My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
It has been six weeks since the accident and I can honestly say that I am entirely disappointed with my progress. There hasn’t been much. My hand still looks horrible and three fingers are at risk of so-called “trigger finger.” While I can mobilize all three joints of my middle finger using my own tendons, I cannot straighten it at all, and the surgeon thinks that it has lost ground in this regard. The ring finger has been “tsk tsked” at by every medical professional who has laid eyes on it, which doesn’t give me a reason to hope for future normalcy. Discouragingly, I cannot mobilize the second and third joints in it. The pinky finger still has two metal wires in it, and the surgeon said they need to come out this week, but we must await the insurance authorization to proceed. I hope it doesn’t take long to process, because the finger has taken to throbbing in the past two days, as though it knows it is time for the foreign intruder to leave.
Last night was my 19th physiotherapy appointment, and while my therapist is very competent, it is still extremely painful when she mobilizes each joint for me. Excruciating is probably a more accurate word. It has gotten so that I prefer the TENS machine just so I can be done with her making me scream and cry out loud like a baby in front of her and the other patrons. Which would you prefer: Painful twisting at the hands of another or electrocution?
I have had some other health concerns of late, including an adverse reaction to Mexican-sourced pain medication, so most of this weeks’ appointments were as painful as possible as I was free of painkillers the entire week. Last night I took one extra strength Tylenol and it just isn’t strong enough for the kind of pain I am in. I have a new prescription, but now I am extra wary of medicine. I don’t want any more horrible, potentially organ damaging side effects.
I have stopped running for now, as I just don’t have the time to do so and my desire is diminshed. Physiotherapy literally is a 2.5 hour round trip every weekday night, and I am 9 hours all in for getting to work, working, and getting home again. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything and those 2.5 hours I am spending at physiotherapy used to be the time I had for exercise. Unfortunately, running was a natural defense against depression, and now I no longer have it just in time to have a reason to feel very down. When I try to think about other exercise options in the house, like P90X, I am constantly reminded that exercise programs assume body symmetry, which I do not have.
In any case, I feel further and further away from ever having a good hand again, and then I am reminded of all the things I cannot do. The garden is overgrown: I can’t prune the shrubs or mow the law any more. Soon it will be birthday time: I can’t wrap gifts or bake and decorate a cake that anyone would look at and want to eat. There was a soccer tournament and even a moms’ team: I might never be able to do that because what if a ball hits my hand? The pain would be too much to bear. What if it never gets back to some reasonable form of painless “normal.” I am starting to think that this is a real possibility, and it scares me.