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28 August 2007

Brac enjoys a holiday

While I have been convalescing Brac has been reaping the benefits. Paul still has some time off work before his new contract starts in September so we have been spending quite a lot of this time up at the gliding club at Bidford-upon-Avon in the West Midlands. Brac loves it up there. Not only does he get more freedom and walks but there are more people to make a fuss of him and to play with. Many of the club members have young children they bring with them and Brac often spends his time in their care racing around playing tag, football, frisbee or charging around with a post in his mouth as here. Kids and dog usually sleep really well I might add.
Coming home is never so popular. Brac appears to sulk for the first day after our return but simply plonking himself down on the hall carpet and barley moving except to go for a walk or to eat. Not to worry though, tomorrow he'll be back to normal.

Slow Progress

Well it's been a couple of weeks now and two physio sessions since my 'manipulation'. I saw the consultant today but he was not particularly impressed. I do have more movement and less discomfort than before but the progress is not as good as expected. In fact, there has been little progress since the first 24 hours after the op. It's not for lack of keeping up with the exercises. His recommendation is for me to have more frequent physio sessions and for them to include hydrotherapy.
That highlighted an interesting thought for me; although I was never a strong swimmer it was an activity I took for granted just like walking. As we have not had a particularly stunning summer over here this year the thought of swimming had not occurred to me since I injured my arm. Now I'm thinking about it I realise this activity is not one I'm going to find particularly easy until my arm is fixed. Unless, that is, I stick to the Aussy crawl. This thought is a little depressing, not because I particularly love to swim but I'm now beginning to feel that my arm is not simply an inconvenience but a disability.
The disability highlighted itself further this last weekend as we went gliding again. The weather was reasonable enough for us to rig our glider. We haven't flown it much this year because of the poor conditions and my only gliding this year had been done in a club 2 seater with fixed undercarriage. As we were checking over the glider to make sure all the controls were working as they should be I discovered that my left arm was not strong enough any more to raise the undercarriage or close the air brakes. Although this did not prevent me flying it did confine me to local soaring only as the glide ratio of our glider is significantly decreased if you have to leave the under carriage down. I am now including some extra strengthening exercises into my physio routine.
I'm sure if I just stick with the program it will eventually get fixed but I would like to see a few more positive results in the mean time.

16 August 2007

Over the Worst...I Hope!

I had my manipulation done yesterday. I certainly hope I don't have to go through that ever again. The consultant warned me it would be a 'bit' painful when I came round from the anaesthetic but I think he was being rather too 'British' about that description. It was agony. The recovery nurses kept telling me to relax as it would make the pain easier but they weren't the ones who's arm felt like it was being passed through a mangle! Half an hour and 2 more shots of morphine and I was eventually ready to be released from the recovery room. My arm was still painful but at least it was now within limits of what I could stand. In 10 minutes I was due for my first physio visit but thankfully the nurse managed to persuade the physio to put it back an hour. By the time he did call in to see me the pain had subsided enough for me to be able to bear some gentle movement. I keep saying arm when it was actually my shoulder as that was where I was feeling the pain.
The physio gave me some exercises for me to repeat every 10 minutes and much to my surprise the movements got much easier and less painful each time I tried. I was, however, having to lift my left arm with my right hand as there was no power in the left arm at all at that stage.
When I left I was told I could reduce the exercises to hourly and given an appointment to see the physio again the following day (lunchtime today) . I was packed off with a load of painkillers and advised to take some before my appointment. No worries there!
Later that evening I found I could lift my left arm on it's own which made me feel much happier. I still have a long way to go and I am told it is likely to get worse again before it better but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

14 August 2007

Op's Eve

Tomorrow is D Day for my shoulder and strangely enough I woke up this morning convinced it was getting better by itself. This always happens to me and on occasions I have even put off visits to the doctor because of it only for the symptoms to return a day or so later. It's totally psychological I know. As for my shoulder, I tried to test just how much movement I had in it and sure enough I convinced myself I could indeed move it more than I had been able before. Amazing, I can cancel the manipulation tomorrow and all will be hunky-dory. I then start to get dressed and realise that there is no difference what so ever as I try to stuff my left arm in my pullover. Even the actions that were marginal before are still marginal today and as if to prove it further I then jar my shoulder as I put food down for Brac making me wince so much that he came and gave me a concerned kiss. I'm sure there will be a lot more wincing after tomorrow but hopefully it will set me on the road to recovery.

09 August 2007

Aaaah. Whats happened to my routine?

Life seems to have been turned on it's head this last few weeks. Paul is off work until September as he is recuperating following an operation on his feet. Nothing serious but it's totally thrown me. Without him leaving for work during the week, and as I work from home I have no reference points. I forget which day of the week it is. I lost a day completely last week. If that's not bad enough, all the jobs I do by rote during the day have had to be re-arranged. This means that many of them get forgotten. Efficiency has taken a nose dive. I need to reorganise but Paul seems to have other ideas like going flying instead of shopping. (As he has bandages on his feet that means I pilot and he 'back seats'.)
I ought to do some housework as the moment but Paul has decided to re-organise the central heating plumbing. There are tools and bits of copper pipe scattered everywhere.
I need to take control before I disappear beneath a mountain of ironing or starve because the fridge is empty. The trouble is, I don't much like household chores so it doesn't take much to sway me from doing them. That's why I do everything by rote. I don't need much encouragement to abandon it though, and Paul is providing the perfect excuse.
Things are going to get worse too. Next Wednesday I am going into hospital to have my frozen shoulder manipulated under general anaesthetic to try and get it working again. It's going to be agony when I wake up and may need up to 3 months of physio before it is fully functional again. I'm not sure I will be sufficiently disciplined to keep up with the housework under those conditions. But hey, I've been doing it for the past 9 months with a steadily worsening shoulder so maybe it won't be so hard. At least it's my left arm and not my right.