Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Wrist’

Yesterday I “graduated” from physical therapy. That’s what they kept calling it so even though I think it sounds strange I’m going to call it that too. I even got a tee shirt!

Untitled

As I wrote about a little over a week ago I am so happy I decided to go to physical therapy. I honestly can’t imagine where I would be without having gone. My scar would be huge and lumpy and I’d be wondering why my wrist procedure, which was supposed to be so easy, was still causing me pain more than two months later. But now I know that’s normal. And that surgeons lie.

Anyway, I couldn’t have nicer things to say about Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. I went to the Chelsea location, but judging how well run this one is I’m going to assume the rest are just as good. My physical therapist, Shereen, and her student Donna, were both fantastic. Shereen really listened to me and advised me to do or not to certain things and changed the exercises I was to do that day based on how I was feeling. The two ATCs trainers I worked with, Rose Ann and Stephane, were both fantastic as well. And the rest of the staff all seemed to get along and feel really passionately about treating their patients.

I never felt rushed and I often found myself wishing the sessions were longer because everyone was so much fun to chat with. I’ve been to two other physical therapy places, when I hurt my ankle 2.5 years ago and at the beginning of this year when the third doctor I saw thought I had torn a muscle. The place I went for my ankle was in a hospital and the people who worked there were not friendly. Not even a little friendly. I didn’t feel like they had any interest in how I felt or what I wanted to achieve, they just wanted to do what they had to do and be done. That hospital has since gone out of business.

The place I went earlier this year for my wrist had a very nice physical therapist and other staff, but it wasn’t a particularly modern place. And I never felt like it was working, because it wasn’t, but that’s not the fault of the physical therapist.

Professional couldn’t have been more different. Shereen made it her mission to get me back to kickboxing and she had me do movements that would mimic some of the things we did in kickboxing and she gave me stretches to do after kickboxing that would compliment kickboxing movements. Judging from the clientele at Professional I would say that they cater more to younger, athletic people. In the previous places I went for physical therapy it seemed to be older people who broke their hips or whatever. But Professional seemed to work more with younger people who had specific things they wanted to get back to doing. Also, the therapists and trainers seemed to be fully up on the latest research and activities.

Untitled

Untitled

Plus the space itself is great. As a hand patient I never needed to get changed so I can’t vouch for the locker rooms or bathrooms, but the rest of the space was very clean and organized. They had rooms along one side with tables and curtains that pulled shut so that patients can be treated in privacy, some treatment tables in the main area, and then various machines and open space for people to do exercises. I loved sitting and watching what other people were doing.

One bad thing. They screwed up my billing. I was told I didn’t have a copay and I tried to tell them I did numerous times, but they kept saying I didn’t. Now they tell me I did have a copay for all those sessions and I owe them $200.

I was very sad when Shereen told me yesterday would be my last day (she had told me a few weeks ago). I’m very happy my wrist is getting better and that I’m pretty much able to do everything I want to do, but I’ll miss the lovely people at Professional and the massages. Definitely the massages.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

My Wrist: An Update

I thought it was time to do an update on my wrist. It’s been almost two months since I had the surgery, about 6 weeks since I got the splint off, more than a month since I did an update, and three weeks since I started going back to kickboxing. Overall I feel really good. I can do pretty much everything I want to do, although there is some pain.

Untitled

In kickboxing the only two things that I haven’t been able to do are going from forearms and toes to a push-up position and a right side plank with a fully extended arm. When we do the forearms and toes to push-up I just stay in forearms and toes and when we do right side planks I do them on my forearm with my elbow bent. Neither of those modifications cause any pain.

I also don’t feel comfortable doing a real straight-arm push-up, but I think that’s more to do with a lack of conditioning rather than my injury/surgery.

The fact that I’m not back to 100% does bother me. When I originally had the surgery the doctor said about six weeks until I was 100% and then when I got the splint off he said if I went to physical therapy it would take two weeks off of that. Almost two months later and I haven’t found that to be true.

I am afraid of having wrist pain for the rest of my life. The physical therapist says I have a particularly lumpy scar and she says the pain that I’m still having (a kind of shooting numbness that goes up my thumb) is probably caused by a nerve getting stuck on the scar. It’s not a terrible pain, I don’t know if I would even call it uncomfortable, but it’s bothersome.

Honestly, I can’t imagine not having gone to physical therapy, it’s been so helpful. (And I’m going to do a full PT write-up when I’m finally done.) Without the stretches and massages I don’t think I ever would have pushed myself enough. Not to mention that my scar would still be huge!

