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zebraI have an appointment with a hand surgeon. It is pretty clear that this beast isn’t letting up without intervention; it’s already progressed more than halfway up my forearm, which means it is advanced. The tiniest movements can send me into a spasm of screaming pain.

At least the surgical procedure looks relatively noninvasive, as these things go. The surgeon I am seeing has a very long history of success, and is well renowned. I expect decent results. I should be able to return to making jewelry afterward, although I will have to wear a support brace, and also intend to limit my time spent banging and stamping metal. There will be quotas on how many orders I will be able to take at a time.

I don’t want to get into the same predicament again, if anything else happens. Right now, I still have over 35 outstanding orders, all of which I still intend to fill. If I cannot do so after the surgery, we will begin the process of issuing refunds. I expect that should not be necessary, but if the outcome is not what will allow me to resume, then we will make certain each unfulfilled order is refunded.

In the meantime, I am not able to address individual order statuses because I can’t give a realistic answer until after I see the surgeon. For everyone who has waited so patiently with me on this journey, please know what your support means to me. As a token of my appreciation, I will include an extra gift with your order when I send it.

It has been frustrating for me to lose my primary source of feeling useful and having that sense of accomplishing something in a day’s work. I’ve been adrift without that. It took a long time to find it…which I did when I began painting and making jewelry…those things had given me back a sense of identity that had been stolen by my disabilities. I plan to take them back again. Those of you who have stuck it out with me this far, I thank you deeply. The fact that there are a few folks out there who believe I can get through this, and who value what I have to offer enough to hang in there with me have given me a gift that is immeasurable in value…and I am grateful!

I will keep you posted here and on the Facebook page. I hope to return with good news in the next update. I did try a little stamping a few weeks ago, and was able to do it, but it tore the heck out of my hand and wrist. Once the sheath binding those inflamed tendons is opened, things will be so much better. Based on my brief experiment, I should be able to do the stamping afterward as long as I am properly braced and I pace myself so that I don’t overdo it.

Other than that, I have an MRI series (full spine) this week, after which I will need to see neurology again about the atrophy issues. I don’t know what, if anything, can be done for my Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I’m hoping more conservative measures will help there.

I’ll leave you all with this random thought… “Strength isn’t about staying in the saddle; it’s about clawing your way up out of the dirt no matter how often you’re thrown.”-me