Archive for January, 2013

So no surgery & a new toy

January 30, 2013

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Weekly visits to the physiotherapist, diligently doing the exercises she has prescribed three or four times a day, plus adding in a bit of yoga inspired movement seems to be having an effect.

Mondays trip to Fracture Clinic and the X-Ray surprisingly showed that the fracture seems to have miraculously started to move into alignment all by itself without having to resort to pinning it surgically, though not having that done on day one has prolonged the agony, not to mention the ever lengthening recovery time and time off work unpaid šŸ˜¦

I think the physio exercises have woken up the muscles and they have subsequently nudged the two broken bits of bone back in to line, though the outside of the fracture still has a little way to go to join up, so I will resist the ever increasing urge to get back on my mat, although I can move my arm much more I can’t actually lift anything still or put any weight in it or on it, so no Surya’s and downward dogs just yet.

My right shoulder has been getting more and more sore with having to do everything, but luckily the Massage therapist was able to fit me in, her comment being along the lines of my shoulder was just a bunch of solid knots. She’s good though and as I type it’s loosened up no end. She also attacked my clonking right Scapula, 6 weeks of being locked in a sling then suddenly all this physio exercise came as a bit of a shock to it. The ITB’s and calves also got a dose of Lucinda’s thumbs. Anyone who has had strong thumbs pressing in to their ITB’S knows this is a tad uncomfortable, but like the shoulder it was desperately needed, unlike the fracture definitely a case of no pain no gain.

Physio today, she’s upping the anti after seeing the improved x-ray. I have got too good at the exercises she had given me, so now she’s got the muscles working again she is on a mission to put strength back in to the Bicep and Tricep. We started with the lifting vertically of the arm, which is freakin hard, she told me this is the movement that is going to take longest to get back. I told her about doing bed hanging to try and use gravity to get the arm up, she had me do a demonstration and deemed it “excellent”, though told me not to push it. Then she brings out my new toy,a two foot long yellow elastic resistance band, I have lots of little exercises to do now, but my problem is the way my shoulders hunch up, so I have to bring the shoulder blades together and de-hunch before I start to stretch the band and engage the muscles. I also now get to clean a table instead of the wall, making circles to gently put pressure on the arm, but not too much.

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My new toy

So it’s gong to be a recovery process of weekly physio, daily exercise and as much massage as I can afford and fit in.

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On the side bar of this blog there is a link to the cheese blogger, my friend Iona. If you live in the UK and want to see her making cheese tune in to Country File on BBC1 on Sunday night (3rd Feb) when she teaches John Craven how to do it.

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Practice of a kind or just getting more adventurous

January 25, 2013

I have about 10 physiotherapy exercises now, some of which are coming along better than others. Some have become quite easy, while others bring pain almost as soon as I try, particularly attempting to move the arm horizontally away from my body.

Twice a day I do the “physio Vinyasas” on their own, though sometimes in Prasarita Padot just to stretch my legs. In the afternoon a few extras get added, which adds another 30 minutes or so. Yes I’m opening the yoga toy cupboard. After the prescribed physio exercises I get out my nice physio roller, upper back, lower back, back of legs and the right ITB get a going over, the left ITB is probably feeling ignored, but I cant put any weight at all on to the left arm still, even after 7 weeks. The right shoulder is also becoming stiff and unhappy from having had to do all the work for 7 weeks, I think a trip to Lucinda will soon be needed, as my left arm won’t reach my right shoulder to give it a rub or use the Backnobber.

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After the Roller it’s time to get out the “Backbender” I brought back from Mysore. It’s taken a few days, but now my back is happy to stretch and bend over the little wooden toy for a few minutes.

Well that’s all quite safe and feels good, but the last few days a mixture of boredom ( I finished the final season box set of The Wire) and just needing something “more” has made me start to get a bit more adventurous. My arm will now let me bend forward in to Paschimot and Janu A and B, Tiriang Mukha, though my hand can’t reach my foot, at least I’m getting a stretch. Baddha Konasana is still there I’m glad to say.

So that’s all good, but of course I’m missing the fun stuff, Supta K and backbends. I thought I would try Ustrasana, this works if I let the arms dangle and don’t try and grab the right foot with my good side, otherwise it twists me. Laghu Vajrasana just to make my legs work, going about 3/4 of the way back before coming up. Susan’s “Bed hanging” is also back, though not so much for my back. One of the physio exercises is about straightening the broken arm out in front of me and trying to lift it towards my head, bed hanging means gravity can help with this, though I can’t stand (or lay) to do it for long!

Today my back felt good after all this playing around, so the door came in to play, you can guess what I was doing šŸ™‚ I was doing it veeeeeeeery sloooooooowly then just pushing with my right hand to bring me up.

But at least I feel like I’m doing something now, even if it’s not much in comparison to what I would rather be doing.

