The arm is healing nicely. I do two sessions of PT, one more than is prescribed, and often more reps than is prescribed. I discussed it with my physical therapist, Olivia, and she doesn't think I am overdoing it. This has resulted in a really strong recovery. My range of motion is currently about 80% of normal. She thinks that I might not lose any range of motion, which makes me especially happy that I took the doctor's recommendation to not do surgery. While that decision was partially driven by money, it is also true that I have not had to heal from the trauma of surgery, and so my recovery is faster. I do use a hot pack after my PT sessions for pain management, and that does seem to help a lot. I gather that there's no data that this is technically therapeutic, but I have suspicions that it actually is because it increases blood flow. On the other hand, I also suspect that knitting is really good physical therapy, and I have zero cites on that, too. (The shawl I started right after I broke my arm is almost done!)
My PT exercises now include weights. Ok, one pound weights, to be precise, but I assume that we'll get to higher weights, soon. I am contemplating buying small dumbbells, a set in 2, 3, and 5 pounds. I wonder if this is just me engaging in retail therapy, or if they will be useful. I see Olivia again on Monday, so I think I will delay the purchase until I have a chance to ask her. She has said that although I will not need to do PT for the rest of my life, I will probably always be a little weak in my right arm, and it would be smart to keep up strength exercises for, well, the rest of my life.
I am pain-free for large quantities of the day. I have been able to reduce my use of ibuprofen, and today I have forgone it all together. We'll see if how that goes, long term, but I have already done my first PT session, today, and am not in shocking amounts of pain. So, it seems to be going very well.
I can now do all sorts of things that I either couldn't do, or could only do with shocking amounts of pain. I can wash my own hair, I can cut bread, I can put the bread into the oven, I can cut up cheese (I did cut myself doing this, because my knife skills are still recovering), I can pull up my pants, I can reach over my head, I can wash dishes, I can almost sleep on my right side, I can lift a gallon of water, I can scoop ice cream, I can change the sheets and make the bed, I can fill the humidifier in my CPAP (which is actually really difficult because the design of the humidifier chamber is stupid as fuck), I can drive to the grocery store (though turning corners I do a little differently because my arm doesn't quite work right), I can turn on Mr. Heater (the scary open-flame gas space heater on the wall in my living room), put my hair up in a very messy knot, and wash the bathroom fixtures. This is an incomplete list, but they are all things that were out of reach a fortnight ago.
I have gone a couple of rounds with Ben, my recruiter from Aureus Medical Group, the people that placed me at the Cleveland Clinic. He had said that Cleveland Clinic was vastly under-staffed and wanted me. So I got a release to work letter that had a restriction of lifting no more than ten pounds. It seemed to me that should have been fine, because the number of times in nine and a half years that I worked as a tech that I had to lift something greater than 10 pounds was, um, once. After a week of making happy noises but no details, Ben said that Cleveland Clinic was so short-staffed that they could not take me unless I was at 100%. We did some back and forth about what the fuck 100% means (this is not, actually, a medical term). He finally said that I needed a release to work letter without restrictions. I saw Olivia on Wednesday, and after a chat, she said that I could probably handle my job fine, and I should ask Dr. Hoyen if he agreed.
So, then I sent email to Dr. Hoyen (who has been my doc since I got out of the hospital, who recommended I not get surgery, and who has generally been quite good), asking if this was possible. I detailed my logistical complexities, including the fact that my lease here is up on February 20th. I need to either be working or moving home by that date. I got back a note today saying that while he felt I could return to work, he would like me to limit my hours. I have responded saying that they won't take me if I can't work full-time, and why does he think I need to limit my hours? I await a response.
Once I know if I am going home or staying here, I can either go home with David, or release him into the wild. I hope to know, soon. If I can return to work, but cannot do so for a fortnight or so, there's still no reason he has to be here. I can definitely shift for myself at this point. I will miss him but I bet the cats would be happy to have him home.
Pamela tells me that Ninja and Nuit, separately and together, attempted a mouse murder, last night, but failed. I have yet to be updated on their prosecution of this project. (Dunno what Lady Jane Grey was doing during this attempted homicide. I should ask.)
Meanwhile, my brain has decided to gift me with anxiety dreams, thank you, brain. I had a very detailed one in which I was trying to check into the RadishTree for a single night as a way to relax, but when I got there, they were holding Norwescon there. Why was Norwescon in the RadishTree? We may never know. It was a crowded convention and no one was wearing a mask, and I kept on finding that I had removed my mask and having to put it back on, and the auxiliary con-suite was in the suite i had rented, and then things devolved into a very bad spy movie with hidden rooms, an underground lagoon, and in addition to worrying about COVID I had to worry about being shot or poisoned. Thank you, brain!
Still, things are definitely looking up.
Love to you all from Cleveland.