zoethe: (Default)
Last Sunday was the second Sunday our friend George played in the Planescape game. George is a great guy, and i love him dearly, but he tend to get enthusiastic about things. Early in the session he thwacked me on the shoulder - the left shoulder, right on the surgery scar. I gasped and begged him pleasenot to do that again. He apologized, and made it through most of the game. Then once again - thwack. There was a general yell of dismay from the crowd and he shrunk in embarrassment. "Here," he said. "Next time I do that, just smack me like this."

He grabbed my left hand and wrenched my arm backwards to mimic smacking him in the face.

He dropped me. I was rolling on the couch in agony. He was mortified - for some reason thought that contact was the only issue - but the damage was done.

Then I was sick most of a week. And doing massive, panicky projects. And neglecting my exercises.

Today was physical therapy. Not a pretty sight. I definitely lost flexibility and got what can only be described as a "stern peptalk." It's a setback, but I know you can do better. You just need to keep at these exercises!

I know. Now I hurt. Much stretching, much stress. Much boo.

PT redux

Mar. 7th, 2003 06:47 am
zoethe: (Default)
Went in yesterday for the first PT session since the doc pronounced me healed. Man, do I have a lot of work to do. The therapist gave me some great exercises and instructions - lots of using the good arm to press the bad arm. And the session ended with this lovely piece of advice: "You're likely going to be hearing a lot of popping or snapping sounds, and sometimes they might really hurt. That's okay--it's only tissue fibers tearing away from the scar adhesions. That's a good thing."

Great. I'll go barf now. I have this seam in my shoulder from which I need to rip the threads, and it sounds a lot like that when one lets go - but the sensation is that same hot, sharp pain that you get when you turn your head wrong and your neck pops. This is a good thing. I must keep telling myself so.

On a high note, last night was the last day of class before Spring Break - a period that will be spent in the books, catching up on everything - so I let myself get talked into stoping and having a glass of wine at the little bar where the law students hang out. Good to just hang out with people and yak and laugh for half an hour. Mingled some, then sat with Mike and Scott and one of the librarians, whom they delight in embarrassing with their crude banter. Just mindless chatter and laughter, no discussion of classes or work. I left early despite protests, but it was nice to take a few minutes and unwind.
zoethe: (Default)
The flu has been my body's way of saying, "Sit the fuck down!" I slept most of Monday, went to work Tuesday and only made it through the morning before the barfing recommenced, slept almost all of yesterday afternoon. A wholly unpleasant experience, but I haven't slept this solidly since the surgery. I needed it. I think I'm finally feeling a bit better, though nowhere near 100%. Nevertheless, there is work to be done.

Next week is Spring Break. I really want to spend it getting everything organized, pulled together, revisiting the readingts that I've barely managed to get through between the pain and the drugs. So I'm ready for the second half of the semester. Because if I don't, I fear for my grades....
zoethe: (Default)
Small triumphs:
· Wearing my winter coat with both arms in the sleeves.
· Being able to put things in my left coat pocket.
· Wearing tights (though getting them on this morning amounted to aerobic activity – I actually broke a sweat between the twisting and turning and the pain).
· Putting a glass in the cabinet with my left hand and only a little “assist” from the right.
· Being able to use the turn signals while driving.
· Knowing that these shooting pains aren’t a sign that I’m doing damage to myself, but a sign that I’m improving.

Irritations:
· My gait is completely off. I didn’t notice when I was in the sling, but now that my left arm is not swinging naturally I can feel that I’m out of sync.
· The continued existence of the shooting pains, even if I’m not worried about them anymore. Fucking hell.
zoethe: (Default)
Today was the 6-week mark and a doctor's appointment. X-rays and all. The doc went well - I'm out of the sling (though able to use it if I get fatigued) and supposed to be ramping up activity. Everything healed really well. I have these DECKING SCREWS in my arm - they have threads and a phillips screw top like regular fucking screws. It's kinda creepy. But being able to use both sleeves, seeing that the bone is all healed and knowing that the pain is just what is to be expected is helpful.

