Therapy begins…

person two hand leaning on wall
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My right hand was a LARGE shadow of its former self. It was VERY swollen! It still is swollen but I am starting to see veins and tendons which I think is a good sign. Ice and elevation are the name of the game. My left hand is getting a workout but getting increasing assistance from my right. Remedial everything – getting dressed, eating, opening things, hair care, etc. I sometimes forget that I shouldn’t use my right hand too much, then “ouch” – I remember.

Before now, for arm exercise, I was just raising and lowering my arm with some occasional bicep curls. Oh, and wiggling my fingers. Therapy means, among other things, bending the wrist, forwards and backwards and from side to side. It also involves squeezing the fingers into a fist. One word describes all of this – Ouch!

Ice and elevation are still in play. I wrap my hand at least twice a day and sleep with it at an angle, propped by pillows. I am typing with one hand, slowly adding the other one. I am starting to feed myself with my right hand again. It sounds strange and looks stranger, but I am not quite ready for the “real thing” yet. Mostly I am trying not to get too impatient with the process. Recovery is a slow, steady journey and it has to be. Otherwise, it doesn’t have the desired result, full function and use.

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Training New Brain Cells

photo of head bust print artwork
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Was I disabled? No, not really. It was just harder to do everyday, usual things.

Lifting and carrying took more thought. I had to consider how to balance things, etc. I couldn’t use my casted fingers for Anything. Nothing could be two-handed.

Getting dressed was a challenge, ex., judging sleeve size to fit my cast. Thank God for short sleeve/T-shirt weather. Sandals were fine if they were velcro’ed. Slip-on shoes! Elastic waistbands were how I rolled.

Taking showers was an adventure. I employed a newspaper bag and a rubber band to shield my cast from the wetness. Washing and drying my hair was difficult. Hotel-sized shampoo containers were best. I almost mastered the one-handed towel turban. Brushing my hair left-handed was new. Training new brain cells I guess.

Makeup, well I was perfecting the art of applying mascara in a new way. As long as I didn’t poke my eyes out…

Eating involved remedial use of a fork (or spoon). Cutting anything was out of the question, temporarily. Pouring things took practice and patience. Cooking was not  attempted. Making coffee was a success! Opening and closing containers was difficult. I was confounded by potato chip bags and cracker packets and anything sealed tightly.

Sleeping with my arm elevated, or at least vertical, was something I got used to, mostly. Weird, but necessary. Propped pillows was an art form.

This was my new life, and though temporary, I gained insight into a small piece of how it is to live this way. It was a very small but useful sliver of experience.