Monday, August 11, 2008
My Racing Stripes
I was given permission take off my bandages and expose my hand to the world. I am never excited to check out my own war wounds because it's kind of gross but I had to do it sometime I guess. Those stripes are where they inserted the metal plates and screws. It is shiny because I am queen of the Vitamin E right now.
So all looks good as you can see except that I have the hand of Frankenstein now. There goes my hand modeling career down the tubes........ unless it's for Halloween that is! There is still a lot of swelling and some more numb areas that I discovered too which sucks. But the numb areas are really confined to the top of my hand thank heavens so I am not going to complain.
I have no pain at all at this point but the hand IS the pain in the sense that I wake up every morning to the stiffest 2 by 4 in the world. I feel like a 1000 year old lady with arthritis in the mornings. Once I get it moving it gets looser though, thank heavens! Sweet - the age of 95 at 35.
I still cannot make a fist which is concerning. I realize that I am only 3 weeks out of surgery but I haven't seen major improvement yet with that particular home exercise I do everyday. I am about 45 degrees off from making a fist which is actually a pretty big number. I am trying not to think about that at this point though because I am not sure what it means yet (is it good, bad or just plain ugly?).
I am being a good patient and am doing everything the doctor is telling me to do. The in home hand therapy is going well too and I have made huge improvements in 3 of the 5 home exercises I need to do every day.
Still working on increasing the size of my ever shrinking left shoulder. I think we have gone from walnut size to maybe golf ball size now with the exercises I have been doing for it. On that note, this is something I took upon myself. My doctor never mentioned doing this (he knows I am doing it though) and there is something to learn from that: Always ask tons questions (I take a pretty big list in each time I see him - they just LOVE me for that too!! Ha ha!!) and take your own health into your own hands. Be proactive because they can't think of all the scenarios for you!
I will admit though that the one thing I am doing in addition to my hand therapy is practicing my braking on both the road and mountain bike while I ride the trainer. At first when I got on my bike to practice this I could only move the brake in about a 1 mm in. Now I can do sets of 15, pulling the brakes all the way back! Yee haw! I am doing this in hopes that I will keep the strength I have so when I can get back on the bike I am good to go.
I am able to use my hand and fingers some at this point too but the lack of flexibility interferes sometimes along with my broken wrist of course too. I am not supposed to lift more than 5 lbs with my hand though. But it does seem to be getting back in to the action some because it's taking over some chores now. Hopefully I will become a bit ambidextrous too. It has been about 3 months in a cast this season for that (left) hand and quite frankly I forgot (and so did it) what it normally did so I am making it do everything. Why not? Meanwhile though my right hand and arm think its all that and a bag of chips. Man. It jumps in there trying to over power the world and I need to swat it away and MAKE lefty do it. Kind of annoying.
I am also training everyday since 5 days after surgery on the trainer. I am very happy that I am able to do this but getting outside on those hikes has become imperative!
Other than that, I am still in a removable brace and things are pretty darn tooting good now that I discovered the wonderful world of hiking! If you made it this far in the this post......thanks for caring enough to read to the end.