I am still going through hand therapy twice a week for 2 hours or so each time. I am still surprised at the difficulties I am encountering and how troublesome this injury and the sequealae has been.
So hand therapy is exhausting.
I come in and the first ten minutes are spent with my hand taped down into a variety of stretches, mostly for the MCP’s or knuckles. sort of like this:
Once its taped down, Jen the therapist sandwiches it between the very very hot weighted heat packs. I like the heat, but the stretch is somewhat uncomfortable. I do this for ten minutes. Jen answers her emails from the day before.
After that, She usually has me either stretch it some more manually, or do the “tendon glide exercise”
Essentially, I make a variety of fists and in between stretch them out. Not too bad.
After that there is putty. Like silly putty, but in different strengths. They are color coded. Each different color has a different strength, requiring more strength to manipulate it. I am at the red putty. The red putty is the lightest resistance. And it’s HARD! I hate the putty. I only use it for 4 minutes, but it makes my hand swell and ache for the rest of the day. Amazing.
After this, I usually stretch again for 6-8 minutes. It just goes on and on.
Post stretch, I do the “crafts workshop” I have to hold beads with my injured fingers against my plam and string a string of beads. I do the same string each time, and it is again HARD. My ring finger does well, but the pinky hates it.
After that…I get the peg board. Using my injured fingers and my opposable thumb I must pick up 1/2 centimeter sticks and stick them into a peg board. Again, easy for the ring finger, but the pinky suffers, and I often drop the sticks. Each time, I try to make a pattern.
After all that we do measurements of all the joints. I generally am increasing flexibility by 1-3 degrees each week, which isn’t a lot, but it’s where I’m at.
Usually at that point, I am free to go and ice the hand and put on the compression glove once again.
Cosmetically my hand still looks bad to me, but I know that function is much more important. I see the surgeon again on the 25th, and I’m curious about what he will think of the cosmetic appearance, if he will say anything about it at all.
I am hoping I will get more flexibility back, as the hand still feels somewhat uncomfortable, of course, oddly, my hand remains swollen, in fact, it looks as if I have no 4th and 5th knuckles, but…its going down daily.
I know that in one year, I’ll just be remembering this as a very unpleasant memory, (golly, I hope so)….but for the moment it is such a long and dragging process with tiny little progress, I’m feeling a little grumpy about the whole thing….