I am back from my wonderful hiking adventure with my Mom and will be spending the day with my awesome in laws today. They are truly great and I love them. I am thankful for all the wonderful family I have. Next week my favorite aunt and uncle are flying me to Vermont to spend a few days with them while I am in this waiting period for things to heal.
Update on my wrist: I had an OT appointment yesterday and they feel I am doing well. The scar tissue around the incision is loosening up and they are pleased with my range of motion. I have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, Dr Gay on Monday and if everything looks good I should be able to remove the splint and start working on moving the wrist.
My view on all this: Yes the scar tissue is loosening up but there are still lots of lumps and bumps to be worked out. I can defiantly do more with my right hand now (typing, opening a door knob, eating, writing, put hair in a pony tail), but none of it is comfortable or with ease. I still have a lot of stiffness in my fingers and it takes me a while to be able to move them comfortably through my exercises and that is still without full range of motion. The swelling in the wrist has gone down slightly but it still looks like a pipe to me. The pain I had in my rear deltoid muscle of my shoulder still bothers me if I raise my arm way above my head or across the front of my body. I do feel like myself again and am sleeping well and walking twice a day. I’ve managed to put back on a couple of pounds and should get the OK to start running again when I see the Dr on Monday.
I am thankful I have some many things to be thankful for. Wishing everyone the best. ~Amy
Yesterday when we stated hiking it was in the low 40’s only getting up to the mid 50’s. I was dressed warn enough except for my hands. It is impossible to get my mitten on my right hand because of the splint. So I just kept my right hand in my pocket most of the day, but it wasn’t enough. Once we got back to the car I couldn’t straighten some of my fingers because things had stiffened up so much. I can see the weather is really going to be a problem for me. I had trouble with cold hands and feet before the accident now I’m really going to have to be careful. Today I plan to put the mitten on first and the splint over it. I’m frustrated with all the stiffness in my hand. I have been great with doing my exercises and applying heat. My occupational therapy girls make it sound like things will improve more once I got the OK to remove the splint and start moving my wrist.
Mom as had some struggles out on the trail too. She has trouble with her feet on uneven ground. We have planned short hikes, but when she gets out there she is just loving it so much she doesn’t want to turn around. Yesterday when we got to our planned turn around point she wanted to keep going. So we agreed to hike on looking for a good spot to eat our lunch. Mom found a good spot with a log to sit on in the sun. So we enjoyed our beef stew which was no longer hot (old thermos). After lunch Mom still wanted to hike on but I suggested we hike back to where we started and if her feet still felt well we could do the other direction on the Bartram Trail. At the end I think she was glad we did. Her feet were really bothering her. I patted myself on the back for that decision. In the end we had gone 6 miles. The night before she said she didn’t want to go more than 5 miles because of her foot pain. Our actual hike planned for yesterday was 4 miles. What a good team we make taking care of each other. I love you, Mom. I’m glad you are enjoying hiking so much. I love being able to spend time with you doing something we both love. I just wish the arthritis wouldn’t bother you so much.
Today we hiked to Dick’s Creek Falls on the Chattooga River and it was really GRAND! You’ll have to ask me to see the video of it. We also hiked a small portion of the Bartram Trail again. The weather temperatures were about the same as yesterday, but it didn’t seem as cold. Maybe we were out of the wind more. Anyway I did wear my mitten under the splint, my hand stayed warm and at the end of the hike I could still straighten my fingers.
Today was a spectacular trail day. We completed about 6 miles on the Bartrum Trail from Becky Branch Falls to Martin Creek Falls.
The Bartram Trail is a 115 mile foot trail that extends from Northern Georgia into North Carolina. The trail offered so much today. It seemed to have many of the things I love from waterfalls, elevation challenges, green tunnels, footbridges, falling leaves, creeks and creek crossings as well smooth trail with minimal roots and rocks to walk on.
Becky Branch Falls had a footbridge directly in front of it and it was a beautiful sight.
Today started with having to wake these two lazy bums. They were so cute!
Then we were off to the…
to hike a small portion of the Chattooga National Wild and Scenic River Trail. The trail was great and very easy for me since I have to be really careful. I have a new appreciation for using 2 trekking poles when hiking, since I am currently just using one. It is much easier to use 2 rather than one. I did have one obstacle to climb over today. A fallen tree on the trail that trail maintainers are still working on to remove.
We stopped for lunch along the river and were able to see some of the rapids that are popular with kayakers.
It was truly a very beautiful day with great weather and beautiful views. Plus I just love to go for a walk in the woods. We hiked about 9 miles today and are thinking of just doing a shorter day tomorrow. Mom’s feet are aching and Berkley is exhausted.
