Leslie Runs

My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.

It’s Not Me, It’s You (#justfingers)

I haven’t written about my silly hand in a while because there hasn’t been much to say. It doesn’t seem to change much, but that might just be because I have to live with it every day and the improvements come in very small increments. I never used to be able to turn the key in the ignition, and now I can. I couldn’t open the car door, and now I can. I am typing this blog two-handed, but obviously more slowly and with more mistakes than prior to my accident. It’s better than hen-pecking to type though, which is what I had been doing for about six months.

Despite these gains I have felt as though I was at a plateau. Returning to my Mexican surgery didn’t give me the magical results I was hoping for. Maybe those Canadian therapists weren’t so far off the mark. The metacarpal joints don’t bend much beyond the 45 degrees they ever did, and they lose ground unless I keep the splint on (a totally unreasonable situation if I am supposed to keep my fingers moving). The proximal interphalangeal joint of my middle finger is almost stuck at 90 degrees and will not extend, though I can actively move it. The other interphalangeal joints don’t move much at all except with passive movements. I fear my ring finger is permanently toast, it having had the worst prognosis after the first surgery. After all, ring fingers are the digits most prone to so-called jersey finger.

So today the therapy doctor said we “needed to talk.” I already knew what he was going to say: something like, “It’s not me, it’s you.” I’ve already had one therapy doctor let me down hard, so I knew that look, though he was thankfully a lot more polite about it. There probably isn’t a whole lot more that therapy can do for me that I can’t do for myself. The only machine I don’t have and can’t buy is an ultrasound machine, but it is not a necessary component of my therapy anyway. If I really wanted a paraffin wax melting pot I could get it. I already have all the hand therapy toys and could get more if I needed to. What I don’t seem to have much of is time, nor hope that the hand can get much better than this.

My hand, who knows how many weeks post-op, and a brand of beer has some eerily similar art on its bottle.

My hand, who knows how many weeks post-op, and a brand of beer has some eerily similar art on its bottle.

I will try to see the hand surgeon again one last time to see if he has any thoughts or ideas about what can be done to continue my hand along a path to improvement. It’s hard to imagine he has much to offer other than more surgery, which my therapy doctor, a therapist I asked, and my own “spidey” senses all agree is a bad idea. If two surgeries resulted in this claw of a hand, a third surgery, especially if it went wrong, could undo what gains I have made. So there you have it. I will probably now proceed to use this blog as a means to elaborate on running training and health and fitness related issues, and maybe a bit of gratitude if I have it in me to be grateful. Right now I just need to mull this whole break up over for a while. 


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September 2014
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