helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
My orthopedic surgeon who put my wrist back together. Fresh out of school, all kinds of new ideas. Eh well, maybe it's for the best - my physical therapist said that people would kill to get the range of motion back that I now have.

Range of motion - about 10 degrees short of full range forward bend, full range everywhere else. I gained 15 degrees in the forward bend in the past two weeks, so that should be corrected shortly.

Grip strength - needs work. My right hand grip reads 60 on the gauge and my left hand reads 40. The left is normally about 5-10% weaker than the right, but this is more like 30% weaker. I have a couple of exercises to do with silly putty and elastic bands... Hopefully two weeks from now when we measure again, it will have improved.

Lifting strength - even at 5 and 5 for both hands. The right can actually lift a lot more, but waiting for lefty to catch up before increasing. The left arm still looks like spaghetti (less so than before but still) and has difficulty lifting five in certain directions. For example if I do lateral raises, after two sets of ten reps each, the left arm (not hand, oddly enough) starts to lag. But it can do it (it's not like I'm giving it a whole lot of choice)...

Started taking advantage of gym at work for treadmill, stairmaster, machines, and free weights.

Edit: So I was just at the gym. Both arms can now lift 8. The right arm has no problem with 8, the left is "training to failure" as they say in the parlance. By contrast, the lower body. A few weeks ago I started with maybe 65 pounds - not much at all (the leg press is what they start you on to make you think you're lifting a lot of weight). The interesting part is the increase in just two weeks. Today the usual 120 was starting to feel a bit light. I increased it up to 160 thinking maybe it would get heavier. It didn't. Then I increased it over 200, upward to 260 by increments. Still light. Then I increased it to 300. Starting to offer some resistance. I just leg pressed 300 pounds. Probably not very impressive, but I'm beginning to think this stuff really works.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Holding steady at 3-4 pounds with the left and 5-6 with the right for now. For the first time, I could snap the fingers of my left hand in time to music today. Also, I pulled a ticket from the parking lot entrance with thumb and forefinger without a problem with my left hand.

The wrist can bend backward all the way and forward most of the way. Today the therapist applied weight to the back of my hand, bending it forward as much as it would go without damaging pain, and then had me push back. It felt like I was pushing really hard, but she commented on how weak it was. That's exactly the exercise I'll need to take it the rest of the way. I see her once more in two weeks and that's it. Most of the progress has been made when she challenges it. I think have enough techniques to work on it so I can take it the rest of the way myself, though. At least that's what she seems to think, and I tend to agree.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Up to 4 pounds with the left hand now (increasing a pound a week). My right hand got impatient and started lifting 6. It could easily lift 8-12, so it's not surprising it got impatient, but still. I was going to make it wait until the other one caught up. Maybe I can get the left one to speed up a little. I'll try it with 5 this weekend.

ETA: The wrist seems to think 4 lbs is quite enough, tyvm. So four it is, for a while, or until it tells me it's ok to increase. At least it can lift four. And a coffee cup. These are luxuries that I never knew were luxuries.

This makes me wonder what discarnates go through. They can't lift a coffee cup to save their lives...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
The physical therapist said I was 'almost normal' at this point and only have to go hand therapy once a week now. It was weird. On the one hand it will be great not to have to go in as often. On the other hand I think I'll miss getting my hand pampered for a half an hour twice a week.

I've graduated the left hand to lifting three pounds now. I plan to wait on increasing the right hand's weight until the left hand catches up with it, so they'll both be even. That should take about another week.

The new weight routine is already starting to make a difference in the way I feel. I'd crept up a few pounds due to inactivity, which did not make me happy. Didn't take long to lose it again once I started getting serious with the weights, though. The left arm no longer looks like spaghetti. I'm pretty confident that at this stage, the weights, some tai-chi exercises, and calcium/magnesium/boron supplements will stabilize the system for a while.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
So the first insurance hurdle stemmed from the fact that my company has a Health Reimbursement Association deductible plan, meaning that there's a huge deductible that you have to apply for through a separate organization (not the insurance company proper). This is not a problem - all paperwork has been submitted. Other than the deductible, the whole hospital stay, ambulance, ER, nurses, etc. were covered 100%, and I expect full reimbursement of the deductible. So far so good.

The trauma surgeon was another story... I was assigned a great surgeon who did a good job (yay!) but he wasn't in my insurance PPO plan (Boo). I'd rather get a good one than a covered one, (both would have been good but I'm not unhappy with the result).

However, I am now responsible for about $1600 of the surgery bill, maybe a little more. I was told by the trauma surgeon's business office that I have a good chance at an appeal, since who I was assigned by the ER was not my choice.

So... the paperwork for the appeal is prepared and Explanations of Benefits for claims that I've received so far have been copied and attached. I'm still waiting on a few more statements before I send the appeal package to the insurance company. I have about a month to send it in, and they've been pretty prompt so far, so I expect all the statements by this week.

Meanwhile, the insurance company sent whatever they initially agreed to reimburse (not enough, hence the appeal), directly to me because the doctor is out of plan. I can't cash the checks to pay the doctor because that would indicate I accepted their terms. So, the doctor will have to wait for reimbursement, unfortunately (they're aware of that).

So the moral of this story is, give your trinkets to the faeries instead of to the insurance company.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I went back to Mom's Organic Market parking lot to see if I could find out what tripped me. Right around the exact spot (at the base of some stairs leading to the second parking level), I noticed a shallow indentation in the pavement about a foot and a half around, barely visible unless you were looking for it. Not visible at all in twilight. I could see how a loose sandal could catch itself along the edge of the indentation. Someone carrying a heavy bag of dry catfood in the right hand walks into the indentation, and their left foot catches along the left edge of the indentation. This causes them to stumble, and the added weight of the catfood pitches them sideways. They and the catfood land on their left arm. Done. Not sure if a pair of closed shoes or boots would have prevented it. Possibly. Less likely to catch on the edge, but the added weight of the shoe may offset that benefit by lowering the foot so it catches.

I wanted to show Rialian the spot, but then a couple of cars came and parked right on top of it. That was when he noticed that there were indentations like that all over that parking lot, in every parking space (most of them were not as deep as the one I'd found, and a lot of them had been patched, though not very well). They're positioned exactly where car or truck fluids might leak onto the pavement (in tbe front and center of each parking spot). Could also be a result of truck weight, but the even spacing in *every* parking space indicates to me that it's more from chemical wear due to cars than truck weight. I've seen many parking lots that do not have this problem. I don't know if it's due to poor maintenance (probably) or failure to apply the proper foundation. Hard to say.

In any case, there was a lot of uneven pavement. This was actually welcome information, since now I don't feel quite as fragile.

April 2010



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