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Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Broken Wrist -- Recovery Update

Today I finished my 5th session of physical therapy. Myra, my Princess of Pain, changed up what we've been doing. She used to massage my hand/thumb/wrist and do passive stretching, then have me do the exercises and play with the toys, then give me 15 min. of electrical stimulation while my hand was in an icy mitten. While not a fan of frozen fingertips, the e-stim offered some pain relief.

Since the PT exercises have aggravated the tendons that pass over the lateral epicondyle Myra took a different approach today. I dipped my hand/wrist into some orange-colored and -smelling wax, let it harden, and repeat. Five layers later she wrapped my in plastic wrap and slid an oven mitt over my hand and gave me 10 minutes to warm up. This has got to be the most passive warm up ever.

She then rolled the wax off my hand, and massaged and stretched my stiff muscles and tendons, kneading them into submission and eliciting more flexion and extension than I usually achieve. Her hands are so soft, and small, and insistent; I invited her to move in with us and she'd not have to cook, just massage us and keep us injury-free. I'm too poor for the lifestyle I want. Boo. I Blame Drew's Cancer for that.

After that heavenly and painful massage she took out the toys: Chinese steel balls (rotated clockwise and counter-clockwise in my hand), a kind of 3-D maze to move a coin from one end to another by wrist rotation only, shuffling a deck of cards, putting clothespins on a yardstick, remove, repeat; thumb-pull downs with a rubberband and a U-shaped plastic frame; picking up tiny grooved stainless steel pins, putting them into a board, then removing them; rolling different sized cylinders covered in Velcro on a Velcro covered board (for wrist rotation); squeezing a sponge; and pulling apart special putty (ball it up, pull apart, ball it up, pull it apart, etc.).

Today, instead of e-stim, Myra took some special tape and measured and cut and placed it on my arm as illustrated. She said I'm to wear it a couple of days. It's to pull the muscle up and allow better lymph drainage and blood circulation, in hopes of relieving my tendonitis.

I'm to continue with my exercises (flexion & extension range of motion mostly) and see Myra just once next week. The week after I head back for my 10 wk. post-op visit. I hope then to get clearance to begin strength training and to ride my bike again. I'm optomistic and realistic: It may be the end of June before I can ride my bike. Meanwhile, I'll do what I'm told, and work toward my goal.

Later, I went home and was about to change for my trainer workout when a client/friend whom I sold a home around the corner stopped by. She's a cop; she rode her bike over after running her dog while she rode the bike. Our dogs are close to the same size and they all played while she & I hung out and caught up. She's a soccer star, a rock/wall climber, mountain biker, and wannabe roadie. I hope to sway her to the dark side; I'm happy she's got 3 bikes. Chris came home and made a fabulous off-the-cuff pizza; my friend went home then came back and had pizza with us while we watched "The Big Bang" together. What a fun way to spend the evening!


  1. OKay, I must have checked out or something, but when did you break your wrist? Have I lost it? Sorry to hear. :-( Myra sounds like a good PT though and hopefully, you'll be healed up soon.

  2. I'm in the same boat as merider! When did this happen? Even without broken wrists those chinese balls are hard to rotate both ways!!! Heal fast!! We still need to ride! (whenever I can get up your way!)

  3. Everyone move over in the boat...
    I'm late arriving. Hope the best Deb. That sucks!

  4. Hope you will make it back to Valle S. Giovanni (http://vallesangiovanni.com) sometime in the future