Tuesday, June 24, 2008

zombie arm

I got my cast off on Friday. New x-rays show that I'm healing but slowly. The doctor transfered me to a brace instead of the cast but held off starting me on physical therapy until he sees me again in two weeks with the idea of letting the bones have some more time to heal.

The hand was pretty disgusting under the cast. It had been nearly five weeks since the bike accident that shattered my wrist and broke the radius bone of my right arm. In all that time I hadn't been able to wash the arm, and although it had stayed fairly clean, dead skin had built up and it smelled like rotten flesh, which in fact it was. The nice thing about the brace is that I can take it off to wash. I couldn't wait to get home and give my hand a thorough wash and take a shower.

But even cleaned up the arm is pretty bizarre looking. The wrist is stiff. I couldn't move my wrist more than about 2 degrees (now it's up to about 5 I'd say). I also can't rotate it even 90 degrees. (If you hold your hand out straight, elbow at your side you should be easily able to rotate palm down to palm up - 180 degrees). It's swollen so it looks a weird shape. And I've still got the bandages covering the six inch scar running up the inside of my arm where they put the metal piece and screws iniside.

Worse than the way it looks though is the way it feels. It feels like the life has gone out of it. Like I don't have control of it. Like it isn't "me." The experience calls to mind questions of identity and whether the "I" is really dependent on the body or separate from it.

1 comment:

Robin Edgar said...

I am sorry to hear that Rev. Ricky. I certainly wish you a full recovery from your injury, although that may take some time. Hopefully a good physiotherapîst will be able to set you right. I am confident that you have the willpower to recover from this as much as it is possible to do so.

Best Wishes,

Robin Edgar