Monday, July 21, 2008

wrist preschool

I started physical therapy today on my broken right wrist and forearm. The office looks like a preschool: a big open room with a couple of tables and chairs on all sides. On top of the tables are wooden machines with ropes and pulleys and wheels that looks like children's toys. The walls are decorated with colorful posters designed to be encouraging and with cute sayings about hands. I mentioned the resemblance to a preschool to the therapist and she laughed. And then after having thought about it for a moment she said, "Well I guess the task is sort of the same. We're starting over with your muscle and bone development remaking a life time of experience."

This being my first visit they took a whole array of measurements to establish a base line. Compared to my healthy left hand I've got a long ways to go. But the therapist said at this point the only thing preventing my full range of motion is that my tendons have shortened and stiffened from disuse. So now it's just a process of strength-building and stretching.

After the measurements we did two kinds of therapy: one with a laser to put energy into the arm, and the other with ultra sound to break up scar tissue and ease swelling. Then I was done for the day, sent home with a couple of xeroxed pages of hand and wrist exercises. My next appointment is Thursday.

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