I suppose I really can’t complain. There were no complications, I’m like 95% back to living my regular life, and I’m pretty happy. I just have this weird nagging feeling that it’s never going to be 100%, but that’s probably my anxious personality speaking.

Read Full Post »

Back to Kicking Ass

Untitled

Not really. Well, I kicked a heavy bag’s ass.

I WENT BACK TO KICKBOXING TODAY!!!

I haven’t been since the first week of February and I’m not going to lie, I was expecting it to kill me. BUT IT DIDN’T!!!

I haven’t been that diligent about working out. I’ve tried to run three times/week, during the few weeks where I knew I didn’t have a muscle or tendon tear I tried to do weights, but really I pretty much took it easy on the workouts.

Earlier this week I tried to do a pushup (on my toes) and it was like I was lifting a million pounds. So I didn’t have much hope for the high intensity pushup/squat thrust/burpee-filled kickboxing class.

The physical therapist said I could go to kickboxing as long as I didn’t actually punch the bag, I did any pushup-like movement on my fists, and if anything hurt I stopped. I had originally planned to go to the downstairs area of the gym since it’s usually emptier and I figured I could go more at my own speed. But I ended up staying upstairs. Which was fine, but I definitely felt competitive with the people around me.

Every class starts with three minutes of jumping rope, which I got through pretty easily although I felt like I was going at a bit of a slower speed than I used to do. The stretching was fine (felt great actually); we did some pushups, which I did on my fists and my knees which were actually good; then we did a squat thrust and the movement really hurt my wrist so I tried it on my fist and that was better.

Once we started working on the bag I realized I could punch with my left hand and just shadow box with my right, which worked well throughout the class. A few times I misjudged my distance and ended up lightly punching the bag, which was uncomfortable, but not painful. Hooks and uppercuts were more painful than jabs and crosses.

Eventually the pushups and squat thrusts started to bother my wrist so when the class did them I would just hold a plank (not painful) or do some jumping jacks.

Overall I felt really good. I held forearms and toes planks for the prescribed times, I did the tough ab set at the end, and I didn’t want to die at the end. I could definitely feel the intense workout in my legs walking home, but it’s obviously so worth it.

I had originally hoped to go tomorrow morning too, but I think it’s best to take the weekend off and head back Monday night. No need to overdo it, the last thing I want is another injury.

But I’m back, woooo!!!!!!!!!

Read Full Post »

My Wrist: A Week Later

Missed the backstory? See here and here to catch up!

It’s been a week since I got the splint/cast thing off my wrist. Honestly, I can’t believe how fast the scar is healing.

mosaicd95980d41ed06c543651165e0d7023bcbaf9af92 (1)

That’s from last Thursday to Wednesday.

I think a big help has been the vitaman E oil I’ve been obsessively rubbing into the scar.

mosaicd1c4c93f32d4b20a4b5c2cd6b8d8ba77c27d7f14

It was recommended by my physical therapist and I’ve been massaging the scar with the oil all week. I think it’s definitely helping break up the scar tissue.

As I’ve mentioned I went to my first physical therapy session last Friday. I met with the physical therapist, who oddly enough turned out to be the same physical therapist who was shadowing my surgeon the first time I went. She has a student working with her and I gave my history to the student and the student was mainly the one who helped me, under the physical therapist’s supervision.

They took some measurements, my right wrist was swollen and I had much less range of motion compared to my left, but my grip was still stronger in my right (dominant) hand. After that they did some massaging, which hurt like all hell, and then had me do some exercises. Following the exercises they did some more massaging and also some stretching of the joint, which felt great.

I got sent home with the following exercises:

mosaicf8855348f1d3951b05375f0ae4de68eff6cd00de

I’ve been doing them every morning and I can definitely see/feel improvement. Yesterday I was able to (briefly) hold myself in a full plank. Last week the idea of putting any weight on my right wrist like that made me feel like it would snap into two. I’ll admit that part of me is frustrated at not being able to do EVERYTHING yet, but then I remind myself it’s only been a week.

The only bad thing about physical therapy so far has been the bruises after my first session.

mosaic129996cfa59dbe8a14a794ff78b3329815bbb3e4

My wrist felt great, but I could barely touch my right forearm. I guess it helped because the muscles have been much looser, but damn, breaking up those muscles was PAINFUL.

