Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A "Minor" Thing

We sometimes get so involved in looking at the "larger picture" that we fail to look at or appreciate the value of small things. When it comes to health and wellness we certainly do our share of worrying about the major things that can go wrong. Cancer and heart disease routinely get lots of attention. I'm not saying they shouldn't, but perhaps we need to be a bit more aware that it can be minor things that can throw us for a loop, at least in the short run.

Trip and skin your knee or elbow and nobody is suddenly going to put you on a tehillim list. You're more likely to get a comment of "Stop being such a baby!" if you complain that it hurts. Get a toothache and people might be a bit more sympathetic, but not by much.

Shabbos I had a klutzy moment and banged my thumb into the countertop. Now I've probably done this hundreds of times over the years, but this time the result was different. This time I cracked the nail all the way down into the nail bed and lost a huge chunk of nail. Big deal, right? Over the past few days I've discovered in just how many ways we count on and use our thumbs, especially the thumb on our dominant hand. (And no, I'm not even going to mention the pain this brings with it.)

Ever tried typing on a keyboard or using the key pad on a cellphone when one thumb is seriously bandaged up and bulky? Just typing this posting is taking a zillion times longer. Ever tried scrubbing and/or washing something or grabbing something or holding tightly on to something without your thumb being available, or that thumb getting in the way? Ladies out there can understand that getting dressed with a thumb like this is a challenge--just try putting on hose. Or putting on earrings. Just try making bread or cake dough with a thumb "missing."

My experience has shown me just how useful those thumbs are and just how much extra time and effort it takes if one of those thumbs is not available. I'm going to take my own advice and be far nicer from now on when someone tries to complain about one of these "small" happenings. Small is relative.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oodles of sympathy!!
A similarly debilitating injury is the apparently slight cut of the finger which turns out to have severed a tendon, with the result that plastic surgery is needed, followed by a long recovery period.
Ya gotta be careful - refuah shleimah