Monday, May 18, 2015

Excerpt 15- Chapter 15 of My ArmOr

Soon after, I entered the next statement into FB. “While talking to PT about my slow arm reuse, I said; ‘I'm not taking this lying down- anymore.  I can do it all from that position but I can't go through life on my back- I'm not that kind of girl.’  My DR agrees with my assessment and wants me to move my therapy upright to force the gravity and strength building to work for my better cure.”
By mid-December 2009, I went to PT and this guy who is not progressing was telling off his aide. He said he did the same ranting and raving to his DR, yesterday. I can relate to that pity party at times. It seems like just yesterday, for me. It was!

Facing It- Who Was Delusional?

For the first time since my fall at the park, I took a trip- a good one as my Facebook journal reveals.  Before my flight to the Keys, I’d seen the doctor and all he said to do was build your strength and looking good. So, I equated new exercises to progress regardless of my stagnating numbers or measurements.  Before I left for Key West, my PT asked if I’d pack my exercise pole. My remark, “I’m sure I can find a witch in the islands and borrow her broomstick!”  In reality, everyone rides bikes and mopeds.  Plus, I’m not brazen enough to talk to a witch.  So, I had to use Julie’s camera tripod.
I narrated the trip, “On Saturday, Julie and I flew, after plane delays due to blizzards, to meet my hubby and his step father in the Keys. We late lunch after an abrupt landing on a short runway and mobile stairs at that small airport.  After, we walked and walked then ate waterside, again.”
“That Sunday, we ate with the chickens at Blue Heaven in memory of Grandma Helen; we always went here with her; it is on the last page of her personal history book.  That same day, Julie & her step-grandfather biked meeting James and his spirit of Christmas bike.” My kid learned that James decorates his bike and places a boom box on it to sing about the miracles of His Lord’s birthday.  Then, nightly, he tours the tourist filled streets spreading his Christian joy. I snapped a picture of him.
My husband and I walked and walked while shopping. We did Mallory Square with no truly spectacular sundown show due to the clouds.  My husband, daughter, and I are going to Dry Tortugas, tomorrow! Wondering about weather- or not to go!”
“That Monday, we went to the Dry Tortugas, an island you can only reach by ferry; it was a fort built by the Union to protect the Gulf of Mexico. Rough seas and cloudy weather made my hubby seasick after forty-five minutes of the roller coaster ride; half the ship got ill. But, the fort had nice areas to explore; it’s too bad it was too chilly and rough to snorkel.”
By December 30, after returning home, my life had not resumed enough to normal so my Facebook took on some broken record features, Wow, this year flew! Time flies even when you're not having fun so I suggest having fun.”

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Excerpt 14- Chapter 15 of My ArmOr

This was written later, “Friday was too busy to bring my computer up! Decorating for the holidays starting with the tree; my daughter and Hubby did the top part while I supervised.  I did the lower part with the grandbaby. Saturday, the goals are to put up the Christmas village and finish decorating outdoors. Then, I’ll resume my normal routine including arm and shoulder therapy on schedule for a change. Possibly, I’ll get the chance to see my aunt; she moved closer to my neighborhood after her husband died about fifteen weeks ago.”
My FB comments on Sunday, November 29, 2009 follows, “Our decorations are up; the Santa lists are sent; we’re ready for a new year. Maybe, we’ll get one better than this one since this year we lost Grandma Helen then I lost the use of my arm but mine is a less permanent condition. UGH!”
On November 30, I told my Physical Therapist, “I worked my shoulder so hard with exercises and Christmas decorations that I feel like I have tennis elbow and need to consider taking up that sport.”
“She laughed saying, ‘Many patients develop elbow pain related to the shoulder!’ ”
“I sang ‘The toe bone eventually is connected to the collar bone.’  Another patient arrived complaining about her elbow; we laughed at the timing of her comments!”
By December 2009, new complaints arrived in FB, “I can always tell when I have a new exercise because new areas of my left arm get tender for a few days as new muscles and tendons kick into gear.  I've been fighting an illness since Tuesday, so I sat in front of our tree trying hard to resist the urge to move certain ornaments to different locations. LOL!”
This part was written the next day,Friday, I was too mad to write!  It is so frustrating because I cannot live my life lying down where lifting the arm every direction isn't hard or impossible to do.  After a brief pity party, I started my new exercises with new aches as different muscle groups kicked in!”
I added to my entries a few days later, “Suddenly, like a straightjacket, one of my arm muscle groups froze up on the seventh repetition of an exercise.  It was muscle spasms from ones not heard from in fifteen plus weeks; my therapist indicated the source of the pain while watching my left arm as I tried to finish ten repetitions. Yeah!  She massaged the arm telling me to work through the spasms because they signaled revived hope.” It remained unspoken but she felt the hope of getting my left arm above the shoulder line diminished with each passing week but this new development though painful was good news.
All I want for Christmas is my two arms front and forward as well as uplifting experiences from my two arms in unison!!!!!  I don't know if it’s wishful thinking but my arm appears to be at my shoulder instead of below it, now. I hope so; I see my DR Thursday.” My PT measured me for that appointment; it was an illusion! I cried all night.
My humor always returned within days, Today, my arm was so tired at PT; I commented to my therapist, ‘Next time, I’m falling on my boobs; there’s more padding there and less possibility of breaking something.’ ”

