Trying to keep my head above water.

My wonderful family have been incredibly supportive since I had this accident, in the beginning doing all the cooking and washing and in general helping to keep my spirits up. In our family this generally means humour; when I first had the plate put in I had a lot of fun as I managed to convince them all it was magnetic. I got a fridge magnet and pretended it was stuck on my arm. ‘That’s really cool’ they decided. George then thought it would be funny to walk me past a scrap metal yard and see if I was attracted to the big magnets.

This was closely followed by my new nickname – Strike. Why Strike – well because I have got ten pins in my arm. My previous  nickname was Tiny Tempah so I suppose it is an improvement.

Last week I was told I could swim again. The first time I went I was a little bit nervous of drowning despite previously having been a strong swimmer. ‘You won’t drown’ said George, ‘you’ll probably just go round in circles’.

Now I am very lucky in that I live 1 mile from an outside pool.Very colourful in 2010

For the last 9 days I have been every day for a swim and to do the exercises in the pool that the physio has given me. I have been arriving at 6am and have discovered a little gang of about 6 people who swim every morning at about this time. Like travelling on the tube there is no conversation, just the odd ‘ Cheerio’. The first time I got in with some trepidation and discovered that whilst my arm was very weak and not really going in the direction I wanted, I could pretty easily  make it up and down the pool.

To begin with, I just did a couple of gentle lengths, enjoying the peace and the early morning quiet. Then my competitive side kicked in. I was being overtaken! I sped up a bit, but conscious of wanting to really push my arm forward, despite my best efforts I couldn’t quite keep up. In addition, every few lengths I was stopping to do my exercises which consist of letting my arm float up in front and to the side.

I know in my heart that no one else there could give a monkey’s what I was doing; they were each just doing their lengths before work or the school run, but to me it didn’t matter. I felt self conscious of my arm when I was swimming as it wasn’t anywhere near straight and odd when I was doing my exercises.

It was all I could do not to break the blissful silence by saying’ Just in case your wondering this forms part of my physio, I fractured my shoulder and am trying to get some movement back in my arm’.

Can you imagine.

They would have probably drowned me!

3 months already?

Outpatients today – three month check up. Actually a week early because we are off  on holiday next week 🙂

Today was x-rays and appointment with the lovely Mr F. Having had several x rays since March I consider myself to be a bit of a pro, so this morning when I was getting dressed I carefully chose what I was going to wear as any metal has to be removed. I wore a sundress in the knowledge that I would have to take the bra off from underneath but confident I would be able to do this as I practised before I left the house.  As a matter of fact it was the second dress that I chose to wear as I got completely stuck trying to get the first dress on and had to call George to release me from where I had trapped myself in my dress with my stiff shoulder.

On arrival to the hospital, I was called through to x-ray and  the radiographer asked me if I had metal on. I told him I did in my bra but I was able to remove it. I originally learnt how to remove a bra from under a dress as a student playing strip poker and was quite smug I was able to do it even with a stiff shoulder.

‘What about this?’ the radiographer said, pointing out a metal clasp on the shoulder of the dress. Hmm, how had I missed that? I asked if I could pull the strap down and he told me I would have to take the arm right out on that side.  Now, I knew there was not a cat in hells chance I could do that but I was keeping quiet. ‘I think it’s best if you put on a gown’ said the radiographer.

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After the x -ray I went into see Mr F. ‘I’m bloody chuffed’, he said. ‘It all seems to be healing nicely and this bit on the top has not dropped off!’. That sounded like good news to me, albeit I wasn’t expecting anything to drop off.  Like me, he was a bit disappointed with the movement that I have got but said that I can start pushing it now, and that the physio can start inflicting pain. ( She wasn’t already?)

Mr F. told me that the arm is not pushed too much for the first three months as the bone is still healing and that I should get some good progress for the next few months. He drew me this diagram to illustrate the fact.


What I found interesting was the point where the rate of progress gets quicker – I wrongly thought it was from 6 weeks reaching a plateau at 3 months, whereas from the diagram and explanation rate of improvement increases from 3 months – so the good news is I am hitting that phase now.

‘Are you swimming yet?’ he asked. ‘ Well in that case start’. Whoopee!!

I think Mr F. has no idea that when I see him and he ‘gifts’ me the ability to drive, swim and move my arm more, from my perspective it is like he is handing out jammy dodgers.