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25 July 2003

I can't tell you how good it feels to be sitting here typing unfettered by immobilizer and feeling...darn normal.

Oh, I'm a long way from being 100%, but right here, at this moment, in this seat, it feels like I've jumped back 6 weeks.

It's a weird process, this rehabilitation. I fell asleep last night while watching TV, so while I had planned to wear the contraption while I slept, at least for a few days, I didn't. I felt fine when I woke up. In fact, the shoulder felt better than it had yesterday. Obviously some repairative process had been at work through the night.

So this has been a day entirely without immobilizer. I was going to wear it on the exercise bike, but didn't. I even alternated between riding in the normal bike riding position, both hands on the handlebars, and holding the left arm down at my side. I felt that the extension of having the arm on the handlebar was probably a good exercise.

I cringed when I had to do my exercises the first time, but surprisingly, it was easier to lift my arm up over my head than it had been yesterday. This is not to say comfortable by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely easier than yesterday (my second session of exercises was significantly easier, since I did them in the shower).

Yesterday I was discovering that my brain had to get used to sending signals to my left arm again. Today those synapses are starting to fire and things are starting to come back. In fact, there are moments...brief flashes of time...when the arm, hanging at my side, feels so "normal" that I go to put my hands on my hips and remember that I can't quite do that yet.

Today I washed my hair. I mean normally washed my hair--a two-handed job. Of course, I had to kind of tilt it off to the side to get my left arm up high enough to do a good job of shampooing, but I was thrilled to do it.

Weirdest thing, though. As I was washing the hair, I was wondering what in the world had happened to my hair. It was the same shampoo (good ol' Prell)...but my hair felt coarse and almost wire-like. I wondered if something got into the water (as it so often does here). I didn't like that feel at all. But then, I ran my right hand over the left side of my head and the hair felt normal. I guess the sensory pads on my fingers need a bit more retraining (despite the fact that I've been using them for typing all along) before they, too, are back to normal.

Yesterday it was awkward to brush my hair because while I could kinda sorta get the arm up high enough, the pressure of pulling it through my curls was too much for the shoulder. But today I can do it.

I managed to grind my own coffee beans today. To unload the dishwasher. To fold laundry. To vacuum. Well, I started vacuuming "normally," pushing the machine with my left hand and then decided maybe that was a bit too much "resistance" to give on only day #2.

I am consistently making sure that I reach for things with my left hand instead of my right, especially if they are above my head (though the vat of peanutbutter is a bit too heavy--probably just as well, as it keeps me from eating too much of it!)

The knee was also much better this morning. Last night, walking back from the farmers' market, I was very discouraged because the "tightness" didn't seem to be changing at all and I was afraid this might be the new "normal." But this morning it felt decidedly better and I put in 10 minutes on the exercise bike.

By later in the afternoon, after all the suff I've been doing, it began to feel tight again, so I decided to give it some time under ice.

If this is the pattern I'm going to follow for the rest of my recovery, it will be fine--letting the sleep at night work its restorative magic, and then finding out how many more new things I can do again as the day progresses.

It's only day #2, but I'm very encouraged.


The problem is not that television presents us with entertainining subject matter, but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.

- Neil Postman
(I've been watching a lot of TV these days!)

Today's Photo

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Craft time...a bunch of CD labels I made
(Hey--I haven't gotten out much to take pictures lately!)

For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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Created 7/14/03 

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