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Excerpt 13- Chapter 15 of My ArmOr

Facing It- More Melancholy

As I become ‘Gloomy Gus,’ other things brought me to tears with laughter, “There was a funny moment at PT; another shoulder patient gave me directions on how to use the tension straps.  Then, he sat down nearby to bench press from his shoulder.  He read the instructions, ‘Tuck chin!’ Then, loudly, he asked his PT, ‘Which one? I have more than one chin!’ ” Jesting and interacting with other patients helps relieve the tension from my realities.
Even so, I felt damned at times. By mid-November, I’m anise to have full range of motion while standing. My left arm's goal used to be being able to pick up my grandbaby after her birth.  Now, I'm hoping to be able to pick her up one day before she reaches puberty. I'm going to need to buy a truck or borrow my other son-in-law's, maybe? To do that pick up, I mean!” I am realizing daily that my progress is way too slow to be natural.  Something is going wrong, and my soul senses it before anyone formally tells me.
Yesterday, I felt blue while thinking about holidays and my injury because my arm is stuck below my shoulder. I went to see my grandbaby #1. During my home based Physical Therapy, she did some exercise with me. When she got bored, she became my coach. As I did my routine, she'd scream while jumping, ‘Awesome, grandma!’ After twenty repetitions of ten or more exercises, she announced, ‘I'm going to eat my chicken nuggets; I need an apple juice.’ She wanted a nap, too! Want to borrow her when you feel discouraged?” Tenacity takes over my therapy, too.  “In reference to my shoulder or collar bone; my arm is supposed to be able to rise above it.”  However, it still won’t!
On November 20: Grandbaby #2 arrived. Finally, some good news!
My Facebook journal continued, “I had a substitute therapist, yesterday.  He asked if I knew my prognosis. No, I didn’t. He read my chart showing me how high the DR expected my arm to get or about my shoulder level. Then, I started my stretching exercises with assisted lifts; that therapist blurted out, ‘You're going to surpass that goal because I see full range of motion during passive exercises. You just need more strength building.’ ” That’s my hope and prayer.
My thoughts are sidetracked by our newest family member, grandbaby #2.  Our newborn came home in the afternoon; granddaughter #1 glowed with a smile as she took her first peek into the car seat to see her little sister.”  The next day, I added,I’m being lazy recovering from all the excitement! Also, started Christmas shopping; really I did!”
Referring to my arm way back in August 2009, I added to Facebook, Wow! When I first fell I thought, ‘Set it then forget it!’ BUT, weeks later, it’s slower than molasses therapy! Ugh!”
My humor never fell or failed me, “Due to my injury, I feel European- at least my armpits do. LOL!”  My arm stayed too close to my body to shave under it.  The other arm had no help so it remained hairy as well.
What am I thankful for? That they didn’t amputate my left arm way back in September.  What do I worry about?  My arm never going above my shoulder!  “Happy Holidays to all!  And to all, a good night before the busy cooking day!  Thanksgiving is Happy Turkey Day! Be sure to eat plenty of sweets because you are what you eat, and we all need to counter balance the turkey in us.”  Laughter is the best medicine or at least a good distraction during traumatic realities.  I’ll be more thankful when I can lift the left arm into the air.  This guy at rehab keeps pretending; he always jests raising the wrong arm and saying, ‘High Five!’ I respond ‘Even better if we can High Ten.’ ” My dream and goals are summed up in that last entry.

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