Make a fist

“I’ll be happy when I can make a fist.” That’s my short response when people ask about my recovery from burns suffered in a propane explosion two months ago. Since then I’ve gone through more than $13,000 worth of skin grafts and physical therapy - focused on rejuvenating the appearance and functions of my right arm and hand.
In the interim that’s meant learning some of the skills of  ambidextrous folks. As a college prep, rather than a business major, I never learned how to type. Throughout the following years my method of manipulating a keyboard has been “hunt and peck,” using the index finger of my right hand. Since March I’ve still continued to  hunt and peck to put out this newspaper. The difference has been the side of my body that one finger is on. The left hand approach has slowed the process down but not stopped it.
Composing this column today I’ve occasionally typed a few words the old way, just to check on my improvement. I’ve also found holding a pen and writing my name is another skill that’s starting to come back as well. Both abilities show that progress is being made.
And making a fist? Not quite there yet - but coming soon.

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.