I get to ramp up therapy. Doc asked me to move my arm out to the side. I moved it the few inches I can. He lifted it up to straight out - and then higher, despite my gasps of pain. And then asked me to move it out to the front. Gimme a minute to recover from the pain you just inflicted on me, dude! Same routine, though front isn't quite as bad.

But it made me realize that in some ways I'm at the worst part of this. yeah, I'm out of the sling, but that doesn't miraculously reduce the pain - it's the same as yesterday, if not a bit worse (no support). Yet people will no longer be visually reminded of my limitations, and will expect me to get over it faster than I'm physically capable of accomplishing. And I hate whining, so I'll end up swallowing back frustration, resentment and tears to keep up.

But, hell, that's what playin' hurt's all about, isn't it?
zoethe: (Default)
I slipped again.

Not a full-fledged fall, but enough to jam my left arm pretty damned well. I was in the sling, my open hand hitting heavily on the doorjamb. Pretty sore in the forearm and bicep, the neck and back.

I don't think I did any real damage to the shoulder, thanks to the sling, but it was scary and it hurts.

And there is a ton of homework waiting, as always. I couldn't get going today, kept falling back to sleep. We finally went to Costco, just to get out into the air and try and wake up. Got a bunch of stuff, and was helping to unload the car when I slipped.

Tiresome doesn't even begin to cover it. I hope the pain stays away from the shoulder.
zoethe: (Default)
Is there anything to my life other than, I have to go to work, I have to go to school, I have to get some sleep, I have to do my homework?

Oh, yeah. Starting tomorrow is, I have to go to the Physical Therapist.

Bad night, the drugs just weren’t doing the trick. Have barely been able to stay awake today – literally falling asleep at the desk. Don’t know how I’m going to make it through three hours of class tonight. A load of pain today. I don’t know what’s going on that I’m hurting more again. Probably the being able to use it more. I’m not frozen down like I was, it just has a deep, throbbing hurt to it.

I know: wait ‘til PT gets done with me.

The continuing winter weather is getting to me. I realize that this is not out of the norm for this region, but last winter was so mild that this one seems like an affront. Despite all those years of living in Alaska, I really am not a winter person.

And, yes, I’m writing an LJ entry at work. I have half an hour left, I’ve gotten through two big and all the small projects around my desk, and don’t really want to tackle another big one right now. So I’m killing time, trying to stay awake.

Omigawd I wish I were headed home instead of off to class. I don’t know how I’m going to make it. I was falling asleep in Contracts yesterday, falling asleep in Torts on Monday. My notes are shite, but I seem to be comprehending okay – I can carry on a debate with the instructor. I am already worrying about finals – at the end of May.

And my arm really, really hurts today. Yadda yadda fucking yadda.
zoethe: (Default)
Not a bad day at work yesterday. Got through without too much trouble.

Walking to my car after work was a trip. The temperature was dropping and the wind was blowing snow into my face so hard that I actually got an ice cream headache/brainfreeze, just walking the two blocks to the car. All I could do was laugh - it was incredibly bitter, but ridiculous. Got to school and decided to risk a parking ticket by parking too early on the street by the door, because I could not bear the four-block walk in the wind. Didn't get one.

In Torts we have just started on Intent--up until now we had done negligence. There was discussion of what kind fo touching constitutes assault. As we were settling in for Civil Procedure, a fellow student came up to me and jokingly swatted me, saying "Is this assault? Is this intent?"

Through my wincing I was able to gasp out, "Yes, when you hit me on my surgery scar!"

The sling apparently wasn't enough of a clue....

Sleeping with a heating pad is helping me sleep through better, which is both good and bad. Good because I'm more rested, bad because I am stiffer in the morning, having not moved as much in the night. It's a tradeoff I'm willing to accept.

