I’m much appreciative to y’all (I picked up this word in Texas, hehe) who have been praying for me and sending posy vibes!
Also everyone on Twitter and FaceBook, I see a lot of your messages to me and I appreciate all your support for me in all I do. I’m doing my best to reply, but I can only spend so much time in the internet(:
I really don’t like people to worry about me, so I didn’t want to inform everyone about what was up with my arm. But here it is!
This past friday I headed to Oahu to see a nerve specialist. I was still experiencing numbness in my arm from the pinky and ring finger up to the injury on the bottom side of the arm.
I was excited to just get it over with. I’m not very fond of going to hospitals. So I went in and Dr. Singer did some simple test on my arm and said I was miss-diagnosed in Singapore and that he thought it was a good idea to have surgery. I was not prepared for that! I realized that I had been in denial. I thought my arm was ok and just needed time to heal. I was ball-crying. Mainly because I was a little scared for my one and only arm (which I am very grateful for). But also because there was a good swell coming in a few days and I was getting antsy to surf! I haven’t surfed since June 23rd.
So my family and I decided to go forth with surgery the next day. It was weird going to the hospital, because I don’t really remember much when I went for my stump. I took a little nap and the Doc went to work. He re-opened my wound to check out the different nerves that had suspected damage. He repaired one broken nerve, and saw that the Ulnar nerve had only been bruised.
I woke up and was a little out of it. I was rambling a lot of stuff. It was pretty funny! I had the nurse record me talking (not sure if I’m gonna share it though). The Doc shared that the surgery went really good, and that now both nerves need time to heel. He also shared how deep the wound was and that it was a near two millimeters from my major blood vessel! That immediately brought thankfulness to my heart to be alive. Once again, a near death experience… To be dramatic, there I was out in the middle of nowhere, 15+ hours boat ride from proper medical health help, surfing and having a blast with some of my best friends… And then it happened. Pretty heavy!
Now I am in healing mode. I’m trying to get lots of rest, and allow little movement for my arm. It should be a good three weeks before I can surf again. At the moment I’m a happy camper. I hope I can keep this attitude up. I want to honor God and rely on him for my strength.
My good friend Mike Coots (also from Kauai), who lost his leg to a shark a some years before myself, had his nerve in his right arm repaired by the same Doc! Dr. Singer fixed his trigger finger movement and he is now a great photographer!
Through this experience I’m learning a lot and maybe maturing a bit. I realize that surfing is a huge thing for me and I love it! But sometimes I put surfing before God and I don’t want to do that. God first, and I AM SECOND! I will continue to seek HIm for direction in my life. Thanks Jesus!
July 7, 2011, 3:49 PM ET – “Bethany Hamilton undergoes surgery” By Olivia Dwyer, ESPN Action Sports