As I leaned further under the giant azalea bush, to trim the bottom branches, I heard a -crunch- POP -crack-
I crawled out from under the bush to investigate the searing pain in my hand. I thought I had stuck my hand in a hornets nest and I wondered how I would get them all off my fingers...
My fingers looked odd as they gripped the clippers. Even though the pain was making my eyes water, my hand looked and felt as if it belonged to someone else. I used my other hand to pry the clippers away from my now "robotic, frozen" fingers.
Two of my fingers completely gave up on all fine motor skills for the rest of the day.
Apparently, an injury from 3 years ago has decided to beg for attention......
But that is another story....
My fingers are stuck in this position:
Simple, brainless yard work, dishes, writing, texting, grocery shopping-while talking on the phone, and turning the key in the ignition.....turned into careful and thoughtful planning of modified movements.
This self prescribed occupational therapy reminded me of my first love, special education.
I would eat, sleep and breathe ideas of how to modify and teach living skills to my students.
Even though it stressed me out....
Even though it made me sad to work, while my boys were little....
Even though I could never turn my brain off and leave work at school.....
I was using all my gifts.
I was good.
After two years of therapy, with one of my students, he was able to hold his eating utensil and help feed himself.
I will never forget the morning he fed himself a spoonful of tuna mush.
About once a week, his mother would send tuna. I can't stand the smell of tuna and since his food had to be blended, it contained a mixture. I started calling it tuna mush. I would harass him and complain about the tuna, knowing it was his favorite. His eyes would light up and he would moan with glee. He, like most of my students, was nonverbal and blind.. BUT that did not keep them from playing, tricking, and joking with me.
He raised his spoon to his mouth and licked the tuna off. The success was so thrilling that he spit a chunk into my face. I responded with overwhelming joy morphing into MAZ-Gross-Out.
My students loved to gross me out!
He squealed and laughed and flung his arms until we were both covered in that nasty tuna.
I hugged him (it was so necessary to be tactile!) and cheered and gagged.
I cleaned him and moved him into an activity, then I turned my face from him and cried.
Two years he worked to feed himself one lick of tuna mush.
It was one of the best days of my life!