Back to studying.
zoethe: (Default)
And I live in your left arm. As long as you keep having to move from the elbow, I will continue to inhabit your bicep and forearm, causing you pain even while you're sleeping. You won't be screaming in agony - much - just under the continual, wearing stress that chronic pain causes, with a frisson of knife-stab agony dusting the top.

I'll be here a while, so we can get to know each other very well.
zoethe: (Default)
Gave up the daily reports because, frankly, even I was getting sick of the bitching.

Not doing all that well. Much pain, and even when you can objectively say, yes, but look how much more movement you have, look how much more flexibility (you can move your arm three whole inches, and use your left hand for typing and other small-movement chores), pain is still pain, and it's still wearing. I didn't fall copletely apart on Wednesday, which counts as an improvement, I guess.

I would take a day off this week, but for two things. First of all, Rosemarie is on vacation, so it would leave Crista all alone in the office and no one to cover phones when she was running errands. Secondly, I've used up more than half my sick leave right at the beginning of the year. This is not a Good Thing.

I am keeping my head above water as regards schoolwork, but barely. Back to my mantra - it WILL get better, it WILL get better....
zoethe: (Default)
I was, perhaps, too ambitious when I took no Motrin this morning. Doing fine until afternoon, then started really hurting and haven't been able to get on top of it.

But....

Small branches protected by the covering of the walkway over the stairs to the parking garage have burst into leaves, and the air felt soft today. Tomorrow is more snow, but winter is losing the battle now. Spring is on the way, and as the seasons change, the days wax longer and I will regain strength in my arm.

I concentrate on that when everything else threatens to overwhelm me.
zoethe: (Default)
Such a mixed day. Got a whole four hours of sleep the night before. Was so tired that at one point in midafternoon while writing a time entry, pen in hand, I fell asleep. Head bob startled me back awake. I've dozed off reading or in a class, but never n the middle of actually writing something. Tears came in the afternoon when I was defeatedb my inability to simply clip amessage to the side of an inbox - it's on top of a tall credenza and opening the clip required a pincer grip, but there was no way I could reach up that high and out far enough with my left to deposit this simple piece of paper.

I headed out to the doctor's office trul dejected.

But there, I was pronounced as doing very well, and moved into a softer, less restrictive sling, and given the go ahead to start therapy. Oh, and drugs, so I can sleep (yay!). The therapy is not going to be fun - much pulling and tugging and weights nad generally promises to leave me sore - but it means I will be recovering mobility. According to the doctor I am quite lucky because I broke a nice, big chunk of bone off the top, meaning that it is well-anchored.

New sling gives much more mobility, meaning more pain, and hangs directly from my neck, meaning pain until I get used to it, but no compression strap, sono more sense of entrapped limbs. Tradeoffs, but worth it.

Overall, a better day, even though I was very tired.

And now, off to luxuriate in a bath, an indulgence denied to me throughout this injury. I have a lovely scar, no more bandages, and I'm on the mend.
zoethe: (witch)
When I arrived at work yesterday morning Crista, our departmental assistant*, asked how I was doing. I could barely get out the words, "not well" because I was fighting tears. Crista, being a practical soul, prescribed mocha and fetched me one.

Without that small kindness, I'm not sure I could have made it through the day.

I hurt all day yesterday. I got a lot done at work, but it was in the continual presence of chronic discomfort. By the time I got myself loaded into the car for school, I was back to the edge of tears. The Motrin helped, I guess, but didn't really stave off the pain. I avoided talking to people at school because I knew that the question How are you doing? would set off the waterworks again. Got through Torts, moved on to Civ Pro, where the prof pointed out that our first written assignment is due Monday. Tears threatened again. Survived that, got home. Another one bites the dust.

I am irritated with myself for not getting better, but the reality is that I have no energy left for recovery, and that's slowing the pace. I guess the measure of progress is going to be how late into the week I can get before falling apart. Only Tuesday this week, maybe Wednesday next. I feel tumbled and ragged, like a frayed bit of cloth on the side of a highway, crushed.

