My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
Today is the three-month anniversary of my second surgery and it has been 5.5 months since I first horribly broke three phalanges on my right hand, each very close to the respective metacarpal phalangeal (MCP) joint.
I haven’t written here in a while because there hasn’t been much to say. Those around me claim to see improvements in the hand, but my opinion is that it hasn’t changed or that it has even regressed. I really don’t know when it started, but the MCP joints do not flex to the extent that they used to. I suppose it is related to the lack of wearing a splint at night, but the old splint was no longer effective and the new splint is just a little to extreme to wear all night long. So, I went the whole summer without a night time splint. I have started to try and wear the new splint for an hour or two at night, but have only managed to fall asleep with it on once. That is not a great track record.
The difference in therapy between Canada and Mexico was probably not a significant factor. Since my return to Mexico the TENS machine has been removed from my treatment plan, but everything else remains. The physiotherapy doctor saw me early this week and said that my MCP joints were very stiff and that they would likely be that way permanently. This was hard news to take, but not a big surprise. I was impressed that someone was finally brave enough to tell me something meaningful about the future of my hand. I wanted to try and get more information from him, but he lapses into Spanish very quickly even if we start in English and then I don’t always understand what is being said.
What has improved is my ability to type. It is not perfect, but I am typing this blog entry mostly two-handed, albeit with a lot of back-spacing. I will continue to work on this dexterity aspect of my hand and I hope to improve it even further. As you can see, my pinky is aligned to type “[” more than “p,” and this will be a new feature of my hand to which I will need to adjust. Being able to type again was one of my goals, so that is almost achieved. I won’t win any speed awards, but at least I can do my job again.
The other thing that has been coming slowly, mostly in dreams at first, but now in reality, is my ability to move the second and third joints of the pinky finger. I had been dreaming for a while that it worked, only to wake and find that it didn’t. Now, if I concentrate, and especially after therapy, I can move all three joints a little bit. Before the only way I could get the second and third joints to move was to block the first joint. This is also progress, but at a snail’s pace, to be sure. I suppose this is almost active range of motion (AROM) in its infancy.