Ambidextrous and all sorts of Physio!

When I first had my accident I had to re-learn how to do a lot of things with my left arm. I learnt to write, put make up on, hang up washing all with my left arm. I was amazed how quickly I could retrain myself to use my left hand and I am now pretty ambidextrous. I use the mouse on the computer in my left hand without even thinking. This week we went to Chinatown and I realised that I was eating with chopsticks with my left hand without even thinking about it. My left hand has really become my dominant hand and I have to remind myself to use my right hand to do things. It is a reversal of how things were; now I am having to relearn how to do things with my right hand.

It is pretty apparent that my range of motion is not improving at all ‘not exactly dramatic’ is what the physio said at this weeks session. That doesn’t mean to say that I am not constantly trying to improve it by using my arm. If I am putting things away in a high kitchen cupboard I will use my left arm to push my right arm up, stretching it. I make myself wash with my right arm even though it is so weak its pathetic. I am still swimming every morning, come rain or shine and getting fitter as a consequence. I have to think about using my right hand in a way that was just natural before. Its tiring using brain cells to think about doing the things that I used to take for granted!

By thinking about using my right arm and making myself do things with it I am hopeful that it will improve in time. At work, I pull doors, try to drink and eat with my right arm. As I am mostly in meetings or at my desk for the majority of the time you wouldn’t spot that I even had an injury. This is great because it means that I am not thinking of my arm all the time but sometimes it has its disadvantages. Last week we had a new Director join the company I work for. He is a very tall guy, probably about 6ft 5″ and German. I went over to shake his hand and he had one of those hand shakes where he literally grabbed my hand and pumped my arm as hard as he could. Unfortunately for both of us he yanked my arm higher than it has been since March 29th and of course I yelped in pain. There was a stunned silence in the room as all those present looked shocked by what had happened, the new Director was mortified and I was embarrassed explaining why I had squealed like a pig.

The odd thing is, since then I have ¬†been able to reach higher ūüôā

The power of positive thinking..

It’s summer and, because of holidays, this week was the first week that I had physio for three weeks. Now, I have been swimming every day at 6am and am up to 800m each morning so I was really looking forward to her saying how much¬†improvement she could see.

We did the usual range of movement measurements and to my dismay she said, ¬† ¬† ¬† ‘There might be a fraction more movement but its plateaued – and in fact it has been at a plateau for a long time. ‘

Despite myself, some water leaked out of both my eyes.

I am an optimist, a positive person and this normally gives me loads of resilience. This accident has been a really interesting experiment in terms of sorting the optimists from the pessimists.

At work, I regularly come across people who want to hear about the accident and how I am – the most common reaction is ‘ Gosh, weren’t you lucky!” ‘Yes’, I reply, ‘I think I am really lucky, the skier that hit me could have broken my back or my neck or hit my daughter and he probably would have killed her’. We agree how fortunate I have been and I walk away feeling lucky. I am definitely surrounded by optimists in the office.

Others are a bit more considered. ‘That’s dreadful isn’t it, poor you, how unlucky. You must be devastated how bad your shoulder still is, it must be so frustrating for you, all the things that you can’t do’. These are the pessimists in life, you know them, those who suck the life energy out of you, dementors.

The fact is that I can now live life more or less as normal, I can drive, work, type swim. I can’t yet ride, brush my hair and so on – but I focus on what I can do.¬†¬†I am a firm believer that everything will turn out good in the end and if things aren’t good then you’re not at the end yet.

‘You will get there’, my physio said, as she handed me a tissue. She told me that there are other options for me, but it is too early to consider them yet. ‘So’, she said, ‘ for now we will carry on, same time next week?’

So I carry on –¬†because I am¬†not at the end yet.