I went back to physical therapy this past Monday. They again heated it, did a massage (more gentle this time), and then we did exercises. Some of the same ones as above, but also a couple of other ones. I had to form a piece of putty into a meatball with just my right hand (hard) and this other contraption that was a ball with 5 elastic bands coming off of it and at the end of each band was a ring for each of my fingers and my thumb. I had to stretch it out and then squeeze it together, this was hard, but I thought the putty was worse. After the exercises they iced my forearm and wrist, so cold!

The only strange feeling, besides the tightness, has been a tingling. Sometimes when the nerve is compressed it gets tingly. It’s a weird feeling but the physical therapist says it’s normal.

I have my next physical therapy appointment tomorrow, hopefully they’ll think I’m making good progress.

Read Full Post »

My Wrist II

Untitled

My hand is free!!

I realize I’ve been kind of dramatic about my wrist cast/wrap thing considering that I’ve only had it on for 10 days. God help those around me if I ever need to have a cast on for a “normal” length of time. I honestly think I would need to be medicated.

Anyway, as I wrote about, it’s been a long road to get to the surgery and I think that’s contributed to my antsy-ness. I am DYING to do pushups, burpees, and mountain climbers again!

Other things I am excited about doing without my cast and/or sling:

– Dishes
– Running
– Showering
– Shaving
– Brushing my teeth
– Putting on moisturizer/lotion
– Taking the subway
– Reading on the subway
– Wearing my contacts

Note that these aren’t all things I like doing, but they’ll be much better with two hands.

I am mostly excited not to have to wear this in the shower:

Untitled

The other morning the rubber band snapped right as I was about to get in the shower so I had to run out and find another one quickly.

Untitled

The doctor said my range of motion is really great. My wrist is very stiff and the incision is tender, but otherwise I feel good. He said that physical therapy is optional, but if I go it will take a week or two off my recovery so I’m going to go. My first appointment is tomorrow at 7:40am. Harsh.

I filled out the forms for physical therapy in advance, I love being able to check all the “no” boxes for ailments (except allergies).

Untitled

Other highlights of my day: My outfit:

Untitled

Until I noticed there was a hole in my shirt on my right boob.

And, even better, I went for a run!!

Untitled

I know I could have run with my sling, but I tried and my balance was all screwed up. Plus the sweat would have been out of control. It felt really great to get some quality sweat time in after not being able to workout for two weeks or so.

Untitled

I did 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking until I got to 3 miles. Considering I’ve been pretty inactive the past couple of weeks I was really happy with how I felt.

My wrist hurt a few times when I was running if I moved my arm around or if I brushed my wrist against my shirt.

I finally feel like things are moving in the right direction!

Read Full Post »

My Right Wrist

Or, as I like to call it, my wrong wrist.

At the end of January my right wrist got this weird wiggle in it. I was in Philly visiting my friend Ashley and I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t bad and I didn’t think of it again.

On Monday I went to kickboxing, like I normally do, and it was only when we were doing pushups and squat trusts that I remembered it had hurt. But still, it wasn’t bad. I skipped kickboxing Tuesday, went Wednesday and it hurt more. But, because I’m stubborn, I went back again on Thursday.

The pain in my wrist was only when I put my hand flat and put pressure on it (like in a pushup) so I did pushups on my fist and otherwise felt ok. But after that it really hurt so I decided I’d give it a few days before I went back to kickboxing.

That Monday I decided I had a enough and I went to the Duane Reade clinic to see the doctor. He was really great and helpful (as I’ve found them all to be) and he said I probably tweaked the tendon, to wear a wrist brace and take some Aleve.

I did that for a few weeks and then I had an appointment with a new GP so I asked her about it. Well, she wasn’t a very good doctor because she pretty much ignored my concerns. She said keep wearing the brace and take some Aleve.

By that point it had been a month since it first started hurting and not trying something else wasn’t a real option for me. I decided to see an orthopedist who told me it seemed like a muscle tear and sent me to physical therapy for a month and gave me a giant brace.

Untitled
After a month of physical therapy, which I never felt was doing any good, I went back to the doctor to say things were exactly the same. It had now been two months since the pain started.

That doctor recommended I get an MRI so the Monday after Easter I went in for testing. The MRI was pretty awful. I had to lie on my stomach with my arms up over my head and my face squished into a pillow. And I had to stay like that for about 25 minutes. By the end I couldn’t feel my shoulders or my arms.

