Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Wrist - Part Two

Last week, I told you about my adventures with a painful wrist.

Oh, that was such a fun weekend! I was tired, in pain and bored! I could do almost nothing without pain.

If you’ve never had an injury to your non dominant hand or wrist, you just don’t realize how much you really do use it until you can’t use it.

There are all kinds of things that are harder – or next to impossible to do. Pulling up underwear or pants with only one hand. Putting on a bra or any top with sleeves Squeezing the shampoo bottle. Opening a jar. Holding a knife or anything else for that matter! I mouse with my right hand. I use the remote and even dial the phone with my right hand! I couldn’t hold a book – let alone turn the pages. Even doing my regular eye drops requires both hands. Removing a child proof cap from a bottle – now THAT was fun! Oh, and a word to the gals out there – don’t attempt to shave the underarms with an injured wrist! Trust me - it is beyond painful!

Monday morning, I was up by 6:30. I’d slept a bit better and the wrist was not nearly as sore or warm to the touch as it had been. I did most of my stretches, showered, had breakfast and headed out by 8:30. Using the buses wasn’t too bad but I had to be careful as I generally use my right hand to hold the railing as I get on. I also tend to open doors with my right hand. Not that day!

I saw a triage nurse who then called in a doctor. They had me do a number of movements to see where it hurt or was tender. My dexterity had improved but I showed them how bad it had been. Between them, they thought it was either a pinched nerve or tendonitis. That was better than carpal tunnel or bursitis. They said to continue the icing as that was helping and to limit movement – especially on the PC for the next few days! The doc also wrote a script for an anti inflammatory and a wrist/hand brace.

Once I started the anti inflammatory meds and continued with the icing, things started to improve fairly quickly.

I wasn’t thrilled about being off the computer. I missed playing my games and I wanted to write! But, of course I knew I had to behave or it would take even longer to heal!

The real test of the wrist came on the Wednesday morning. I needed groceries – including a 4L jug of milk and fresh fruit. It actually went fairly smoothly – I just had to keep reminding myself not to lift the basket – or anything heavy with the right hand! I made it home in one piece and iced the wrist after I’d put the groceries away and cleaned up the produce.

I decided to push the envelope a bit and do laundry. Rather than carry it down to the laundry room in one big pile in one trip, I took my two loads down separately so it wouldn’t be as heavy. By the time I was done, I was tired but the wrist wasn’t too bad. I iced it off and on most of the afternoon to be safe.

It was Thursday before I returned to doing full stretches and even attempted a workout. It felt so good to get that routine back! Also felt great to be back on the PC for more than five minutes to check my email! I didn’t overdo it though.

By Friday – one week after the start of the wrist problem – things were more or less back to normal. I even made a batch of my homemade buns!

The weekend went smoothly – including another day trip to the family farm. I did minimal lifting and iced the wrist when I got back.

This past week has been almost normal movement with some caution thrown in for good measure! I’m back to full regular workouts and even managed to move a few heavier items while cleaning the apartment - without any problems.

Now, just over two weeks since the problem started, life is pretty much back to normal.

I’m not taking my recovery for granted though. I’ve bought some over the counter anti inflammatory meds to have on hand. This coming week, I’ll be getting the right hand thumb splint that the doctor wrote a script for. I’ll use it when needed. The doctor also gave me a print out with some exercises to do once things had cleared up – to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I’ll be doing those on a regular basis. I don’t want to go through that kind of pain or the frustration of that kind of injury again anytime soon!


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