So what does one do when they start to feel better? Well since I have a broken wrist on the mend and I cannot work and I have all this time on my hands while waiting for things to heal. So I decided to go HIKING! Yes I am currently in North Georgia. I know call me “crazy”. I talked Mom into going since I am still not driving, but I bet I will be driving soon. I am making improvements everyday. We left this morning at 1:40am and were hiking the many waterfalls of Tallulah Gorge State Park by 10:30am.
Things really turned around for me yesterday. My arm no longer is sore from the tourniquet and my wrist is improving. I’m even able to sleep some on my right side and use two hands to pull up my pants. Ah such little things, but worthy of getting excited over! I’m able to grasp some things with my right hand and even lift very light things. I have been working hard on my exercises and even woke up a little sore this morning from the hard workout I did last night. It seems weird calling my workout hard when it consists of just wiggling my fingers and thumb, but it defiantly wasn’t easy.
Well my third splint isn’t so great. It is still causing me a lot of pain. When I try to move my fingers it just causes everything in my arm to flex and the splint feels like a vice grip on sore bones. It has been almost 4 weeks since surgery and I wish I could say things were better. Progress is very slow coming. I am continuing to do my exercises at least 3 times daily, but each time I start I have to work through the stiffness that has build back up. I can actually feel the stiffness of the tendons in my fingers pulling as I try to move them. I do have a couple of new exercises to work on. Since my thumb is in a parallelized state and I can’t get it up to hitch hike (which you need to be able to do on a thru-hike), this is one of the new exercises. Get that thumb up! The next is to be able to rotate my arm from the elbow into a palm up position. I can’t believe I can’t do this, the other arm rotates so easily. I have a long haul ahead of me. My last occupational therapist said it would most likely be a year until I got all my strength back. They paint a must more realistic picture than the Dr did. In all truthfulness I only asked the Dr when I would be able to go back to work not when I would be 100%. So when I do make it back to work it sound like I will experience quite a bit of pain and swelling.
On a better note my back and shoulder are better and I no longer need daily massages to make it through the day. I’m even sleeping through the night on a regular basis now. I just wish these advances were coming faster.
I have adapted really well to using my left hand for everything. I can even write with it and ate with chopsticks last night. I still can’t drive or cut my own food, but for the most part I am self sufficient.
I get asked a lot if I am bored and I have to say a definite NO! After working almost 6 days a week for the last couple of years my house kind of reminds me of Sanford and Son… junk everywhere!
I’m hoping this is a hint of things to come. My nights have been getting better. I’ve even completely slept through one night so far. I was so excited I woke Jim up at 5am just to till him. He just mumbled something I couldn’t quite understand. I’m in less pain with my shoulder and back and it’s mostly just sore to the touch now.
I had another visit with the occupational therapist today. I had my third splint made. The splints have been painful and I am unable to wear them correctly. They had been pressing on the wrist bones and I can’t stand to have anything touching the bones. The OT girls have been really great with me. My new splint is not painful, but it is also not comfortable. I think this is going to be as good as it gets and I just need to suck it up. Since I was the only one in the OT room today I was able to talk to the therapist more about my treatment. We will continue with massage, exercising and stretching the fingers until week 6. Then I will start wrist movement for the following two weeks then at week 8 I will start with strengthening my grip. The Dr guessed I would be able to go back to work at 8 weeks so I’m hoping he is right. That is what I have told my employers. I also asked about the swelling because my wrist looking like a round pipe without any shape to it at all and she said the swelling can last 6 months. WHAT???
My days have been improving. Less pain in my shoulder and back. My nights on the hand are 50/50 and last night was a bad one. I must have shifted into a bad position while I was sleeping and woke up in a lot of pain. I did some pacing of the house then ended up on the couch. My sweetheart Jim brought me pillows and a blanket and got me as comfortable as I could get. Then he proceeds to lay down on the floor next to me so he could be right there if I need anything. Now while I am on the couch and my husband is laying on the floor the dog has the whole king size bed to himself!
I am really amazed how debilitating this surgery has been for me. Last night Mom walked with me for the first time and I was having a hard time keeping up with her. The faster I walk the faster I swing my arms and the blood really starts to pool in my fingers which causes a lot of pressure and pain in the wrist. I paid the price this morning the hand was really stiff and I had a hard time going through my hand exercises. Currently my exercises just consist of moving the fingers and making a fist. I’m not allowed to move the wrist at all. It is really humbling having to ask Mom to slow down for me and trying to work through these very simple hand exercises that I can’t even do completely. I can’t even make a fist with my hand. Hopefully time and exercise will heal me completely. I’ve included a link below of the surgery I had done so you can watch it and see what was done to my hand. This is not me but it is basically what was done. Just having this surgery done two weeks ago I couldn’t full watch this video. I started to get a little queasy and could only do periodic glances at it.
I have figured some things out on this blog and have found that you can follow me. At the bottom of the page you should see a button that says follow. If you click on it and enter your email address you will get an email message every time I post an update.