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Lefty's coming along!!! (after a broken wrist)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I would never believe how long it would take to recover from a broken wrist, and I'm not there yet - not even driving yet - but I'm so happy to be making progress slowly but surely.

Just to backtrack... I broke my wrist while hiking the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota on Sunday September 29 - it was the day after a rain, I was going downhill, and the scenery was so beautiful I probably wasn't watching my step as I should - I unthinkingly put my left hand down to try to stop my fall, fell anyway and heard a snap. Because I'd been hiking in July with someone who did the same exact thing and broke her wrist, I had a pretty good idea of what I'd done. I walked probably 1/4 mile to a dirt road holding my left arm, waited for my photo-taking friend, and we hitched a ride to her car at the trailhead. Went to our resort reception desk who gave me some ice and rigged up a towel sling, and went to the emergency room 40 minutes up the road. They confirmed the broken wrist, put me in a half-cast/splint and after consulting with an orthopedist in Duluth, found I could just wait till I got home to get the full cast on.

On October 7 I went to the orthopedic doctor here - he 'realigned' some bones (ouch! major! - but better than needing surgery, I guess) and put on a full cast. A week later I went back for x-rays, and my bones still needed some tweaking (ouch!) so I got a 2nd full cast on then. The third week everything looked fine in the x-rays - yay, but I still had the cast on another month - and it went above my elbow and halfway across my hand, so I couldn't move anything - just wiggle a few fingers.

On November 12th, I got the cast off - and my poor arm looked weakened and exposed - hurt to do anything. But at least I could take a bath or shower normally again.

Went to the physical therapist on the 14th, who gave me some exercises, and said I should try using my hand in normal ways again - it would be the best thing to get the use of it back. Boy, did I hurt doing anything - I remember trying to put moisturizer on my face with my left hand - pretty amusing, like a 2-yr-old's work (could only use the tips of my fingers). I still couldn't put earrings in, tie my shoes, and it hurt so much at night I had to take pain drugs to sleep. I worked at the exercises, not seeing much progress and when I went back in a week, the physical therapist was really pleased at the progress I made (heck! I thought I was a failure). He had me continue the exercises for 2 weeks, and again I didn't see much progress with them, but I did manage tying my shoes (loosely) and putting in earrings and little things like that. So last Thursday when I went in, he did notice some progress (although I'm still far from making a fist) , and gave me some wrist-strength exercises. I go back a week from Thursday for possibly my last physical therapy. (which I'm really sad about!)

My hand still is always swollen, more when I use it a lot, or go for a walk or hike. It's a pain to sleep, cuz I like sleeping on my side, and have to make 'pillow accommodations' for my wrist, but not a pain enough to require drugs. I still take a bubble bath every morning which makes it feel better, and 'loosens' my muscles up for doing my pt exercises. I'm using my hand more, managed to open a door turning the doorknob with my left hand today, and even shaved my right armpit in the bathtub today without thinking I was using my 'bad' hand! I'm cooking, cutting veggies, but still have to call my husband when the pasta's done to drain the pot. Oh, and I can type 'normally' as you can see.

Working on that fist, and my strength exercises, and I'm slowly making progress. Maybe a fist for Christmas??

Then I think I can get back to exercise at the gym again - I've been walking every day, but its too much right now to walk to the gym, exercise, and come back. It will be so nice to drive again!! And my NEXT car will be an automatic!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Driving for Christmas? You should send a note to Santa. Glad you are feeling better. You will be showing off your amazing photos from those hikes before you know it. Listen to your body and take care of yourself.

    2233 days ago
  • TINA8605
    Glad to hear you're doing better. I fell of my porch 3 weeks ago and broke my foot. Showering is a pain in the....foot....yeah foot!. But I'm managing. It was a sad thanksgiving for me but at least I know all I broke was my foot. Keep healing!!
    2234 days ago
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