Although the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory aired last week, this week’s episode will be the premiere episode after my car accident. Specifically, this episode will be the first of five episodes and counting of hiding not only my injury, but the various gloves, finger SPANXes, and splints that I’m using. I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes tidbits of what it’s been like hiding my dominant right hand all of these weeks.
1. Script – Our writers have been very careful to not give my character any plotlines that involve lifting or carrying. In an upcoming episode, it’s actually required that I draw on a white board, but since I’m fairly dexterous with my left hand, we made it work.
2. Blocking – The director of The Big Bang Theory, Mark Cendrowski, helps me plan my movement in every scene so that my hand is either upstage, i.e. away from the cameras, or hidden. We’ve successfully hidden my hand in its gloved and splinted state behind boxes, board games, and various containers. As you will see in many episodes, it often hangs out of sight under tables and desks.
3. Wardrobe – Since I still can’t get myself dressed at home, I have a lot of assistance getting dressed at work. No, I don’t make my husband come to work every time I have a wardrobe change, but our wardrobe department has a team of wonderful women and I’m very grateful to Jane, who has gotten me dressed for the past seven weeks. Amy Farrah Fowler always wears stockings, but to save Jane the experience of hiking tights up over my body every week, the wardrobe department has made me thigh-high versions of all of Amy’s tights. This makes it a much more dignified experience for both me and Jane. For the first five weeks or so of my injury, we had to cut open certain sleeves of the shirts I wore, but now that I can remove the splint for periods of time and I’m wearing a sleeker fingerless compression glove, we simply have me wearing bulkier shirts that fit over my still-swollen hand.
4. Anxiety – After an accident such as mine, there’s a lot of anxiety about the injury, about its healing, and about the pain that, although less persistent, can and does still occur. For this reason, I wear my splint whenever I’m on set and as the weeks go on, I’ll be able to wear it less, but for now, I still walk around with a sense of nervousness about it.
I’m very grateful to our writers, our director, our wardrobe department, all of our producers who are so caring and supportive, and our cast, who knows that in any scene with me, they have to do the heavy lifting, as it were.
So, enjoy tonight’s episode and look for all the creative ways that my hand is hidden!