July 16, 2014

What a Fractured Arm Taught Me

I fell in the laundromat while struggling to move a queen-sized comforter.  I broke a forearm bone called the radius.  To heal the radius I had to stop using my hemiplegic (paralyzed) hand.  I was not able to do SaeboFlex exercises because this splint has a cuff that puts pressure on the forearm.  I lost lots of hand function and the ability to turn my hand palm up.   Below are four lessons I took away from this experience.

1.  It is too risky for me to do heavy housework anymore.  I tried to find a cleaning person in the past, but friends were reluctant to give me their housekeeper's phone number.  My broken arm moved a friend to take pity on me.  When I learned Isabel would charge $70 I gulped.  Even though she makes my home spotless, it took me 3 months to be at peace with this indulgence.
I finally relaxed when I realized I would be paying an assisted living facility $3,000 or more every month to get a cleaning lady.

2.  My fall at the laundromat began with a turn.  Weeks later I felt my back arch before I made a partial turn and fell against the kitchen counter. I realized I have been bouncing off my kitchen counters for a long time.  Hitting the floor of the laundromat has made me turning more slowly. 
3.  I felt my stomach push me away from the bathroom counter while I put rollers in my hair -- one more example of arching my back to lean on a counter so I will not lose my balance.  Now I place my hemiplegic hand on a piece of Dycem to make my abdominal muscles hold me away from the counter when I use curlers.  Arching my back contributes to back spasms
4.  Thank God for out-patient OT.  I could not have coped emotionally or physically with this setback on my own.  Cathy used contrast baths, retrograde massage, and gentle active range of motion to bring down the painful swelling, and help me regain strength in my shoulder and elbow.  When my forearm bone healed she began resistive exercises.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Rebecca ... So sorry. I'll look forward to your feedback on the Releas and how it compares with Saebo.