Monday, February 28, 2011

Atrophy

   I am afraid of atrophy.  If you take a perfectly well person and put him in the hospital for a week he will become sick, weak from doing nothing.  I once broke my left hand, rather stupidly I smash it with a small heavy hammer wielded by by right hand! It was place in a cast for six weeks and everyone said when it was removed that, for a while I wouldn't be able to use it.  The inactivity makes the muscles weak, useless.
Every day, within the confines of the cast I would move my fingers a little tiny bit.  Little tiny exercises, but they grew bigger each day.  At the end of the six weeks my cast was pretty much mush, no longer the hard plaster trapping my hand into immobility.  It was easy to tear off, almost like removing a glove, and within two days I was back at work, hammering again!
     Now my hand, the right one this time, is in a cast of broken nerves.  At its worst, while in the thick of "chemo", this ABVD cocktail my Voodoo doctors so happily prescribed, my hand seemed paralyzed, no longer a hand really but a dysfunctional and deformed lump at the end of my arm.  It is actually worse than that.  I want to say "badder" so bad so you will begin to understand!  It is like stirring a bucket full of cut glass, maybe one with electrodes in it because there are about a million electrical shocks, all the time!
    I exercise it daily. Not for ten minutes but all the time, every waking hour.  It hurts a lot and I wear my rabbit fur lined gloves which softens every sensation.  Sometimes I would like to sit with my hands in my lap,
gently holding one to the other, an attempt at suspension of sensation.  This does not stop the pain and sometimes does exactly the opposite, manipulating the focus to where I don't want it.
    There is so much to do.  I am not a good member of the audience and life should not be a spectator sport.
So everyday I use this hand and it is getting stronger.  I can make a fist and pick up big things with it now.
I still can't button my shirts or pick up a quarter, but I notice improvement.  There is no improvement to the pain, that might be the gift I get to keep.  In little increments I am learning to ignore it, putting the focus on what I want to do not on what I can't.
My other blog is Here.

2 comments:

  1. 15 years ago I broke my elbow falling on ice. It was in a cast for a week before it was even operated on, because of the high demand of people who broke bones that day. When the cast was finally removed after it was set and healed, I couldn't unbend my elbow. Lots of physical therapy, and my therapist said the more pain the better...so I was always moaning and groaning as I did my little stretch exercises for thumb, fingers, wrist, elbow and arm. After therapy my elbow still had a slight bend to it which my doctor said I would have to live with. No way!!! Who wants to walk around with one short and one long arm! Talked to therapist and had a splint put on it that I wore at night, that literally was tightened ever so often to pull my elbow straighter. I firmly believe exercise works wonders, but your pain...I'm so sorry about that. Must be very difficult to live with.

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