Friday, February 15, 2013

A long and slow journey

It's been a long slow journey here since the surgery on my broken wrist in December.  Wednesday I had physical therapy AND a Doctor's appointment.  I came away from both a little discouraged and disappointed.

You see I have been doing hand therapy for about 8 weeks.  My fingers are moving, but still lots of stiffness, and some swelling keeps me from making a very  good fist.  But the area that my Therapist and Doctor are concerned about is my wrist.  I have very limited movement and still have pain.  I am not able to move my wrist to a palm up position.  So the therapist and Doctor want to put me in a device that would move my wrist.  It sounds like a torture chamber. What discouraged me the most was that my Therapist would be happy if I can get 60% movement back, but the Doctor does not think I will regain that much.

So I share all this with you because Wednesday when I got back home, I took up my Rotary cutter and tried once again to see if I could make a cut in fabric.  And this was the result.


It is slow and uncomfortable, and I can't do it for very long, BUT I did cut fabric!!!!!  I felt like I had climbed Mount Everest!

And last night I sewed these strips together.

For the last two months, it seems like everyone was making Bonnie Hunters Scrap Along Trip Around the World.  So my goal is to make the strips and work on making blocks for this quilt.

It's a slow start, but at least I am working towards quilting again :-)

34 comments:

Amy Friend said...

Oh goodness, I would be discouraged by that news too but remember, people with determination and good attitudes often surprise doctors!

Carol said...

When hubby had his knee replacement, the therapist had higher goals for him than the doctor did...the doctor didn't think it was possible...he was determined and he far surpassed the doctor's goal. You are clearly very determined...sending you good thoughts!

Debbie said...

Oh goodness....what a road you have traveled so far. Believe me I know after breaking my shoulder last year and thinking--being told---that I might not be able to quilt like I use to. I got so depressed, but blogging buddies kept at me until I decided that the doctors and therapist did not know how much I wanted to get back to my quilting. I pushed through the wall and found/made up ways to get movement going.
I work in shorter time intervals now, and am making small projects, but I am more motivated by that.
Cut a little bit, sew a little while, stretch and flex and begin again. You can show them that you can improve more than they think.
Big hugs.

Terry said...

I'm so sorry about your wrist. Hopefully it will heal better than everyone expects.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

One step at a time - healing thoughts.

Betty Lou said...

Baby steps but you will get there. Congratulations on your perseverance.

andsewon said...

Be strong, push forward, hang in there and just take each day as it comes. May just take you a tad longer than others. Sometimes we may not be able to do things as we once did but find new ways to get things done. For now maybe someone can do the cutting for you. Keeping you in my thoughts.
Lola

Jean(ie) said...

Yay!!!! You made progress!

Hang in there, I'm with Lola. It's a slow process, but you can do anything you set your mind to do. I'm currently battling hand/wrist issues as well (not as severe as yours), and I know how it wears out with the rotary cutter and how the hand work can be painful.

Hugs.

Heather said...

You can do it. keep practising. When daughter was young she broke her elbow. After it healed she couldn't get her finger tips within 8 inches of her shoulder. After weeks of physio, she was close but still had more than an inch to go, but no more physio. Time passed and she did normal stuff and one day we realized that she could easily touch her shoulder. So keep going and take the improvements as they come. ps. I do think that there is a rotary cutter where you grip it with your palm facing down.

Ranch Wife said...

Sending good thoughts and prayers that the doctor is wrong and that you will gain more mobility in your wrist than what he predicted. If I were closer, I would come cut for you. :)

Anita said...

You should look into buying one of those die cur machines either accuquilt or sizzix. Both cut 2 1/2" strips,which is what you would need for your trip around the world. Well wishes for a speedy recovery :)

carla said...

Hi!!! Yaa!!! Back to quilting!!! Sorry you are still having so much pain!!! But the fun is benificial to healing!!! I have been thinking about the trip along too!!! Kinda feel like I have been missing out!!! I did get in some BOM's this year and got in Madame Sams' Stitch Me Up!!! With two grands it is hard to find time!!! Hope your healing continues!!!

Pam said...

I am sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. I broke my right wrist last May, it took a long while to heal. Ask yo to increase the range of movement. Ask your Physio about hot wax wrap, I had to dip my hand halfway up my fore arm several times into a warm wax bath, it was then put into a plastic bag, to retain the warmth and the mess, the Physio then gently moved my wrist. This was repeated 3 time weekly for 3 weeks and helped immensely. I still have limitations but can manage to do most of what I want, just slower.

Kindred Quilts said...

I'm happy to hear that you are a "fighter" and want to prove your doctor wrong! I too have used a warm wax bath for Rheumatoid Arthritis in both wrists... it feels wonderful and with repeated use it helps. I also would be very happy to cut 2.5 inch strips for you and mail them, if you ever need a break (no pun intended!) from using the rotary cutter. If you're willing to share you address, I'm willing to do the cutting!!!

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Oh geez, I'm sorry your healing is going so slow. I'm glad you were able to cut those strips!

Hugs,
Kelly

Leslie McNeil said...

Alleluia, Jocelyn!

Patty said...

Congratulaions! Keep up the good work I will keep you in my prayers.

Penny said...

My son sprained his ankle badly before Christmas playing basketball. Many, many weeks later, it was still swollen and painful that he still could not walk on it. Then the mother of a friend told him to make a compress of Washing Soda crystals inside a sock, then bandage it to the swollen area (which he did at night). Wow, did this work!! The first time he did this, in the morning when removed all the swelling was nearly gone as it took the fluid out, pain nearly gone and he had movement. After two or three goes at it you couldn't tell he been on crutches only days before.

