Seven and a half weeks ago, my husband Jim fell after leaving the Channel 9 Health Fair. His total weight landed on his right shoulder, causing a Grade 3 shoulder separation, which brought a halt to his daily activities. Before the injury, he had been making pottery and low-firing the bisque ware, and we had a garage full of half-finished pots. We also had stockpiled glazed ware. I called the galleries and told them of the accident. I really didn’t know if he’d be able to return to making pottery. I tried to stay positive, but little by little, I slipped into a blue mood.
For the first month, he kept his arm in a restrictive sling. He was taking Ibuprofen around the clock, and applying an ice pack day and night. This was the lowest time of his recovery. He sat on the living room couch watching YouTube videos of artists sculpting faces. Making clay masks was what he was doing before the accident– about 25 of them. He said they were all practice faces. Below is a picture of two bisque-ware masks.
It’s hard to get Jim to go to a therapist. But he agreed to see Bob Holtby of Physioworks. Bob balanced the muscles and tendons that had been affected by the fall–essentially, every part of his back, arm and neck.
Jim also agreed to try BioGenesis – a form of energy healing that Marcy Adams does. Here’s a picture I took while Marcy was working on him. This treatment lasted about 45 minutes. While he didn’t admit that the BioGenesis helped, I noticed a difference in him the very next day. His mood brightened and it seemed that was the turning point where the pain decreased and strength began returning to his arm.
From the internet, Jim learned that it takes people with Grade 3 separations about 12 weeks to recover, so he is a little over the half-way mark. The people he was reading about were bicyclists in their prime. Jim is 73 – a healthy 73. He wrangles heavy clay balls on his potter’s wheel, stacks the kiln with 24- pound shelves, and schleps 4×8 slabs of plywood when we set up temporary tables in our garage. He packs and carries most of our pottery deliveries. Basically, he’s the workhorse of the family.
Little by little he has been recovering physically and emotionally. The pain has subsided. His energy is returning and he’s no longer depressed. He can walk our neighborhood circle and drive to town and back alone. He can wash dishes, clean the cat litter boxes, cook (yay), and do some artwork. There are weeks to go before he’s pain free, strong and energetic again–and he’s more than ready for normalcy!
In his convalescence, he has taken up drawing. Below is a picture of him sketching a face with dry-erase markers. He is also learning to draw electronically with new Corel computer software.
Tuesday, I stacked the first kiln since Jim and I got married 28 years ago! I didn’t think I could do it. The shelves are hard for me to lift. I discovered I could stack up to a certain point, but no higher. Then Jim’s son John came to visit and I asked him to place two full-sized shelves for the sixth level. John is 6’4” and totally fit. Lifting those suckers was no problem for him.
At the last minute Jim remembered we had some half-sized shelves stashed under a table that we had never used. I finished stacking with those – each shelf weighs only 11 pounds. We now know that I’ll be able to stack the kilns from here on out until Jim recovers full strength. Below is a picture of the kiln, fully stacked and ready to fire.
I can hardly wait to see the five masks that will come out of the kiln a day from now – the ones Jim made back in February and I glazed last week.