Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Taking A Step Forward

Ever since I had surgery on my fractured humerus on Sept. 8, I had been counting the days until I could finally ditch the splint and sling that had become an unwanted part of my life.

That day arrived Tuesday when I had the staples removed (more than 30 of them) and was fitted for a brace on my arm, and another for my wrist. So, as you can see, now I'm bionic for a while!

It was quite an interesting visit to the doctor, because as soon as the nurse removed my splint and bandages, I wanted to see what it looked like. Since the incision was on the back of my arm Dacy took a photo and showed it to me, and I immediately got queasy and almost passed out!

Actually, I was kind of shocked by what I saw. I won't get into a lot of details, but my incision was more than a foot long and went well past my elbow. Wow, I wasn't expecting that!

I was kind of embarrassed by it, but the nurse said that surprisingly enough a lot of people have that same reaction. I kind of felt better after learning that!

Once the nurse was finished with me I met with a guy named Keith, who is Dr. Chhadia's assistant. He started to move my arm around, and I have to admit that I was really feeling a lot of apprehension. Between the swelling and the stiffness that had set in over the last four weeks, I have very little range of motion in my arm, which is a bit discouraging.

What makes it even harder is that my radial nerve -- the large nerve that lets us lift our hand and fingers -- is what Keith called "shocked", meaning it's not functioning very well, leaving me with a limp hand and very little function with my fingers. I can make a fist with my left hand but can't open my hand back up without help. The really have no timetable as to when my hand will regain function, it my be a few weeks to a couple of months.

Ugh.

Reality is really setting in for me, that this is going to be a long process, but it's not all bad. The brace looks cumbersome, but I like the fact I can move my arm around, and honestly, I feel a lot more "normal" now. I can do a lot of things now that I couldn't do when I was in a sling, and I like the fact that I can move my arm around and help with the healing process.

And I can run! Keith said if I wanted to give it a try there was no reason that I shouldn't. I'll probably wait until the weekend or when I'm feeling a bit more confident with the brace, but it is nice to know that I can run when I'm ready.

I will also be starting physical therapy next week, so while there were a lot of discouraging (and painful) moments yesterday, I feel like I took a huge step forward in my recovery. I'm really determined to work hard to get my arm back in shape, and yesterday was the first part of that process. It won't be easy, but I'm going to get it done.

Let the comeback begin!

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