now know I would use it for: cutting food, holding a wineglass,rock climbing, playing hockey, driving the car, putting on a ponytail, clapping, holding hands, holding anything, quality lesbian sex and keyboarding.

Western medicine calls what I have ulnar nerve palsy. Turns out that our nerves supply the charge to your muscles. Without that charge, the muscles atrophy (check out the big scoop between my thumb and forefinger and then look at your own). All this means that after months and months of therapy I now have a left hand that’s about half as strong as my right hand and nowhere near as delft or agile. So what do the doctors have to say about all this Will it come back to normal? They’re quite succinct: “we don’t know.” Other than physically manipulating my fingers every day so that they don’t stay too “clawed” (as you can see) when the nerve comes back, there’s not much to do.

Not having anything to do or any knowledge if I’m going to get this back has been difficult. I’ve seen a holistic chiropractor who has encouraged me to hum to send energy down the fluid around the nerve. I’ve also been encouraged to imagine / visualize using my left hand normally as well as my right hand to keep the neural pathways open and healing. One energy healer at a party did reiki on it and another friend prayed for it. Energy healing is a frickin hilarious punchline, until you need it (ok, even if you need it, it’s still pretty funny). Basically I’ve stepped into the large void in which science has not yet given us answers. And so what is there? Faith.

Faith that it will come back, that my attitude and belief can help make that happen. I have chosen that for the very rational reason that it’s the only thing I can do and I very much wish to do something. Holding the attitude of “we’ll see whatever the hell happens to my hand happens” is not so comforting. In the off chance there is some yet-to-be-charted quantum affect of my attitude and mental decision affecting my body’s healing, then I certainly have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing it. I suppose that goes for the prayer and the energy healing too.

The great news is that this week’s EMG revealed that my nerve has regenerated some. Why this has happened I don’t know. Medicine doesn’t seem to know either. They conjecture that the surgery relieved some pressure on the nerve. But do I now look to science and faith to encourage the rest of whatever healing I’ll get.All science has to say to me at the moment is, “I don’t know” and “You’ll get whatever you’re going to get within 18 months of the surgery” which was last March. Is faith just a way of approaching what science can’t yet explain? My belief and mind can say whatever I choose to have them say.I choose full recovery. What do you think?