I’m typing this post with one hand while my left hand rests uselessly on my stomach. It may be months before I regain the use of my fingers, it may only be a few days. I’m learning a really hard lesson right now.
Wrist Drop occurs when the nerves in your arm are compressed hard enough to incur damage. When the nerve becomes damaged, your arm and fingers go numb, you can’t lift your wrist even level with your arm, and you can’t use your fingers or squeeze your hand into a tight fist. My left hand is partially paralyzed because of the TK seen here.
It’s kind of like that feeling you get when you’re in a dream, you run fast and hard but don’t get anywhere. Your feet are working hard as hell to carry you forward, but you’re running through thick mud, your feet weigh ten thousand pounds. That’s how this feels. I feel strong and capable, but when I go to move, there’s an invisible force holding me back, something heavy and sticky keeps my hand and fingers from functioning properly. My hand is like a fish out of water, flopping about awkwardly, it won’t obey the orders of my brain.
We are not inexperienced when it comes to rope bondage and suspension. We are not ignorant to the risks, we knew about the possibility of this type of nerve damage, and we actively sought out where my nerves were in order to avoid them. We have safety protocols in place, check-ins and finger movements that are designed to prevent this type of injury. Did we become complacent? Maybe. Were we careless? I don’t think so. Did we learn a valuable lesson? Absolutely.
I told him the ropes felt a little high on my arm and asked him to move them down. He moved them an inch. An inch was enough to cause me to lose the use of my hand in only ten minutes. He did verbal check ins during those ten minutes, I never did my finger checks. It’s a simple movement, one that I’ve done many times. My left hand was nestled snuggly into the crook of my right arm, and I felt no pain or discomfort the entire time I was tied and suspended. It wasn’t until he brought me down and untied me that I realized my left hand was immobile, and I knew immediately what had happened. We checked the rope marks on my left arm and could see where they were too low. I pressed my finger there and could feel the nerve hiding under layers of fat and muscle, a tender spot less painful than a bruise.
We learned a hard lesson this week, but hopefully it can also be a lesson to anyone else interested in rope bondage. It is not safe, it is edge play and you can get hurt even if you know how to be safe. Just to drive it home, here is a list of things I do on a regular basis that have now become extremely difficult or impossible:
- Putting my hair up
- Folding laundry
- Typing (I am not dropping out of the Smut Marathon, but now the term marathon has become even more accurate!)
- Two-handed keystroke shortcuts
- Opening a jar
- Making the bed
- Putting on make-up
- Washing my hands, hair and face
- Opening a letter
- Shaving my right armpit
- Chopping vegetables
- Giving my husband a back rub
- Half of the stuff I do at the gym
- Practicing self-ties
- Hand jobs (my right arm will just have to build some endurance)
- Grocery Shopping
- Painting my nails
- Using a can opener
- Squeezing toothpaste onto my toothbrush
- Pulling up my pants
- Picking up my laptop
- Winding up our rope
- Putting things in the fridge
- Carrying all my stuff to and from the office
- Putting on a bra
- Taking off a tight sweaty sports bra
- Sweeping the floors
- Opening a door with a key
- Shutting my car door
- Cutting my food with a fork and knife
I have a pretty positive outlook so far, but I know this is going to get old quickly. When it gets hard, I’ll have to remind myself that it’s not permanent, that there are so many people out there that live and thrive with disabilities that cannot be healed, and that my own actions and choices caused this. I’m also really hoping for a quick recovery! I’m not done with rope bondage, I still want to push myself in that regard, but for now I’m extremely limited in what I’m able to do as a rope bottom. I’ll say it again, this is a hard lesson to learn!