When I got my cast off I knew already that it was going to take some work to get my wrist and hand back to a functioning level. I had no range of motion in my wrist and very little range of motion in my fingers. My doctor wrote me a prescription for physical therapy twice a week for 4 weeks. At the time, I thought that would be no big deal. I’ll go 8 times and be good as new. Right? Wrong. Dead wrong.
First of all, physical therapy is maybe 20% at the clinic and 80% at home. My first session my therapist gave me a sheet with exercises to do 6 times a day, along with heat in the morning and ice at night. These exercises hurt. And the more I do them, the more I hurt. By the end of the day, I am in quite a bit of pain. But, honestly, it’s nothing compared to what I have to endure at the clinic. Now, I really like my therapist. He’s really good at what he does, but I keep thinking deep down he’s got to be some kind of sadist because he basically tortures people all day. For two hours twice a week I get to have my sessions where I play with funny looking toys and puddy to loosen up my wrist and hand and then he “cranks” on my arm, inflicting pain comparable to that of being in labor. I’ve actually seen patients in there cry from what he is doing to them. And once it’s all over, my wrist will be in so much pain for the next 24 hours that it actually wakes me up at night.
Now, I’ve been going for three weeks, so I would have thought I’d be close to completing my therapy and almost good as new. Unfortunately, as I have discovered, this type of injury takes a really long time to heal. At this point I still have zero active range of motion in my wrist (which means I can move it a little if I use my other hand to move it, but I cannot move it at all on its own). I still can’t make a tight fist and I still cannot open my hand all the way or point. When I have my follow up appointment with my doctor next week, I’ll be getting another prescription for four more weeks of physical therapy. And probably again the following month, and the following month and so on. For up to 9 months. Nine months of pain that I have to work through to get back to normal.
I never thought that something so innocent like slipping and falling could basically disrupt my life for almost an entire year. But I am bound and determined to complete my therapy and get as close to normal as possible.