As regular readers know, I have been having a lot of severe pain issues since injuring my knee two weeks ago. This problem continues but seems to be getting gradually better.
Funny, really, to reflect that I’ve just come through very complex, inherently dangerous neurosurgery in fine shape … but in just a few weeks have sustained back-to-back injuries in low tech rehab. Go figure! I’ll have to be more careful. 🙂
On the lighter side of rehabilitation, since my knee is still recovering and I am unable to presently stand or walk, I have been concentrating on upper body Occupational Therapy (OT).
Most of the OT in the morning involves building up the strength in the back of my neck “rowing” on the Vita-Glide … then a long routine with wrist weights … balancing exercises, etc. For the most part this is still pretty hard work as I’m trying to recondition my upper body from having been recovering in bed for the past month.
Otherwise, in the brand-new 2nd floor rehabilitation center the staff have just put together a new tournament table to challenge using fine motor skills with your hands. This may not be exactly the most appropriate table for me, since I do not have any particular motor function in my hands, but it does allow me to work on my adaptive hand behavior.
Anyway, today my pal Nu Jia and I had a little downtime, and we so decided have a competition at the OT table. It was a fair match, as Nu Jia has exactly the same level of injury as myself … C6 … so her hands and triceps are just as impaired as my own.
We chose a game with a long thick string connected to a small wooden needlepoint. The point of the game is to thread differently shaped blocks onto the string. Now try to imagine a quad picking up a needle, even a thick wooden needle, and with it trying to weave a necklace … or maybe think of trying to push wet string.
Nu Jia and I squared off to see who could get 10 wooden objects threaded through the needle in shortest time. The entire rehabilitation team gathered around and started to cheer us on. Both of our hands were literally shaking as we strained to get these darn little wooden objects onto the needle. The competition was fierce, but I’m afraid that in the end Nu Jia won fair and square … actually, she won by a landslide. I might like to say that’s because she’s been practicing and I’ve never done this before, but truth is she’s just really good 🙂
“To the victor the spoils” … Nu Jia’s winning necklace!
Nu Jia Hard at “work” …
Ever see a prettier carpenter?
We’ve decided now to have a weekly competition, and the staff just posted a scorecard up on the bulletin board, so this is getting serious. I think friendly competitions like this are a good idea, as it will help keep the atmosphere here both fun and intense at the same time.
All in all a pretty good day despite the fact that my knee is still swollen, which results in Dysreflexia that, in turn, triggers severe neuropathic pain, usually in the evenings just in time to wreck a night’s sleep. I probably have another few days of this before I can actually re-join the walking program again.
Finally, I would just like to prepare my regular readers for an upcoming blog post as it will not be for the faint of heart … I will be posting high resolution photographs of my spinal surgery. These photographs are exceptionally informative but are necessarily quite graphic.