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Mary Gentry Writes

It Runs in the Family

I started my blog,  “It Runs in the Family,” in 2010 and it motivated me to write more often and become a more careful writer. And it was a lot of fun.  I cajoled all of my friends into reading it, becoming my “followers” and then shamed them into saying nice things about it. Still, many people commented that access was clunky and awkward so they gave following it.

It has been two years since I have posted anything.  One reason for this prolonged hiatus was my growing conviction that I wanted to “publish” in a form more permanent that a blog.  That I really wanted to see these essays and stories housed in a book.

In truth the primary reason I haven’t posted anything is that as a result of significant bone spurs that penetrated my cervical spine and damaged the nerves south of my neck,  all fine motor skills and coordination in my hands were lost.  Actually, the nerve damage has affected my whole body, but the loss of the use of my hands was the most frustrating. Not only could I no longer type, I couldn’t button my blouse, hold onto a pen, put in earrings, or feel much difference between hot and cold.

As the condition progressed, I am not sure that I would have been able to write much even if I had the coordinated use of my hands.   What ailed me was such a mystery for so long that it was hard to think about much of anything else. I spent several months here and at the University of Washington Medical School haunting the offices and labs of neurologists and neuro-surgeons, getting up close and personal with the folks who draw blood and those who take and interpret x-rays and MRIs.  Along the way, there was cause for celebration as many dire conditions were eliminated.

There were also some detours that slowed down the ultimate resolution which finally came in January of this year when I had a laminectomy that removed the lamina with the bone spurs from C 3,4, &5 which in turn released the pressure on my spinal cord so that it could heal.  Nerves do mend themselves – about an inch a month.  A bit of a slow slog for someone as impatient as I am.

Nonetheless, I am getting better. Normal feeling and function is returning to my legs and I can use more fingers for typing than before.  For a long time, I could only rely on two fingers in my left hand and three in my right. So, with the creation of the website and fingers that are relearning to type, I am back in the blog business. As time goes by and I acquire some distance from this medical malaise, I trust I will find the humor in the whole thing which I can share that with you.

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