Saturday, 31 October 2009

I Feel Good!

I meant to post this yesterday but didn't get on the computer!

Another visit to Sheffield on Monday with attendant public transport woes - this time a bus strike in Sheffield threatened to scupper things, fortunately it turned out that the bus I needed was operated by a different company to that affected by the strike. I got to the Orthopaedic clinic with five minutes to spare! The consultant was pleased with my progress but the next visit will need another x-ray just to check that the joint hasn't fused. He didn't say but the implication was that an operation will be required if it has fused - I certainly don't fancy my arm stopping with 30 degrees to go to straight. Even better I've now got both the wrist and elbow consultants in sync - my next visit is in a month and I'll see both on the same day.

So why do I feel good? Well I went for my first run in eight weeks! It's actually the first exercise other than walking that I've done in that time. It was only a five mile run round the roads around home but I didn't want to risk anything by running off-road and falling. I could have gone for a run earlier in the week but with the clocks going back last weekend, it's dark when I get home and again I didn't want that extra risk.

No doubt I'll feel sore in the morning!!

Another trip to the physio this coming Monday. My wrist has improved lots in the last week or so despite a tendon in my thumb feeling quite painful, there's lots of mobility, not as much as in my right wrist but much better than when the plaster came off. The strength is coming back as well, though this is as much about pain as anything. As well as the exercises I've been given I've been trying to use my arm in everyday activities, after all it's the subtle movements that you need to master rather than simple flex and extend.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Bend me, bend me

First visit to the physio today. Fortunately it had been transferred to a local hospital so no convoluted trip down to Sheffield.

It has been a bit of a strange week following the removal of the cast eight days ago. Work colleagues are still asking "When did the pot come off?" Obviously they never got a boy scouts' observation badge! Allied to this was a depressing weekend. I think it was partly due to it being the first weekend out of pot and the consequent realisation that I can't do what I want to do, the pot effectively hiding this fact, after all I'm not in the habit of running, biking or climbing whilst wearing a cast. Also on the Sunday I marshalled  and took photos at the Bronte Way fell race - it wasn't too bad actually but afterwards as I walked home I felt down with the thought that I couldn't join in.

The week slowly got better as the memories of the weekend faded. This morning saw me in one of the local physio departments. It seems that electronic tranfer of details hasn't reached this far north so the first ten minutes or so was spent going over my accident and subsequent treatment. The physio was pleased with my progress given that I'd only been out of plaster for 8 days. A few exercises to do on both wrist and elbow since she could hardly work on one in isolation given they are adjacent joints.

So now it's a case of making sure I don't do too much and ruin things or not enough and slip backwards. Marshalling at the Withens Skyline on Sunday and another visit down to Sheffield to see the elbow guy again.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Please Release Me!

The BGR dinner went well, I got very drunk! Met lots of folk I knew though it was a bit awkward for Cath as she only knew one or two people. Around 350 turned up but sadly some didn't pay for their dinner which is a poor show.

Finally got the pot off yesterday and it feels weird! I was quite nervous about yesterday as I was worried that I'd either have to keep the pot on for another week or they'd x-ray it and put a new pot on. I'd been counting down the hours for most of the week so it would have been a big disappointment for the plaster not to have gone. The arm looks weird - it's still swollen but even so it's about 2/3rds the size of my right forearm.

Once the pot was off, it was off to the consultant and he began to set me up with some physiotherapy, unfortunately down in Sheffield again. It would have required taking two days off work each week so I asked if I could be transferred to my local hospital so hopefully that will go ahead.

As it was I had a session in the physio dept there. Some odd questions - Did I have nightmares about the accident? As if! Actually I can visualise it but it's just an episode - it happened, move on. Apparently I've been doing the right thing in holding my elbow at the point of discomfort for twenty seconds or so, it's the basis of what they do in physio anyway. I've got about a third of the movement and a quarter of the strength compared to my right wrist/hand so there is plenty of room for improvement. I need to massage the wrist four times a day to help with the swelling.

Back to see the wrist consultant in six weeks, another ten days for the elbow guy.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Three steps forard, one step back

Well another visit to the (fracture) clinic. More a tale of lack of joined up thinking in public transport than anything major to report as regards my elbow.

A web check on train times had given ten past the hour as departure time for Leeds, so I left work at five to and headed to the station. Only to find that the Leeds trains leave at twenty five past! Get into Leeds on the hour, but the train to Sheffield leaves at twenty five to, well one leaves at half-past but "you don't want that one - it stops at every station and visits a few you don't want to go to!". Quick(er) train taken I'm in Sheffield and have a bit of spare time to get lunch. The hourly bus service gets to the hospital with a couple of minutes to spare so it's a rush to get there in time, but running is somewhat awkward in sandals. I needn't have bothered - the waiting room is packed.

It's ten past FIVE when I eventually get to see the doctor! A few questions (both ways) with a bit of elbow manipulation thrown in and all of ten minutes later I'm on my way home. Progress is good apparently and I've to keep movement going and try to extend the range that I can use. It seems unlikely that I'll be able to ever fully straighten my elbow - "It's in the nature of elbow injuries" apparently. Asked about the likely length of time for recovery and it's stated "many weeks", questions about sporting activity are met with "erm …".

It's rush hour when I get out and rather than wait 30 minutes for the bus I decide to walk - it's as quick as the traffic for the first mile anyway. Then I'm on another bus route and get a ride to the station. Again a choice of slow or quick train, the slow one arrives first and rather than stand around for another twenty minutes I take it - I'll take the quick train next time! Fortunately the connection time at Leeds for the Skipton train is just a few minutes so a rush across the concourse gets me seated and at 8pm I get off the train to be met by Cath after a rather long day.

True to form, I somehow manage to tweek my elbow whilst sleeping and it's felt sore all day. Oh, well.

Repeat next week when hopefully the cast is removed.

Got the Bob Graham Club dinner on Saturday night so something different to look forward to.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

You were lucky

So back at work - at least sitting at work all day is better than sitting at home all day! I can do something even if it's at a slow pace and I have to stop periodically to lif my arm up to let the swelling in my fingers go down a bit - it's just the fact that there's so little movement in th arm that's the problem. There's a lot less pins and needles in my fingers as well now - they don't feefl as "sparkly" as my niece would say.

Of course a lot of time is spent explaining to my workmates what happened. The next thing they invariably say is "You were lucky, you could have broken your back or been killed" Which is actually quite a stupid thing to say. I could have been lucky and walked or hobbled away with few or no injuries at all. What happened, happened and once the hold broke with me in that particular position physics determined where and how I would land. The only possible variable was how tense I would be on landing - I know of an instance where someone decked out and tensed up on landing with the result that his thigh bones pushed through his pelvis, not good.

There's no point going back over events and saying to yourself "what if ...", it's happened and we can't turn back the clock and I just have to deal with things as they are.

A lot of the swelling has gone down - I can already get a finger or two down inside the new cast to scratch itches! As far as itches beyond the reach of my fingers go, all I can say is that happiness is a twelve inch plastic ruler! The wrist seems to be healing up quite well and I can flex my arm to maybe 45 degrees, though it's limited by the cast somewhat. Hopefully things will continue to improve over the coming weeks.

Patience groundthumper, patience.