Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spiral Fracture of Humerus - Week 15

I finally got the green light to abandon the brace. This is especially good because my arm was getting too big for it. I slept incredibly well last night save for the sick baby that kept waking up.

I've been making steady progress with physical therapy but steady also means slow. The shoulder has done better than the elbow for the most part probably because there wasn't as much damage except lack of use.

I'm still stretching out scar tissue in the elbow. The fact that it's getting gradually better leads me to believe I can recover without surgery. The hardest part is that stretching one way makes it harder to go to the other so I spend a great deal of my time stretching it back and forth to keep it loose. There are some days when I can't do this but oddly enough I have an easier time after taking a day off. There may be something to that. Muscle pain is not like it was thanks to the beef I've been putting on by picking up my heavy son. My muscles aren't quite there yet so any real stretching is done with the other arm since I'm not quite strong enough to pull things all the way towards me.

I can manage with what I've got currently and may just do another month of physical therapy before continuing on my own. My goal is to still be able to tie a bow tie by the end of the year. I think I can do it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spiral Fracture of Humerus - Week 14

Little by little I'm getting muscle back. I was able to put my 1 year old in his crib last night which is probably a huge relief to my wife who has been doing it all on her own for the past four and a half months. We're going to have to work out a rotation so we can split duties.

I'm still wearing my brace when I sleep and when I do any strenuous activity which means I'm pretty much just wearing it when I sleep. It's getting smaller and smaller as I build up muscle in my arm.

On the recovery front, my pre-existing elbow pop that I was really hoping would be gone after my injury has returned which is either a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. It's a lot better than the elbow click I had a few weeks after the injury. Rather than feeling like the elbow is out of socket. Now it's back to the feeling like  knuckle pop which is somewhat soothing. It doesn't make a noise but I can feel it. I did it last night while I was rolling over. It didn't hurt at all but it scared me. It was easily one of the most annoying things in the world.

My shoulder is still being a bitch. I know it's getting loose because now instead of incredible tightness I've got my old shoulder pop back which was an old problem as well. Like the elbow it's just the way I've been since my mid twenties and doesn't hurt at all. I'll take it as a good sign.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Spiral Fracture of Humerus - Week 13

Little by little I'm returning to normalcy. As far as range of motion I'm still working on my three trouble areas which are extending and bending my arm at the elbow and getting my shoulder moving correctly again. I think the combination of physical therapy with a therapist and my own efforts at home are going well.

As far as straightening my arm it's been a slow battle but I do have some very good days. I have to keep these joints moving frequently to keep them from stiffening back up. Working in both directions at the same time makes is a little tougher as they seem to be against each other. Once I get one really stretched it's like the other has farther to go.

Bending my arm has gotten pretty good. My goal for the end of the month is to be able to tie a bow tie. I can get my hand into bow tie position but my dexterity is still a little off. I have to fight to urge to bend my wrist all funny. My hand is capable to doing most all of what it needs to do but I've gotten so used to bending my wrist in order to get my hand to my mouth and face. It really bugs my wife. I've made the most progress here which makes me really happy.

The shoulder is the rough spot. I can extend my arm almost straight up which is a vast improvement but going out to the side is still rough. I thought it was my elbow but it's apparently a muscle on my back that needs stretching.

So here we are, stretching constantly and taking ibuprofen from time to time.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Spiral Fracture of Humerus - Week 12

I'm going to change things up since my recovery is entering a new phase. My doctor has cleared me to start physical therapy and abandon my arm brace except for when I'm sleeping or doing any strenuous activity with that arm.

A month ago things weren't looking very well. I had very little elbow movement and the joint clicked like crazy. He was fairly certain that surgery would be needed to correct it. A month later and I've managed to get a lot of movement back on my own so the rest should be doable with physical therapy though I may never get back to 100% of my range of motion.

Last weekend I've been able to pick my son up and over the last few days I've been able to hold him in the "bad" arm. I still can't get him in and out of the crib but I think with enough work over the coming weeks I should be able to. There's simply not enough muscle to pick that giant up and not being able to completely extend my arm makes it difficult as well. I'm also going to hold off on loading and unloading him from the car just to be safe.

My assessment with physical therapy is tomorrow morning so I'll have a recovery plan for the ROM and muscle restoration. I'm going to have them take it easy since I've already met my deductible for the year and would rather take it slow. I think we were too aggressive with it last time.

I will continue with passive stretching at home like I've been doing since over the past week I've gone from being able to point at my head to washing my hair.

I don't completely trust my arm yet but I hope that will improve with time. When I take my wife and son to Disneyland next year I should be in pretty good shape.