I’ve had two sessions this week with my occupational therapist to try to get more mobility in my injured hand. My sessions are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. The route to the OT takes us past the Bay, which is very beautiful. The look of the water changes daily–and sometimes hourly. Sometimes the water is as calm and still as a mirror, sometimes it is turbulent. Sometimes it looks blue, or gray, or even green. Yesterday the water was a turbulent emerald green. There is still a lot of ice covering the East Bay, as seen in the photo above this post. The West Bay had less ice as in this video I took yesterday. The water is actually more emerald than it appears in the photo or video.
When I first arrive at the therapist’s, may hand is wrapped in moist heated towels for 15 minutes to warm up the ligaments and may them more flexible. On Tuesday while the warm towels on my hand, I looked out the window. I suddenly realized that while the elevator has buttons for three floors, the building actually only had TWO floors (not counting the ground floor). I quoted, “Well, that’s timey wimey, wibbly wobbly” because it reminded me of a Doctor Who episode called “The Lodger” in which a house that appeared to have two floors in reality only had one. It was an alien thing. On the way out of the building, I quickly took two photos as evidence,and I took a third on Thursday of the front of the building.
The photos are a touch blurry because I didn’t have much time and I was still feeling a bit wibbly wobbly because, uh, I got faint during my session.
Most long-sleeved shirts and coats have tight-fitting cuffs that makes it difficult to easily get a cast or splint through so I have been wearing loose t-shirts. I have only one coat with a sleeve that I can get my injured hand through. It’s actually a jacket, and not warm enough for our wintry weather, so when I go anywhere, I wear one of a few loose-cuffed sweatshirts that I own over my t-shirt and under the jacket.. The hand surgery/therapy office is rather warm so usually I take off the jacket and sweatshirt when I arrive. However, Tuesday I got my splinted hand through a slightly tighter-cuffed sweatshirt which was more of a hassle to get on/off, so I kept it on at the therapist’s. During the session, I suddenly told the OT, “I am getting overheated. I really need to get my sweatshirt off.” She helped me get it off, but by that time I was feeling very faint. I put my head down on the table and she got me some cool cloths that she placed on the back of my neck, while reassuring me–as medical staff all do–that people often faint. I estimate that it took at least 10 minutes until I felt well enough to continue the therapy–and then I felt a bit wibbly wobbly for a couple of hours afterward. Ugh. Fainting is so embarrassing.
EJ picked me up from JJ’s apartment. On the way home, we stopped at TSC for some pet supplies. I also bought a couple bags of jelly beans. I love jelly beans, and always try to buy a bag or two at this time of year. At TSC, I discovered “Cherry Lover’s Jelly Beans.” They are heart-shaped, Kosher, and have 9 different cherry flavors. They are very yummy and my new favorite. I especially like the chocolate cherry ones.
Thursday morning JJ told me he wasn’t feeling well. He said that he’d try to take me to my therapy later in the afternoon, but he was having issues that required staying near a toilet, so I contacted EJ and he was able to leave work early to take me. I was glad that he could sit in on one of my sessions and meet my therapist.
My therapist–her name is Kate–just oozes kindness, compassion, and gentleness. We always chat while she works with my hand. Yesterday we chatted about my ducks and chickens–and a little about spiders. Kate gave my hand quite a workout–the most intensive so far. I faithfully do the exercises she gives me at home, but it’s difficult for me to stretch my ligaments as much as she can. I try hard, but I tend to stop at “ouch”–I don’t have the skill to know how far I can stretch my hand. Kate doesn’t exercise my hand to the point of pain, but she does go a touch beyond “ouch.” It’s important to stretch the ligaments. EJ commented that he was surprised that my hand was still swollen and she replied “Don’t be surprised.” Apparently, it’s normal. Kate took all the usual measurements at the beginning and end of my session, and I am making improvement in mobility. She said that the goal is not to have huge improvements, but to gain gradual improvement. Despite my exercises at home, I lose a little mobility between sessions (which is normal), and I always do better at the end of a session with her than at the beginning (also normal), but gradually I am increasing mobility so that I start a session able to do more than I could do at the end of earlier visits.
I learned my lesson and on Thursday I wore a sweater that I could easily take off when I arrived at the OT office. I didn’t faint this time.
I haven’t really examined the incision on the inside of my hand because….ew, yuck. However, I have taken quick glances at it and the other day I took a photo of it–with my eyes mostly not looking at my incision. During my first visit with the surgeon after my surgery, I asked her if 1. I would have a scar, 2. if the metal plate in my wrist would set off metal detectors, and 3. what would happen if it did. The surgeon told me that I would have only a slight scar. She said that at one time the metal plates did set off metal detectors, but then they turned the sensitivity on the detectors down a bit and some of her patients have been telling her that after about six months they don’t set off detectors. She said that if the detectors are set off, the guards look for the scar and run their wand over the arm. I thought that was interesting.
After we left the therapist, we went to Meijers to buy a couple of items for JJ to help him feel better. We dropped the bag off at JJ’s apartment and then drove home. Hannah Joy is always excited to see us when we get home. I think she gets bored and misses us when we are gone because she gets into things–like food left on the counter, or a paper towel (which she loves to eat) left out, and so on. This time we only found a destroyed paper plant and pieces of one paper towel so we are getting better at putting things away before we leave.
Hannah loves to sleep on our laps. This is a video I took when I tried to wake her up so I could get up and go check on our supper. She really didn’t want to wake up. LOL.