“USE IT OR LOSE IT!” is the advice from doctors and physio.
My hand needs to undergo some normal “life” now, mild loads yes, but it has to start moving, moving, moving. In fact I have been told to wear a glove on my other hand to force the issue. For me this essentially boils down to including two things which would ordinarily bring me so much joy, currently make me cringe.
i. I was given the OK to drive again.
…scary stuff! Mine is a drivers car, with a 6-speed manual. My first attempt was 3 weeks ago when I tried to reverse out of the drive way. A mild lightning bolt of pain shot through my thumb and I turned off the ignition and I did some safer like watch “The fast and the furious” (with a cup of tea). I awaited another 2 weeks and re-tried. Interestingly enough, this was after a few sessions of increased hand strength from further physio exercises,… and it showed. Not only could I get out of the driveway, I was off down the road and did a smallish loop of the surrounds. The first drive did make my hand/wrist ache a bit. The rotations, mild as they were, were being re-learnt again and I guess it will take time. I’ve driven now 2 or 3 times since, and each time the pain is lessened. I really feel this is very much helping in an alternative physio sense.
ii. on your bike!
- padded gloves and brace..always,
- full suspension mountain bike.
- bike paths only, NO mountain biking!
Fair enough I thought, I couldn’t imagine mountain biking anyway, for some time. Cycling again, hmmm. OK, this will be hard to appreciate by readers, but even walking on the hard surfaced road that I had been doing initially made me feel sick. Seriously. I had bad flashbacks of my event back in May 2013. The hardness of road, the pain. I cringed as I just wrote that…..
To ride again was going to muster a lot of confidence. My first try a day or two ago was essentially fine. But I was very tentative and went slow. At times I felt it a bit upsetting/disturbing. The gloves I was using and position of the Ergon grips did make my hand ache somewhat. I’ve tried better padded gloves now and altered the angle of the Ergons to improve the brace contact and it’s much better. Two or three small rides since have lifted my confidence but I’m riding slowly with a very defense-minded attitude.
On reflection, it’s probably the driving that hurts more than riding; during riding, the brace and fact the hand stays relatively flat is probably why.
Psychologically, I feel that the driving and riding in its limited forms has really lifted my confidence. I’m due to hit work again next week and this confidence-lift has helped me.
I’m still blessed/burdened by the time my physio exercises takes me each day. I’d estimate approximately 4-5 hours all up. I am a bit concerned about fitting them into a working life as they are not to be ignored. I can expect some strange stares as I go through the motions at my desk; nothing to see here guys, just physio… nothing else lol.