My obsession with clay means that I need my hands – a lot. About a year ago I noticed that I was encountering a lot of pain in my left hand. This worried me. In fact it worried me so much that I have been keeping it from my nearest and dearest.
I did, however, speak to my GP who basically said that it was arthritis, that this is particularly prevalent in women of a certain age and basically that it was tough. It would get worse as I got older. I did not find this encouraging or helpful. The pain comes and goes but it is there most of the time. It affects my enjoyment of ceramics and it very much affects my ability to helm my sailing boat as well.In fact I have been contemplating one of those tillers with a handle at the end so that I could alter my grip on the tiller. It seemed that it was either that or give up racing.
Today I visited the Grand Designs Live show at London’s ExCel centre. We were there to find a few things such as bifold doors and ground source heat pumps for our wonderful Cornish home.
I had absolutely no idea that my worries about my hand were about to be resolved .
Whilst my dearly beloved partner was having yet another in depth conversation with some guy about the U values of different solar panels, I drifted off – literally as well as metaphorically. I found myself gazing longingly at a shiny new Lexus and then I turned around . . . .
Watching me was a man with a weird machine. “I can cure you,” he chanted with a cunning smile! No it wasn’t really like that at all. Never the less, the man from Eurotherapy was armed with a machine and I could feel myself being suckered into giving it a go. Two minutes later the pain in my hand was gone!Better – all the movement had returned – I could bend my thumb to touch the palm of my hand again (not possible now for about 6 months) and the swelling had been reduced. Wow! If this is what 2 minutes does, imagine the possibilities. When the pad was removed I suddenly felt a strange popping inside my wrist. The salesman explained that this was the uric acid crystals breaking down – already???? And yet, I really did not have, still do not have, any pain – 6 hours later.
I don’t think I am the kind of person who normally falls for gimmicks. I have managed without copper bracelets and magnetic pressure thingies and acupuncture until today. But this thing got me. I am now the impoverished owner of the device. My sailing days and, more importantly, my potting days feel safe (for the time being) from the grim reaper and, just to make me feel even better, the thing is tax deductible because I need my hands for my work!
So if in the future I don’t hear you calling me it is either because:
a. I am in the studio in Wimbledon making things out of clay,
b. I have gone sailing,
c. I am strapped to a vibrating pad getting some part of my anatomy shaken to bits.
I shall keep you posted on how it goes because I suspect that I am not the only female ceramicist approaching that time of life when things begin to get stiff, sore and swollen!