Got about 4 hours of sleep last night, with the discomfort and the waking. Back to work now. Much homework, as always.

*What's the difference between a departmental assistant and a secretary? About $7,000 a year.
zoethe: (Default)
I'm tired of having to be the grownup. I don't want to get in the shower, get on the road, get through another 14-hour day.

As I said in a comment to Lyssa, my Legal Writing prof was all sympathy yesterday. "You'd better cut back and take it easy."

Who's gonna let me off the hook? Sure as hell not school, and work's done all they can.

So I take a deep breath and keep moving. Because I don't have any choice.
zoethe: (legolas)
Felt much more effective at work yesterday, got a lot of stuff done, held up well, but then was exhausted at school. Had to come home and do homework anyway, since there is so much and I am so slow.

I am down to one Percoset. I need to get the doc to give me more. I tried sleeping without last night and tossed and turned until 1am, dozing briefly here and there. At one awoke in a lot of pain, took one Percoset (leaving a final one), and still had about half an hour until it kicked in. Had to get up at 4 anyway, so much work to do. If the doc won't give me more I don't know how I'm going to function - I have to start getting more sleep.

Have homework done for today, almost finished with first large project due tomorrow, still ahve tomorrow's reading to do. I need to get a lot more done on the weekends....
zoethe: (Star Wars)
Got through the day without a breakdown - no afternoon depression/paranoia. Made it all the way through on only two doses of Motrin, no pain meds.

Downside: brain still felt very slow, was sleepy from lack of comfortable rest, got through some stuff, but not nearly what I would have liked to accomplish, minor paranoia that if I am not Wonderwoman for a few weeks here they will all begin to hate me.

Living with one arm trapped against my chest is exhausting. Mangaged to drive without too much trouble, but handling heavy school bag (rolling, thank the heavens), schlepping stuff in and out of car, schlepping ME in and out of car, left me feeling exhausted and bruised by the time I got to school last night. Took additional Motrin at that point, but sling started getting to me--much fidgeting throughout class, trying to get comfy. Low success rate.

Adding one more class is like an exponential rise in the amount of homework that I have to do. Pacing will have to be adjusted, because even getting up at 4 this morning I have a lot to have done for Wednesday that I don't think I can do in 3 hours tomorrow morning. Means homework after school tonight - I'm not good at that.

All-in-all, it should feel like a triumph, but it's not up to my standards. Still, I din't do too badly.
zoethe: (Default)
Monday life resumes its normal schedule. I go to work for 8 hours, then to school for two classes, every day.

I am SO not ready for this.

I have yet to get through an afternoon without a breakdown. Tomorrow is going to be fun but not restful (roleplaying the Big Finale all afternoon).

But I can't keep wussing out. So I will gather myself together on Monday and cope.

I don't wanna.
zoethe: (Default)
Had my little temper tantrum, had a nap, and was more fit for human company. I think Lyssa's take that I was a overwrought is definitely on. Went to see "Gangs of New York," another excellent-but-flawed movie, and the theatre was cold. I am cold now. Can't quite get warmed up. Thinking of a hot bath - up to my chest - no shoulder immersion.

I've had quite enough of this weather. I hope someone out there is enjoying it.
zoethe: (Default)
Definitely exceeded my grasp today. Made it to 2:30, but now paying the price. Fighting an anxiety attack, sitting here naked from the waist up because I CANNOT GET INTO THAT FUCKING SLING AGAIN. Shoulder hurts, but that is sort of the least of it. My skin feels clammy and I want to scream and kick things.

Wow. Good thing I have a weekend ahead of me.

Have much homework, much to do all around. I was trying to think of the "on the bright side" to interject, and I'm not coming up with one. I hate this, I'm crabby, and I don't want to be nice about it right now.

GROWL!!!
zoethe: (Default)
I'm going in for the day, though not rushing to get there this morning. I have many mixed feelings - hope I am up to it emotionally as well as physically.

But, hey, I've gotten through class all week, right?

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