Exactly two weeks after the accident I was at physio having my arm manipulated by the most wonderful Mark. He was twisting and turning, pulling and pushing, lifting and separating… Which sounds grim, but actually doesn’t hurt – much. I have regained a lot of twistiness in the forearm, which is good – no numbness or tingling in the fingertips – also good. He warned me that I might experience stabbing pains or other weird and unpleasant things if the bone chip (or possibly chips) floating around in the elbow joint drift somewhere they don’t belong and get stuck…
Then Mark started flexing and extending the arm, seeing how much range of motion has returned. This, apparently, is an area where we can do some work… I have been stretching the arm, but Mark pushed it much harder than I had dared and I commented that obviously I could do better between now and next week’s appointment. “I can push way harder than I have been.” We had just been talking about my one-armed climbing exploits and he looked me in the eye and said, “With an attitude like yours you’re either going to have an exceptional recovery or do yourself permanent damage.”
I couldn’t argue with that. Yep, it is our strongest character traits which are both our greatest assets or biggest liabilities, depending on circumstances.
Mark took some measurements and we continued the stretching, finishing with a session of electrical pulses delivered to either side of the joint while the arm was held down under a towel-wrapped heated weight – all to encourage more stretching. While I was pinned to the bed by my trapped arm Mark informed me the the Extra-Small size of special brace we were trying to order was still going to be too big for my tiny arm! Say what? When people look at my arms they don’t generally lead with a comment like, “Oh you poor little thing – look at those tiny arms… ” What could this mean? Women don’t injure their elbows? Or they injure their elbows but don’t bother with the high-powered braces? What about teenagers? Children? And what about muscly short people like me? Weird. Just plain weird.
Rather than settle for the less good softer brace (remember, I have a date with the Rocky Mountains later this month…) we have ordered the high-tech brace and will see if there’s a way to fiddle with it, add padding underneath, etc. so I get the most possible protection while I get on with my life. Though, why I would bother with these scrawny arms I don’t know… I mean, how can anyone with toothpick limbs consider tackling mountains? Hmph.