Friday, July 9, 2010

Learning to Make a Fist

How odd is it that at age almost 52, I would find myself sitting in a chair in a place that reminds me more of a gym than a doctor's office, learning to make a fist?  I imagine most of us learned that balled up fist at about the same time as we discovered our voice, as we announced indignantly our arrival on this earth.  Certainly, in my earliest memories of my own children their red faces were pinched and mouths open, fists balled tight and bodies exerting amazing strength as they wailed their first "music to their mother's ears."  So, I know it is a natural thing to ball one's fist, and it defies reason that I should be needing a "coach" to learn how to make a fist.

Yesterday was my first physical therapy session, prescribed by the surgeon who cleaned out my problematic "tennis elbow" two weeks ago.  I am not sure what I was expecting, but it was an interesting experience, to say the least.  My arm was measured, examined, the wound manipulated.  My arm was wrapped in warm moist (comfy) towels in preparation for the training...exercises to (hopefully) give me back my full range of motion and strength.

I learned the proper technique to make a fist, and the stretching and turning and such that will, with diligence, return to me that which I took for granted all my life.  None of it was particularly painful, but it was astonishing to discover I actually could not force my arm to open all the way or touch my chin with my hand, or make a fist...it wasn't pain that prevented me from doing these mundane movements.  I just don't bend that way right now...  I was a little perplexed when the physical therapist said, "I don't believe your range of motion loss is from the surgery...I believe you had this before the surgery."  Well, DUH, yeah!  I can endure pain with the best of them, but it WAS the loss in the range of motion that finally convinced me to go through with the radical treatment of surgery!

Nevertheless, after they had taught me all of the right moves to practice at home, they treated me to an ice treatment.  Now, while they ALL assured me everyone LOVES this treatment, I was skeptical. I HATE cold....I don't like ice in my drinks and I really hate having to put ice on injuries to reduce the swelling.  But I kept my opinions to myself and sure enough, that ice treatment WAS..... OK... I don't think I'd go as far as to say I love it...but it was much better than I anticipated.


I left, a little disappointed that I was not cleared to type with my right hand, meaning I need to stay out of work for a couple more weeks.  Nevertheless, I'll have more time to practice making my fist.

On the way home from PT, we stopped at the house we are getting ready to put on the market.  There is so much to be done there, but yesterday was just relaxing, taking photos. The flower gardens are quite pretty this time of year and I caught the butterflies, thoroughly enjoying the flowers' nectar. They are not at all perturbed by my picture taking....they KNOW they are beautiful...  Everything is showing the lack of rain and excessive heat, but rain is expected tonight and over the weekend.
So, I'll be working indoors, doing what I can with my left hand and limited right. And, of course, I will perform my PT exercises three times a day, as ordered.  Right now, I think I'll go take some Ibuprofen...arm is achy... (I promise, I did NOT use it while I........................mowed the lawn this afternoon....................) LOL ... no, seriously, I used my foot to engage the blade, and to maintain the speed.



8 comments:

Sharon said...

We are such amazing creatures! Every part works with some other part for smooth gliding motion, until something goes wrong. Sorry you are still stuck out of work, but that is what probably put you in the position you are in. Right? My DH has been to therapy numerous times for various parts of his right arm, tennis elbow included. It all boils down to what he does at work - he's an electrician, and he's always using his screwdriver, over and over with his arm - up, down, and sideways. Keep up with the PT and hang in there (left handed)!

Nekkid Chicken said...

My Queer Forehead Friend,

The pics are gorgeous. Hubby's pain meds wore off from surgery at midnight. Let's just say he is thankful, I mananged to get his prescriptions filled before we even left. LOL Men have a hard time with GERMANIC efficiency. JMHO

Take care and heal well my friend.

jbates said...

Take it easy. We are in a drought...no need to mow!!!

Feral Female said...

Hang in there! My MIL went through therapy after back surgery. Its tough but so necessary!

Judy's Corner said...

Yep, Sharon, according to the therapist, the work I do does at least contribute to the problem. I'm definitely learning how much I depend on that right hand!

Judy's Corner said...

Mal, I just KNEW you would have made sure his pain meds were filled PRIOR to the surgery...my surgeon strongly suggested I do so, and I did...I have not had a terrible amount of pain, but it was nice to be able to take something when the numbing meds they put in the wound wore off. Speedy recovery to your hubby!

Judy's Corner said...

Hahaha! Jeannie! I know with the drought the grass needs cutting less, but I cut it the day before I had surgery and since I expect to have the house on the market next week, wanted it to at least look like I tried! LOL

Judy's Corner said...

FF, yes, I have had several friend who have been quite successful in their recovery with the help of PT. I'm optimistic I will be 100% before long!