Phase two: recovery goals one week after wrist surgery

I had my first doctor appointment on Tuesday after surgery last week to fix my broken wrist, and I wanted to share the good news: Everything is healing up nicely, and on schedule!

I will see my doctor about once a week until my recovery is complete. She’s encouraging me to take my recovery, and my return to activity, on a week-by-week basis, and I’m starting to think this is a pretty good strategy. One week is a short enough period of time that I can suffer through almost anything, from unbelievable pain, à la last week, to a slow return to normacly this week. At the same time, a week is long enough that I can see a real improvement. A week ago, my wrist still hurt so badly, I was counting down the minutes until I could take my next maximum dose of Percocet. I’m going on my fourth day without any Percocet at all, and there are a host of other indications that this week marks a new phase of my recovery:

  • First, there’s the rest of my doctor’s assessment. When I bragged that I’ve been taking seriously the charge to do absolutely nothing, my doctor, a runner herself who’s aware that I’m a runner who is anxious to get moving again, smiled and told me she could tell, because everything is healing “perfectly.” Luckily, my desire to be perfect (personality flaw) actually trumps my endorphin addiction, so this was exactly what I needed to hear. And I got the official go-ahead to go for walks, provided I don’t risk infection by sweating, and to move my fingers, my elbow and my shoulder in ways I’d previously been avoiding.
  • I have a brand-new purple cast, which greatly reduces my fear that I’m going to screw something up bumping into something or falling.

My cool new purple cast.

  • I’m not so darn tired anymore. Even on Monday, which I thought would be my first “normal” day post-surgery, I ended up napping the entire afternoon. This, from the girl who couldn’t even nap during the regular afternoon siesta while studying abroad in Italy. Napping Amy=sick Amy. But now, I’m not only staying awake all day, I’m getting antsy, which brings me to my final indicator of better health…
  • In addition to short walks through my neighborhood, I’m going to start doing my hip-strengthening lineup a total of once a day. I have the thumbs-up from my doctor on this, as I’ve promised to leave enough time between them–a set of lunges here, a few squats there–to make sure I don’t get sweaty. As if I needed any more reason to get back to my routine with these, who did I see on the way out of my hand surgeon’s office on Tuesday but Beefcake Brad, the sports physical therapist I’d been seeing once a week for hip and ankle issues. I knew his office was just down the hall from my surgeon’s, but it was still a surprise to almost literally run into him after my appointment. I’m taking it as a sign from the sports injury gods to get back to work, at least to the extent that I can. Here’s the lineup I’ll do every day this week:

3X10 Cook hip lifts

3X10 clamshells with a resistance band (shown here, along with lots of other interesting-looking running-specific exercises)

3X10 deep squats

3X10 single-leg squats

Monster walks” with two resistance bands.

Lateral lunges, backwards lunges and leg curls with a towel placed beneath the working foot.

In other getting-back-to-normal news, I’ve set a new post-recovery running goal: a fast 5K, maybe the Earth Day 5K in Silver Spring on April 18. I’m not 100 percent counting myself out for the the Blue Ridge Parkway Half-Marathon the following weekend; I’m just developing a fun and do-able Plan B in case I don’t get enough time to train for it.

Better yet, I got a respite from my convalescence when I met my running buddies for a post-run happy hour at our favorite spot, a wine bar called Adega. Not only did I have a great time there, there was a sweet get well-card from the whole gang waiting for me when I checked my mail back home. If I can’t run, knowing my running buddies are thinking about me is the next best thing.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Phase two: recovery goals one week after wrist surgery

  1. Good job on resisting the urge to sweat. You are gonna come back stronger than ever!

  2. Alexis

    I love the purple cast! Were you able to choose that color or did you just luck out that they gave you a cast in your absolute favorite color?

    Glad you had a good dr. visit – and that you’re a rockstar (naturally so).

  3. trialsoftraining

    Love the new purple cast! :) catching up over here, and very happy to see that youre doing well!

  4. If you decide you want to do the fast 5k option, I’m the race director for the Clifton Caboose 5k which is June 10th, and not very far from where you are. It’s a twilight run in a scenic small town with a party in the park afterwards–it really is a great event. I’d waive the entry fee for a fellow broken wrister!

    • Very cool! I’m still hoping against hope that I’ll be able to compete in the 1-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim that same weekend. But if my wrist has other plans, I’ll definitely make Clifton as plan B!

      • You’d think I’d know the date of my own race, but I see I screwed that up. It is June 12th–not the 10th. Hope you can make it!

  5. alex21

    you are very beautiful with the purple cast.I hope your wrist is ok

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