Saturday, March 31, 2012

(Im)patience, physiotherapy and turning t-h-i-r-t-y

Last week I turned 30. In all honesty, it wasn't really a great day - not that I had high expectations with my sling still permanently attached, too many drugs to combine (safely) with any alcoholic drinks, and the inability to stand or sit for very long without almost fainting.... So celebrations are on hold until later this year.  Until then I think I will continue to be 29 (and 12 months).


Seriously, I don't feel 30. Thirty years is such a long time! When I was younger 30 seemed like a proper grown up, time to have it all pulled together and life mapped out.  I wonder if anyone ever gets there or if it just seems like it when you are younger....  Turning 30 seems to  demand a real review of life-so-far and, for me, I'm really not where I thought I would be.  Looking back over the last seven years is difficult and it's so unreal sometimes to consider how long Lyme affected me so severely. It's so easy to think about how rubbish it's been and to wish things had been different.  But that doesn't change anything, of course, so looking forward is far more important.  Mum read something to me out a magazine article, an interview with the actress Julianna Margulies in which she said when she turned 30 her mother said, "honey I wish I knew how young I was when I was 60!" So I guess it really is all about perspective! And I think the best thing my Mum said to me this week was, "Gail, you should be delighted to leave your twenties." Maybe she's right... here's to a much better decade!


I did have a fantastic cake - all Mum's creativity:






On Thursday I started post-op physiotherapy for my shoulder. I was really worried about it.  Things are improving, the pain is less, but it's still severe. At the moment sitting unsupported or standing still makes me feel nauseous and dizzy and as if I am going to faint.  Moving my shoulder at all makes me feel worse - things start to go black at the edge of my vision, I can only see straight ahead and I have to close my eyes and concentrate really hard to stop myself blacking out.  This is partly from pain and partly coming from a couple of muscles that attach from the scapula into the back of the head.  Because they haven't been working and they are really weak they are causing these symptoms when they contract.  This week I am also allowed to take my sling off.  They told me I would start to feel ready for this and I would feel as if I don't need it anymore.... nope! Not yet.  At the moment my arm feels like a dead weight when I take the sling off.  I really struggle to move it at all and my hand swells up in minutes.


So I was feeling a bit concerned that I wasn't progressing quickly enough and I thought physio would be a real struggle.  Actually, it made me feel a lot better (not the exercise bit!).  Apparently patience is required! My physio, Angelo, is fantastic.  He had spoken at length with the clinic in Kentucky, he had the therapy protocol from them, and most importantly I was exactly what he was expecting.  He really reiterated the point that I've had major shoulder surgery and then a long period of immobilization and this is all going to happen really really slowly.  Proceed with caution, it seems.  For the first few weeks I have teeny tiny movements and a bit of teeny tiny passive movement (where the therapist moves my shoulder, I do not engage the muscles).  It is important that we don't do anything to damage the repair and tear the muscles off the bone again...!!!  In saying that, even the teeny tiny movements made me feel dizzy and the blackness started to creep in, but I didn't faint.  In terms of taking the sling off, I have to try to increase the time I can keep it off (unsupported) by a few minutes each day.  I managed 20 minutes twice today. Baby steps....


Everyone at the physiotherapy place was really impressed with my scar - it looks great now, it is healing really well.  They reckoned it looks like a plastic surgeon did it - and I guess they see a lot of scars.  This is my latest photo:






After all my reflecting this week, and for certain friends (you know who you are!) I think this is the perfect quote: 


"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

               ~  John Lennon



4 comments:

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  2. It is a natural phenomena that when our age goes up, there is deterioration in or muscles which causes a lot of pain and inflammation and only Physiotherapy North Ryde knows better that how to settle the problem with raising age.

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    Replies
    1. Adriana Henry, replying instead of deleting right away, just to let you know that I delete promotional comments like yours on my blog. So I will be deleting this - please don't write any more.

      (p.s. it is a natural phenomena called gravity that causes extreme irritation and pain to the body when falling downstairs....)

      Delete