I know he didn't break his ankle, but it is getting that fluid out to reduce the swelling then you can start to heal.

The friend's mother uses this method on their horses, and it works.

Worth a try. Hope it helps.



Michele said...

I'm so sorry that the therapy isn't going as you had hoped. But it did take a lot longer than expected when I broke my wrist. I was in PT for 4 months. Thankfully for me it wasn't my dominant hand but it was still tough, especially since right after we traveled to Vietnam to bring our son home. Those first months of carrying around a baby wasn't easy. You may get back more mobility than you think but it will likely take a while. Don't give up hope.

Ellen said...

I too fractured my wrist, not as bad as yours but still an inconvenience to sewing or should I say not...I bought a suction handle for the ruler at Harbor Frt. and hope it will allow me to use my rotary cutter and ruler to cut my strips...I have had withdrawal anxiety from being unable to quilt. Will start PT next week , hopefully get back full use of my hand and wrist. I feel your pain and frustration...hang in there!

Smultronbo said...

Dont give up hope. Just keep on with the exersizes for your wrist and the results may surprise your doctor. Keep up the good work and I'm happy that you are back to quilting even if its slow. Its still better than not being able to do anything quilty. Hugs from me.

Irene said...

I can imagine how discouraged you must have been but I'll bet you couldn't have cut those strips a few weeks ago. I'm sure your determination and desire will win out. We quilters are hard to keep down!

Quilting Babcia said...

You ARE making progress and that is good news, even though it's coming in small doses, like cutting those first strips. Keep the faith, keep on using your rotary cutter even if for only five minutes a day, and then stitching for a few minutes. I would definitely try the compresses mentioned in one of the comments above - it's often the old time home remedies that work best. Your friends are cheering you on and know that you can and will be stitching to your hearts content in time.

Tammy said...

That sewing and quilting may be the best therapy for you. Set goals for each day and work towards it...If you have a bad day that is ok the next day is the same goal until you meet it. Set your clock for a small alloted amount of time and see if you can sew for that amount of time...Small step goals may turn in to big steps toward reagaing all the use....Hard work but "sew" worth it...

Cathy said...

Keep it up and you will back to normal soon. Hugs

SewCalGal said...

Woo hoo, I'm glad you are strippin again, even if it is a few strips at a time. I just hope your DR and PT are ok with you being a stripper at this point in your recovery. If so, go for it. Daily stripping, a few strips at a time, could end up being really good therapy. And, you can tell your Dr/PT you are stripping daily as part of your PT program. :)

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Elizabeth said...

I have arthritis in my fingers from (over)using computers for too many decades. I have "graduated" to using a Martinelli ruler and cutter. There are videos on youtube by the company. I have no affiliation, but all that they say on their promos rings true for me. Instead of cutting from the side of your body, you cut from the center, and the engineering of the cutter takes all the pressure off all the joints.

Pauline said...

Let me tell you about a wrist break I had... I fell off a horse and broke my right wrist in 5 places. The radius had a complete break and the hand twisted outward about 25%. 4 other bone were also cracked or broken. The hand and arm were cast in an awkward position with the hand bent upward. I thought I'd never be able to sew again. After cast removal and therapy I had limited use and pain. I kept exercising the wrist for years, learned to do lots of things at strange angles. Gradually, and I mean several years I got back what I considered 95% of movement. So don't give up, push yourself to use the wrist. Don't let the pain get intolerable, but put up with some. I took ibuprofen as needed. Starting with only one tablet. Pain can be a friend that keeps you from injuring yourself, so don't go too far and re-injure something, but do work your wrist, and be patient.

Ivory Spring said...

Yippee! I am doing a Snoopy dance for you, but don't overdo it, okay?! :)

Hugs.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I had finger surgery over 5 years ago. I told the doc that I wouldn't have it if it messed with my hand quilting. We looked at the xrays together, and didn't see anything to worry about. Unfortunately, you can't see everything on an xray. When he opened my finger up, he saw 'threads' wrapped around my nerves and such in my finger, that didn't show up in the xray. He hadn't mentioned me going to therapy until AFTER the surgery, because of all the damage he found in my finger. Eek! After 8 plus weeks of therapy, and working secretly on trying to hand quilt on hubby's secret Anniversary quilt, I got back almost full function in my finger (it still won't bend as far as it should). The therapists and the doctor were all shocked that 'my' therapy of forcing myself to use that finger to hand quilt (over 80 hours of hand quilting by that time) worked MUCH better than any therapy that they could find for me to do. The doc told me then that he didn't think I'd ever be able to quilt again, until he saw what I did myself. The therapists now add needle work as part of their therapy for finger injuries. Just keep trying, a little at a time, and try to prove the doctor wrong. They don't know everything, and I'm proof of that. Slowly is the key, but, so is perseverance. Good luck, you have a start, with those strips, at least. You can do it.

Jen said...

The news of your wrist wasn't very good but I am sure if you keep at it it should improve slowly. I would also try what Penny said with the compress as often those type of old remedies work.
At least you are cutting and sewing a little that is impressive.

Cheryl said...

I say you have the best physical therapy going right there. Don't let what those doctors said discourage you....so many times you hear of them setting "limits" for patients by what they say and then the patient far exceeds that!!! I know you are going to surprise them all!!!!!! Stay determined! All your bloggy friends are here cheering for you.

Carrie P. said...

so sorry to hear about that bad report from the doctor. I pray the device will give you 100% usage of your wrist so you can enjoy quilting again. hugs!

Finding Fifth said...

I am encouraged to read many of these comments and suggestions. You are well loved in the blogging community Jocelyn.