Practitioner to Patient: Part 3

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Today’s topic: Adaptation.
The body is a pretty amazing thing. Last week it hurt to just move my fingers, even put on clothes and over the weekend I was able to stop taking any pain-killers, get my daughter dressed (kind of…) and even change a diaper (which my husband is happiest about). All of these little things are helping my brain adapt too. As I transition from acute injury to the healing phase it is an important step to be a little less anxious about any movement or pull around my wrist, so I don’t constantly send those danger signals to my brain. While it is a little early for any chronic/persistent pain talks, I do have this in the back of my head.
So while my body and brain adapt in a good way, we inevitably have the less desired adaptation as well – my already fairly skinny arm is losing muscle at an alarming rate, my elbow is stiff, and my fingers are a bit swollen. But I will take this over not healing properly!
A few things I have been doing to ensure I heal well and do everything in my power:
– Rest – I have been sleeping like a champion. Nearly 9 hours a night – which is vital for all recovery. I am also resting the arm and elevating throughout the day. That being said, I am certainly not sitting around all day or I would go stir crazy!
– Nutrition – I have been eating well and sufficiently. I read somewhere that caloric intake requirement could be up to 4x normal. So while I’m not quite eating that much (I assume that relates to more-so to something like a femur fracture), I am trying to eat well, lots of veggies, little sugar and processed food and taking a calcium supplement to help things along. Probably not bad to practice these things anyway! It is pretty phenomenal how nutrition can fuel our body and help healing. This reminds me to chat with Kristin & Jeanette about nutrition.
– Light exercise – OK so this one might be more for my mental sanity, but just over the weekend I started doing some walking and easy lower body exercises. It feels good to get a few endorphins and the blood flow helps with healing. My dog is happy to get out for some exercise too! As for the hand, I am keeping the fingers and thumb moving lightly, just passive to begin and now a bit more active. I don’t want stiff fingers and elbow to be a limiting factor when I get out of this cast… I already know my wrist is going to be STIFF.

Tomorrow I go for an xray to make sure nothing has shifted. Fingers crossed all is good!

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