Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Down...

I finished my first session of physical therapy on Friday. For range of motion I average about 7 degrees in thumb movement, and only about 27 degrees in wrist movement. This is of course extremely low.

For instance as a comparative test, I had to put several tiny pegs into several tiny holes while being timed, then remove them and put them back into their tiny container. I was able to place and remove all the pegs with my right hand in 16 seconds. It took me 42 seconds to do the same tasks with my left hand. I felt pretty handicapped. At home I had just adjusted to doing everything with my right hand or compromising and using my middle and index finger with the left hand rather than thumb and index finger. I guess since I adjusted over the last 6 weeks I didn't really notice how bad it really really was.

My therapist is worried that I didn't start soon enough and may not regain a full range of motion back, but she thinks she can at least eliminate the pain and give me some more function of the hand. I couldn't have started earlier, though, I was immobilized in a cast/brace earlier. So... yeah.

So what's on the schedule? Well, every day I have to do these little hand motion exercises 10x. Then another exercise that's more focused on just the thumb another 10x. Throughout the day, not all at once. Then on Tuesdays and Fridays I go into the hospital's physical rehab center and do those exercises plus electroshock and dry-whirlpool therapy. Which, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Each session is anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, and yes, pretty boring. I'm stuck trying to idol chit chat with a stranger (though considering I'll see her so much it'll probably be less awkward in a month) while my hand gets electrocuted, or sits in a dry whirl-pool doing finger motions. She is an animal person, though, so at least we have a topic to start out with.

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