Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What we take for granted ...

I had a nasty fall in January and broke the greater tuberosity of my left humerus, can you see it?

Does this help?

The shoulder joint is the most complex one in the body, one that involves many movements, and needless to say, the recovery has been extremely difficult, and in fact, at times, excruciatingly painful. I am only just now off pain meds, eight weeks later.

So now that I'm finally out of my sling, I am deep in physiotherapy to increase my shoulder's range of motion (everything "locked up" to protect the bone) and have recently started strength exercises with one and three pound weights. Yes, you read that right! One and three pound weights. Still can't pull my car door shut nor my fridge door open with my left arm and don't dare push, pull or carry anything, even my purse. The bone needs another month to harden ...

The six weeks I was in my sling was a real eye-opener as I suddenly became one-armed.

It was difficult to get dressed and wash myself, and in general, take care of myself. I couldn't hold my toast properly to spread things on it. I couldn't chop up food. I still can't open a new water bottle since my left arm is not strong enough to tolerate the torque necessary to remove the cap. I couldn't sleep well or maneouvre around easily, the pain and discomfort was absolutely horrible.

While I was in my sling, I had to type with one hand, which I, a 60 wpm typist, found excruciatingly slow. I poured half the bottle of shampoo on my head the first time I washed my hair by myself ... this I rectified the next time by pouring shampoo on my leg and swooping it up quickly with my right hand, once freed of the bottle.

I gave up trying to lather my right arm, shoulder and back properly but discovered that I could rub body lotion on my right side by first putting some on my leg and then bending over, twisting my right arm and shoulder all over it. Discouraged that I could no longer put my hair in a ponytail, I learned to use my right arm and hand with the aid of a table to put my hair into a clip.

Now I'm two-handed again and I am thrilled that I have my *mobility* back. Full recovery is many weeks away ... lots of physio appointments and exercises still to go but I can type with both hands again. I can cook too. I have now removed the extra pillow that propped my shoulder up in bed, locking me into one position, and am slowly readapting to sleeping in other positions, within my pain limit.

I still can't scrape the ice off my car but I am happy that I can do up my coat, now that my slinged arm is no longer in the way. I'm relieved that I've got my balance back and can walk around outside without risk of losing my balance and falling on the snow and ice that was present during the past months.

But all these difficulties I encountered don't mean a thing in the grand perspective of life except to show me to embrace what I am able to do. Take a look at this video about Nick Vujicic, a man born without any limbs ... incredible and inspirational!

I am on the road to a full recovery and back to blogging, yay! If you can, try not to break your shoulder now, my dear readers ...

"Don't ask yourself and see what you don't have, see what you do have ..."
- Nick Vujicic

Life is too precious ...

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"If you lose your way, I will help you find it."