Sunday, June 19, 2011

Not Working as Intended

When was the last time you took stock in your body as you go through a day? Lately, that's been on my mind, a lot.

I fell April 14th. My foot got caught in computer cables and I tripped. I hit the carpeted concrete floor knees, elbows, hands. I was holding papers in my hands at the time so my hands were closed. The initial damage was a couple of skinned elbows. Man, I had forgotten how much it hurts when you take just the top layer of skin cells off. Within a day, I had crescent-shaped bruises on the inside of my knees. My hands hurt too, kind of akin to those feelings when you "jam" something playing volleyball in school. My wounded shoulder actually didn't feel bad but my whole body ached. This was a jar, to be sure.

I also figured it would take some time to correct. A month later and I was still in pain and having problems. My right thumb will "stick" and then pop when it finally releases. My left wrist hurt to do pretty much anything. And just existing, with all the ways we bend our knees caused pain. In the morning, I had difficulty grasping things. I found myself compensating for feeling very worried I wouldn't be able to hold onto the milk when pulled from the fridge for my cereal. I found myself sitting on the edge of the bed for more than a few minutes, uncertain that I would be able to stand. Hand writing in the morning was difficult. Getting dressed was difficult. But, by about 10:30, although I wasn't "fine", I could perform tasks as normal.

Carole's wedding came and went. When my mother and I pulled up to April and Perry's on Monday afternoon, May 23rd, getting out of the car was a major exercise. We were tired, to be sure, but standing just caused pain. Now that Carole's wedding was over, I could see the doctor about this.

He believes I did soft-tissue damage to the tendons and muscles at the joints. He gave me Melixicam, which is the generic of Mobic, and told me to take it for a month. Then I'm to call back with a progress report.

The wrist pain is gone for 95% of the time. If I turn it funny, I feel it. My right thumb and hand are no longer swollen and, although the thumb still "catches", I don't have any pain with it. On occasion, my little fingers will ache but I still have pain in my middle fingers, particularly the left one. It seems odd they would hurt but they do. I have to remember to rest my right hand. A full day of using the mouse can make it ache, but we all would do well to let go during the day.

The bruises left as they should, turning a lovely dark blue, purple and then green. I did look up bruise colors to make sure nothing weird was happening. The skinned elbows scabbed over and healed properly. But my knees...that's where the worry comes. My knees aren't better and I would say are worse.

Think of all the ways you use your knees. If I'm sitting, I'm fine, no pain. But then I have to stand up and the pain occurs. It's on the inside of the knee in the area where the bruises were. This has caused me to think, very much, about what I do during a day. A friend played at a coffee house last night. I have been looking forward to this for 2 weeks. I couldn't go. Just the thought of driving my stick-shift over to the coffee house, sitting and then standing to go home and driving home deterred me.

Right now, my office chair is at the perfect height. I don't really stand "up" so much as stand "over" if that makes any sense. The burden on my knees to lift me is not that great. Yes, it hurts to stand up but not as badly as it does to get up from other chairs. The new love seat is a good 2 inches taller than the settee. That makes a huge difference.

When I get up, I walk like a very old woman. I go nowhere fast. If I have to be on my feet, say for my job, I can do it. The times in late April and early May when I had to be on my feet for work were not bad. It was as if I needed to warm up and then things would work fine.

But I can't do things that I want to do. I want to weed. I don't seem to have much of a grip anymore and it hurts to clench my hands around weeds to pull them. Any cleaning, say of the tub, that involves kneeling, I can't do. I can't imagine the pain from being on my knees and then getting up. There are other things I want to do but I can't because I know the pain will be bad. It did not affect my stitching.

I wanted to be more active this summer. I have been invited to attend a Renaissance Faire in Ohio with April and Perry. I want to go but the thought of the drive and then spending a lot of time walking and sitting and walking and sitting, right now, scares me. I have that non-refundable ticket to the Wheaton Ale Fest. I'm looking forward to that, but again, walking, sitting, walking, sitting.

Yes, I'm calling my doctor tomorrow. It's not quite a month but this is worse, not better. I was not in great pain when we moved the love seat into the house. As I said, by the end of the day, I'm not feeling that badly. When I went to see Dr. Burandt at the end of May he said I was too young to feel this way. I am not the kind of person who runs off to see him with every ache and pain. I want to be mobile again, to take care of things that need doing, not sit down and decide that I'm not moving again because it hurts.

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea


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