Yesterday was my first in-person physical therapy appointment. The last two have been online which doesn’t really work at all for physical therapy but we’re at the peak of the pandemic here and the last thing I want is to add to my misery with some unknown virus.
I now have a masked but seemingly handsome 26-year-old young man who pulled and pushed on my arm trying to make it bend, but about 12 inches of scar tissue and metalwork is preventing much movement. It hurts when he pulls on it and feels like metal is going to pop out the back of my arm. It’s frightening. I worried about him a lot, though. He said he was interested in sports physical therapy and he was only at this clinic because of the pandemic. He was young and I worried that he was inexperienced in the kind of therapy for my situation – that is, multiple fractures and a lot of metal in an aging arm.
He worked on the scar rubbing it with some sort of device. Instrument assisted massage (ISATM) involves using specialty stainless steel instruments of various sizes to massage and mobilize tissues, helping break up the built-up collagen cells. Then he turned me over to one of the assistants and she had me working with some putty and marbles to try to get my hand working.
My arm hurts today, and I can’t seem to find a comfortable position for it as everything it touches feels like sandpaper. I can’t wear long sleeves. Good thing it’s hot here. I’m supposed to go again tomorrow but I don’t want to because it hurts.
I’m almost 8 weeks post-op and my arm is extending about 125 degrees to 80 degrees – not very good. Frustrated and a worried my arm will never work right again.
Everything hurts – my arm, my shoulder from holding up a dead arm, my back from sitting too much and my brain from thinking about it. I am angry and frustrated today that I shattered my elbow by falling off a ladder instead of while skiing, or running a 10K, or hiking, or dancing. Trying to stay positive but it’s not working.
I’m tired and I want to cry.