I went back a few days later for the MRI results and the doctor said everything looked fine. There was a small cyst, but it was nothing to worry about. He said to keep wearing the brace and come back in a month. He also gave me the name of a colleague of his who I could go to for a second opinion.

Me being me I made an appointment with the other doctor for a week later. This doctor was a surgeon and his offices were in NY Downtown Hospital. I saw his PA first and he asked me lots of questions and then pulled a few of my MRI slides out.

The doctor came in, with a trainee physical therapist, and immediately started talking about the cyst. How they’re a really common thing, how mine is pressing on my tendon, how they usually only hurt when when wrist is in a certain position, and then he said they need to take it out.

Because the cyst was located under my main artery they couldn’t aspirate it, they needed to do surgery. He said it was a very routine thing, that I would be in and out in one day, and I should be good to go after six weeks.

I left with a lot to think about. I considered getting a second opinion, but decided that seeing four doctors was enough and that three months of pain was enough and it was time to do the surgery. I booked the surgery for May 7.

My parents kindly offered to come into the city to take me and take me home. It took some negotiating, my father doesn’t like driving in Manhattan, he wanted them to take the train in and then take me home on the subway. I said we could take a cab home, but my father said that was silly. Eventually it was decided they would drive.

On my way to presurgery testing the week prior to the surgery the subway I was on broke down. I was 15 minutes late, but still had to wait an hour and a half to see the doctor. I checked out fine and was good to go.

Friday before the surgery they called to say I needed to be at the hospital at 6am. My parents picked me up a little after 5am and we were parked in the parking garage before 5:30am. The hospital didn’t open until 6am so we did some walking around and then sitting outside.

Finally I went in and checked in, gave a urine sample, and then waited. Eventually a nurse came over to ask me basic questions (medication, etc.) and I changed into a hospital gown. At 7:30 they brought everyone having surgery to another room. I met the nurses and the anesthesiologist who would be working on me. Then the doctor and his resident came in, briefly explained stuff, and then I waited some more.

They finally brought me into the operating room where I lied down, they put an IV in my left hand (so painful), and that’s the last thing I remember.

When I woke up I was pretty groggy. I immediately said I was in pain so they gave me some pain meds through the IV. I kept saying how I dreamt I had been in a Mark Wahlberg movie. Then I asked where my glasses were and they said in my hand (they were). The doctor came to see me and said everything was exactly like they expected and they got the cyst out. I asked him to take off the bandage so I could see it, but he just ignored me.

Untitled

The bottom of the wrap is a hard cast, but the top is just a bandage. I kept asking the nurse to get my parents, but she just told me to nap. I didn’t want to nap (I’m not a napper) so I kept closing my eyes and pretending to and then opening them a little to check if she was watching. Finally she got my mother. I ate some graham crackers and drank some water and apple juice. Eventually I felt pretty good, used the bathroom, got dressed, and they let me go.

Untitled

My parents drove me back to Brooklyn (super quick trip) and we stopped at CVS to get my Vicodin and some Advil. While my mom waited in CVS my dad and I walked to get bagels. After we got the drugs we headed back to my apartment. We ate our bagels, I gave my dad a piece of birthday cake, and then my parents left.

I spent the afternoon watching Girls and reading. I started to feel sick around 5pm so I had a peanut butter sandwich and felt much better. I watched The Voice and then pretty much passed out.

Tuesday morning was good, my wrist really hurt and moving my fingers felt awful. But I took the Vicodin (which I didn’t think was making much of a difference) and tried to move my fingers as much as possible (per the doctor’s orders). By Tuesday afternoon I felt awful, when I moved my fingers it felt like everything in my wrist was coming apart and I was dizzy and nauseous (I think from the Vicodin). I stopped taking the Vicodin, but didn’t feel ok until around 10pm.

Wednesday I woke up feeling better. My head and stomach felt good and my wrist was definitely getting less painful. I spent Wednesday relaxing, I ordered Thai for lunch, and then got a burger with my roommate for dinner.

When I took my first shower with the wrapping on Thursday morning it was hard.

Untitled

But I made it through.

Overall the surgery was worse than I expected. I guess it’s normal for doctors to downplay stuff, but the actual surgery was more serious than I expected (all the people, the operating room) and the recovery was definitely worse than I had anticipated. There was definitely a point where I wished I hadn’t had the surgery, but I know it will ultimately be worth it.

Read Full Post »