My Surgeon Says I Can Return to The Gym!
Monday, November 04, 2019
I was so excited, I had a hard time sleeping last night! Today was the day that my wrist/hand surgeon would determine if I can go back to working out! There was one area of concern. The area is on the outside of my wrist near my wrist bone. The surgeon had to put in a permanent “stitch” into that area. He could press on the area and cause me extreme amounts of pain. The surgeon told me to give it about 3 more months of massage and suction and if it doesn’t resolve, he will have to go back into the area and remove the permanent stitch. The pain in this area, which is adjacent to the radial nerve is what is makes my hand throb. I will also need to massage my scars twice per day and use suction on them once every day, possibly for a year. That I can do and the good news is that I’ve already been working on it for over three months! I was a little irked with the permanent stitch, which seems to be an impediment to my being almost back to normal.
The reason my range of motion exercises hurt so badly is that the movements are continuously hitting that permanent stitch! Grrrrr! The audacity of that stitch, when I’m so close to normal movement. The area adjacent to my thumb, hits the ulnar nerve and the incision on my palm hits my median nerve. The median nerve and ulnar nerves sometimes work in tandem. So if one is irritated, the inflammation irritates the other. That makes sense to me. So, I must be slightly more aggressive with my massage and suction in that area. If I keep at it, the scarring will eventually break down to a reasonable level. I’m good with that. It’s that stitch that I’m going to have to work on, along with strength training. Goodness knows, I want to avoid any more cutting in the area where my surgeon did the biggest number of reconstructions. I will do the very best I can with coping with all of this. I’m so close I can taste it!
So....we talked about my return to my gym! Yay! I have the rest of this week as well as two more weeks of therapy left. I’m starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve been cleared to go back into the water with modifications. I’ve been cleared to resume the Silver Sneakers (on land) class with lots of modifications. I’ve been instructed to pay attention to pain signals and stop whatever causes the pain. I’m not sure if these medical professionals just aren’t listening or just don’t quite understand that chronic pain sufferers have a much different concept of pain than say the average person. For me, I may not feel any pain at all while doing an activity and five hours later, I get crushing pain that is totally out of control. I talked about it with my physical therapist. My therapist asked me if it is similar to delayed onset muscle soreness. She gets it! Hallelujah! The first person ever to understand (I mean besides other chronic pain sufferers).
My therapist suggested that I write down exactly what workout I do, if I feel pain later, for how long do I have the pain and if it goes away, how long does it take. By keeping records like this, over a period of time, a pattern should emerge. This pattern will help me to see what movements are bringing on the pain and which ones should most likely be modified or skipped altogether. Simple, yet what a great idea! I can self track and ask my class instructors or even a personal trainer for modifications and ideas! Brilliant!!!!! This would appeal to my Spark friend Jeanknee! Perhaps she can help me with the graphs. She does the most amazing things with data! I’m feeling excited. I have a plan A and a plan B. Tomorrow should be exciting!
I’m am going to use baby steps when approaching my return to the gym. I cannot afford to go rushing into any movements. I don’t care if the whole class is doing a movement and I’m three steps behind. With time and patience, it will improve.