Where have I been?


Where have I been?

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Well, taking a little detour from the Italian theme of the blog. I feel that I should mention why I haven’t made a blog post in over two months. Part of it is my natural laziness (pigrizia in Italian if you must know) but the last 6 weeks has been something entirely different. Last August I tripped on an irregularity in a sidewalk. As a natural reaction I put my hands out to break my fall and as a result sprained both wrists. The left one healed nicely within a couple of weeks but the right one continued to be a problem despite a shot of steroid (best avoided unless you like significant pain). So when I returned from Italy I saw an orthopedist. Following an MRI I found out that surgery was the indicated fix so on January 2 I had surgery on the wrist. I didn’t know what a long recovery it was likely to be from such surgery. For two weeks I wore a splint that I couldn’t take off. This meant wrapping that arm in a plastic trash bag and taping it closed with the left hand. It was also an adventure learning to do a lot of things with almost exclusively with my left hand. Who knew that there were a bunch of videos on YouTube about how to put on socks and tie your shoes with only one hand – demonstrated by people who only had one hand. So after two weeks I got a removable splint but still could not type with other than using the hunt and peck method so even writing short emails was a chore. Finally after 5 weeks the splint is off! I still have a brace to wear on the right hand but don’t really need to wear it all of the time – so I can type – yippee. I also have a bunch of exercises to do for physical therapy. It turns out that that’s a part of the body that’s very slow to heal so it could be up to a year to get it back to as good as it’s going to get, whatever that is. It’s still hard to do a lot of things, using a knife in the kitchen is especially hard so I’m on a very simple diet and god knows when I will be able to change the sheets on my bed. I may have to call for reinforcements.

What it will not stop me from doing is returning to Bologna in early April for another fairly lengthy stay.

I have included a few pictures. There’s one of me with the sponge-Bob square pants accessory that I used for the first couple of weeks to protect my forearm while sleeping at night. I kind of thought it resembled a giant block of swiss cheese. You may be able to see that I cut a sleeve off of an old sweatshirt. It was the only way that I could get that big splint through a sleeve.

Then there’s a photo of the removable splint. Both of the splints kept my elbow bent which compounded the problem of being able to use my right hand. This was so that I could not rotate my wrist, an area of damage that needed healing time with low stress. Finally there is a picture of the the brace. It’s much shorter, easy to take off and put on and doesn’t immobilize the elbow – in all a major step forward.  The hand and wrist is still pretty swollen but I’m hoping that that will all be gone within a month.

In any case you can expect another blog post soon.

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4 Responses to “Where have I been?”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Crumbs, what a rotten thing to happen. And what a lengthy healing process.

  2. Joe Says:

    Yes, it was a surprise to me but it is what it is. But as I say, it won’t keep me in California this spring.

  3. Joy O'Neal Says:

    I hope you heal quickly and enjoy your next adventure to Italy!

  4. Joe Says:

    Well the healing is slow but I’m being good about doing the exercises so I’m hoping for the best. Thanks for the thought!

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