Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I would never believe how long it would take to recover from a broken wrist, and I'm not there yet - not even driving yet - but I'm so happy to be making progress slowly but surely.
Just to backtrack... I broke my wrist while hiking the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota on Sunday September 29 - it was the day after a rain, I was going downhill, and the scenery was so beautiful I probably wasn't watching my step as I should - I unthinkingly put my left hand down to try to stop my fall, fell anyway and heard a snap. Because I'd been hiking in July with someone who did the same exact thing and broke her wrist, I had a pretty good idea of what I'd done. I walked probably 1/4 mile to a dirt road holding my left arm, waited for my photo-taking friend, and we hitched a ride to her car at the trailhead. Went to our resort reception desk who gave me some ice and rigged up a towel sling, and went to the emergency room 40 minutes up the road. They confirmed the broken wrist, put me in a half-cast/splint and after consulting with an orthopedist in Duluth, found I could just wait till I got home to get the full cast on.
On October 7 I went to the orthopedic doctor here - he 'realigned' some bones (ouch! major! - but better than needing surgery, I guess) and put on a full cast. A week later I went back for x-rays, and my bones still needed some tweaking (ouch!) so I got a 2nd full cast on then. The third week everything looked fine in the x-rays - yay, but I still had the cast on another month - and it went above my elbow and halfway across my hand, so I couldn't move anything - just wiggle a few fingers.
On November 12th, I got the cast off - and my poor arm looked weakened and exposed - hurt to do anything. But at least I could take a bath or shower normally again.
Went to the physical therapist on the 14th, who gave me some exercises, and said I should try using my hand in normal ways again - it would be the best thing to get the use of it back. Boy, did I hurt doing anything - I remember trying to put moisturizer on my face with my left hand - pretty amusing, like a 2-yr-old's work (could only use the tips of my fingers). I still couldn't put earrings in, tie my shoes, and it hurt so much at night I had to take pain drugs to sleep. I worked at the exercises, not seeing much progress and when I went back in a week, the physical therapist was really pleased at the progress I made (heck! I thought I was a failure). He had me continue the exercises for 2 weeks, and again I didn't see much progress with them, but I did manage tying my shoes (loosely) and putting in earrings and little things like that. So last Thursday when I went in, he did notice some progress (although I'm still far from making a fist) , and gave me some wrist-strength exercises. I go back a week from Thursday for possibly my last physical therapy. (which I'm really sad about!)
My hand still is always swollen, more when I use it a lot, or go for a walk or hike. It's a pain to sleep, cuz I like sleeping on my side, and have to make 'pillow accommodations' for my wrist, but not a pain enough to require drugs. I still take a bubble bath every morning which makes it feel better, and 'loosens' my muscles up for doing my pt exercises. I'm using my hand more, managed to open a door turning the doorknob with my left hand today, and even shaved my right armpit in the bathtub today without thinking I was using my 'bad' hand! I'm cooking, cutting veggies, but still have to call my husband when the pasta's done to drain the pot. Oh, and I can type 'normally' as you can see.
Working on that fist, and my strength exercises, and I'm slowly making progress. Maybe a fist for Christmas??
Then I think I can get back to exercise at the gym again - I've been walking every day, but its too much right now to walk to the gym, exercise, and come back. It will be so nice to drive again!! And my NEXT car will be an automatic!!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
In late September I did my big trip of the year, flying to visit my college girlfriend near Chicago, and then driving up to Minnesota for a 'Lodge to Lodge' Hike of part of the Superior Trail along the north coast of Lake Superior. Everyday we got breakfast, a packed lunch, drove our car to the 'end' trailhead, and got a ride to the 'start' trailhead for the day, hiking about 7 to 11 miles every day. The weather was Perfect, and we saw lots of red maples and bald eagles.
Just a few pics from the trip:
one of many small lakes we saw from the trail
we crossed so many rivers (on nice bridges) and saw so many waterfalls
View of Lake Superior
took a 'tourist' day to see the falls on the Canadian border at Grand Portage
My last day on the trail was a beautiful day - unfortunately I took a fall and um, unconsciously put my left arm down to break the fall, and broke my wrist instead - but my friend was very helpful, and the folks at the Cook Co North Shore Hospital ER were wonderful.
did some more 'sightseeing' the day after the break
and our last day, my friend did our planned section hike while I took the Gondola up Moose Mtn at Lutzen (where we were staying that night)
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I did this a while ago, October 11, and couldn't blog easily with one set of functional fingers, so I'll update this now (since it's part of one of my challenges for the year) -
After I got back from Minnesota with my broken wrist, I'd already scheduled a hike to Lost Lakes from Upper Blue Lake near Carson Pass - before my injury, I was thinking of making it more of a hike using the PCT, but since we could just get to the lakes in a mile on a dirt road I decided heck, I can do this -- and it was SO worth it!
First view of the upper Lost Lake
Got to the 9th lake on my list!!
Views beyond the lake
"Bonus" lower Lost Lake
Leaves on the drive back
The 10th, and Last Lost/Hidden lake will have to wait till next year - its re-doing the one I attempted earlier in the year, but didn't make due to various reasons (snow, slow-going) - and that one requires using hands a lot - so I know what I'm up against, and know I can definitely make that one when the snow's all gone next summer.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Well, I made it to 8 lakes on my list now! This one was tough to find, but we found it!
We started out on the Pacific Crest Trail going north off of Packer Lake Road - and had darn nice views to the South:
with a great view of the Sierra Buttes, and to the North:
with a view of Mt Elwell which we just climbed the other week.
Then we came to just above Deer Lake, and came down to have lunch there -
After lunch, we continued on to Grass Lake (no photo, sorry) and then went cross-country hunting with map and compass and a little help from gps (finding elevation! - somehow neither were able to map where we were!) to find Lost Lake - after a bit of searching, we found it!
Yeah, not much of a lake this time of year, but from looking at the bathtub lines, it was pretty full sometime -
All in all a great hike, with wonderful weather. The only downside is that my old trusty hiking pants ripped (tying my boots at the start!) and we had to duct-tape them - and when I took them off at home, I found more rips had started, so guess it's good it happened BEFORE I take off Friday for my Minnesota vacation - but meantime I need to hem some other hiking pants (beige and not-so-great, but they were on sale) before I take off.
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