I still have a very very long way to go. Certain simple movements bring tears to my eyes and I can’t lift much more than a newspaper. I have a target of June to be back practising fully, just in time for Dena’s workshop in Spain or if not then Sharath at the end of August or if not Mysore this time next year .

Of course we could be back to square one on Monday if the x-ray shows it’s back to the surgery plan. Though the Physiotherapist said this could be a good plan as it will be easier and quicker to rehabilitate, knowing the fracture is structurally sound, as opposed to now when neither she or I trust it not to snap again.

Getting nowhere snowly

January 22, 2013

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It look pretty, but ….

Physiotherapy has been a bit like yoga, I made quite a lot of progress at the outset but I now seem to have plateaued. My arm will straighten in front or me, but is ages away from rising vertically, my fingers have feeling again, but my hand lacks control. Last week the physio gave me some exercise to try and start to get the arm to move outwards, but they are too painful at the fracture point and in the shoulder ball, this week she told me to go back to what I was doing and has given me some other movements to try. Just getting there was an exercise, the pavements are just sheets of ice and the NHS Car park is a rink.

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Entrance to Physiotherapy skating rink

Never the less she says I’ve progressed a lot better than some of her patients, but the problem is the size of the fracture, the distance of the divide that the two bits of bone have to cross to knit and the way it seems to be knitting not quite lined up. Next weeks x-ray will show how things are progressing or not.

Just for fun I’ve been doing some of my physio in Prasarita Padot, to try and stretch my legs. I’ve tried some standing postures, but it’s amazing how unbalanced I am with only one arm working, Trikonasana was interesting. Ustrasana and Laghu Vajrasana at least make my thighs engage, but it’s a long way from 5th Decembers full primary and up to Bhekasana with Louise at AYL.

Despite no practice and the weather turning me in to a recluse apart from trips to Hospital and Physio I was fairly surprised to find that I haven’t managed to put on any weight, not quite sure how that works, but I’m not turning in to the Fat Ashtangi yet

Physio for body and mind

January 13, 2013

Physio for the Body

I surprisingly started physio this week, I say surprisingly because usually it takes weeks from being told you need it to actually getting an appointment. But as I left the massage therapist on Tuesday afternoon a voicemail popped up offering me a physio appointment for the next morning.

The Physio had seen the x-ray and is concerned about how the fracture is knitting unaligned, so she tailored her treatment and advice with this very much in mind, telling me the main thing not to do is to turn the hand and arm outwards. The appointment was only 30 minutes, but that was long enough, my eyes watered when she lifted my arm testing how much vertical movement I have, not much was the painful answer.

She has given me a set of exercises to do every day, as well as to massage the crook of the elbow and the Pec muscle to get the arm to straighten and get the blood flow and feeling back in my hand. The sharp pain is very much around around where the fracture is and the Bicep muscle by the break, both still have quite a way to go by the feel of it. Another appointment this week

Physio for the Mind

The local Shala offered something different from asana today. The first of a series of monthly 3 hour meditation, relaxation and life change workshop by local actress and writer Susan Earl

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Not something i would normally look at doing, but as asana is a long way from possible and missing the Shala vibe I signed up.

I was amazed at how quickly the three hours passed. We did visualisations while Susan did Reiki on our feet, weird sensation, but very relaxing. We did practical exercises to try and work out how we spend our time and how in an ideal world we would like to spend it. It showed how much of our life we enjoy, what we don’t, what makes us happy, what is drain, what we do because we have to. The point being to find out what we really, really, really want and how we can get there. In the shorter term how we can start to make changes. How to make life less of a drudge through the rut of life and realise our dreams, whatever they may be. 16 people have very different dreams.

Susan read out a list written by a hospice Nurse of the top 5 regrets people had before they died.

1. I wish Iā€™d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me

2) I wish I didn’t work so hard

3. I wish Iā€™d had the courage to express my feelings

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

After sitting for so long we stood up and did some simple Tai chi movements before more meditative visualisations of colourful balloons floating in a clear blue sky.

It was a much more thought provoking three hours than i expected.I need an unbroken, strong, bendy arm before I can start to realise my dream.

So where are we?

January 7, 2013

In to 2013 the same as I left 2012 with a broken arm and no practice. My calf muscles ache because they haven’t had a Down dog stretch in over a month. My left hand going numb from having the arm bent up at an angle in a sling 24/7 cutting off the circulation. It seems impossible to do even simple stretches like Janu A without my arm screaming “nooooooo”.

I have even got to the point of trying out the Comfrey oil suggested by an Aussie tourist I met in Chiang Mai, apparently it’s known also as “knit bone”, old wives tale or true remedy, todays hospital x-ray below shows that the fracture has started to knit together, good news, but slightly out of alignment, potentially bad news. The Doctor is going to let it keep healing in the hope that it knits aligned together enough to be stable, but if it knits too far out it means them basically breaking the knit and resetting it, putting back recovery šŸ˜¦

In the mean time I have written a couple of posts for Lucy Edge about Mysore on her new YogaClicks blog

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And about Mysore in the morning