Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16

My arm hurts. A lot. I will tell you why.

First things first, I went back to work this week and had to read (or... uh... scan and then promptly delete) about 1,000 emails. That's a lot of mouse clicking. I hadn't clicked a mouse in eight weeks, and it turns out that the repetitive motion of pressing down my index and/or middle finger for 2+ hours took a toll.

Another work related arm issue is the driving. My sad little arm twinges anytime that I need to turn my steering wheel, and I've gone from staying within a 3 mile radius of my house (to go to the grocery store, Chick-fil-A (I do love me some fried chicken!), and Jo's) to driving an hour or more in the round trip to work and back.

Oh, and the lifting and flipping of paper isn't helping shoulder any, either.

What I'm telling you is, my arm hurts. A lot. ... And differently than it used to.

I had my  physical therapy appointment this afternoon, and it turns out that it's not just work that's making my shoulder hurt. Oh, no. It's not work. ... I mean, work (and the having to use my arm more than I have been) is a small part of what's going on, but beyond that, it seems that the swelling/post-surgery stress that's been keeping my arm stuck to my side for the last eight weeks has gone down. When I had the swelling, my shoulder couldn't move in the socket. There was a little glitch in the system, sort of a cartilage blockage that wouldn't allow the bone to move into the socket and make a full turn. ... Well, the swelling's gone down. And I've been developing and using my muscles, but I don't have full/tight muscle control. So, what I have happening now is that I can use my muscles to lift my arm, but I can't hold it up, because the bone goes into the socket, but can't stay there. It just slides right out and across the back. That's right. Bone on bone. Every time I lift my arm.

No wonder my arm hurts, right?!

Between the sore and over-worked muscles that I've been using to click on the mouse, turn my steering wheel and flip papers over vs. the bone-on-bone slippage when I force my arm over my head, my gimpy arm is gimpier than ever.

After some serious arm pulling, twisting and a deep tissue massage this afternoon by said physical therapist, I am semi-lame. The good news? She was able to work most of the clicks and gristle out of my arm with all of her pulling, pushing and twisting, and she taught me some new tricks that I can use to pull and hold my arm where it needs to go so I can get better.

I so love physical therapy, btw! (Have I mentioned that? I can't remember.) I so enjoy the therapist. She's incredibly friendly and easy going, and she gives me all kinds of information about what's going on with my body (and why). She's teaching me how to leverage my body against itself, so I can help it heal. (It is fascinating to me, how with a very simple set of tools - soup cans (as weights) and pillows (to adjust height/support) - I can strengthen both my gimpy arm and my currently non-existent core.) I love that I get a full hour of hands-on therapy. I love that she takes the time to teach me things, and can answer every question I've thrown at her about how bodies work. I love that she gives me suggestions of what I could/should be eating, so my digestive system can get used to its new life. I love that she talks to other doctors in the facility about me, so she can get the best idea of how she can best help me with my colon issues. She is super fantastic, and she has helped me so much - even (or esp) on the days that she makes me hurt.

And speaking of the hurting, my body is shooting warning signals at me that it is done with the typing for today. So, I shall stop with the typing. I think that I'll go for a walk, and then come home and lie on my left side (not my right) and watch some Leverage while I wait for my arm to return to its former glory. Or, you know, until I fall asleep. Whichever comes first.