Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hand Update

It has been a week since I got cleared to ride outside and my outlook on life couldn't be much better. I feel better, I act better and I am better! Thank heavens. That downward spiraling rut I was in was NOT me but I was in it deep. It was the scariest thing ever but riding outside has done wonders to lift me back out.

I think a lot of my change has to do with the fact that I am training again and am therefore on a schedule. I live for structure and I feel so lost without it - I already knew that about myself. I knew I was in for a rough ride when I initially got home from the East coast with my blown apart hand and aimlessly plopped down at the kitchen table with my luggage at my side. I didn't know what was next. It was the worst feeling ever and I lost the plot. But now I am back and feel like have a purpose again with my new goals for the cross season.

Riding outside is going really well. Last week at this time I was terrified especially on that first day out. I was slow out of fear and I was also not able to hold on to my left grip very well because my hand wasn't into making a fist yet. I was so bad at holding on that I would have to STOP my bike to take a swig of water vs risking trying to "hold on" with my left and reach with the right. This is what I am talking about....I am making a fist the best I can with both hands:

And now this week I am happy to report I have a much firmer grip on the left (still not stellar though) and I am flying down the roads at full speed. Ok, so maybe its not the smartest thing to do but it's what I live for!

So yeah, the doctor tells me not to fall on my bike right? And what do I do instead? I slam the heck out of the top of my hand on the door at BlockBuster. Nice. It left a red mark right IN BETWEEN my two scars. At least the door had good aim and didn't do any real damage that I can see or feel.

My hand at this point is doing better but isn't great. Looking on the bright side of things, all the experts are amazed that I am doing so well and are surprised that my hand looks as good as it does (swelling, movement, and scar wise). I am happy to hear that because apparently I should be a lot worse off 1 month out of surgery. Worse off? Wow. Is that possible because I already feel like a gimp? Guess it is....

I have been doing hand therapy on my own twice a day for 1 hour of hell each time. It hurts but it's working! I did start intense hand therapy yesterday with a Hand Therapist too. When asked whether I wanted to get aggressive with it and come in several times a week (vs 1 - 2) I was like (duh) "YES!!!!!!" So that means I will now go in three days a week to have my hand wrenched on. And since I was there yesterday for 3 plus hours I am going to be spending a good amount of time there it sounds like. Oh joy. Better set up Camp Kathy!

We even play games at camp too

While I was there they had me doing "put the peg in the pegboard", the therapist "massaged" my hand and arm (which felt more more like....if you go one more mm down into my ligaments I am going to hit the roof!!!) and she bent my hand beyond its limits too. I also did some other weird hand exercises, we iced it, we heated it and we did some electric stim on it as well. We did it all except ultrasound. I guess you are supposed to stay away from that unless you feel like getting a sweet bone burn from the metal plates holding your bones together. That is nasty!!

So at this point I am happy that my hand is numb in areas because I couldn't feel half the stuff that was going on thank god. But really it wasn't excruciating and it wasn't horrible but I am sure the therapist will have her day with me soon.

If I have to do one more stupid hand exercise I am gonna put this peg where the sun doesn't shine lady.........

While in therapy I found that it is nice to be surrounded with others that are going through hand hell too. There is something strangely nice about having others around that are going through the same thing. We found ourselves swapping war stories of course too. I did the peg board with one guy that chopped off part of his right thumb in a boat rotor. Oh man, that isn't good! He has had to learn to hold a pen differently in order to write! Another lady was in there for a mountain bike accident too and we laughed the whole time we were there. Tomorrow she is bringing wine and I am bringing the cheese and crackers so we can enjoy our hand torture together.

Making the best of this interesting scenario.............

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