Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013

First Full Physical Therapy Session
Thursday,  July 25, 2013

Yesterday I did not post a blog entry.  Very little medically eventful happened.  I had a busy day of working at the office in the morning, paying bills, making up a deposit, and fun, exciting things like that.  I left after lunch and went to the bank, the post office, P.U.B., and Wal-Mart.  Then I headed home to fix a supper consisting of several of Stephen's favorite foods. 

Homemade rolls started off my preparations, and I quickly found out that kneading dough works best with two strong hands.  Later rolling out the dough after it had risen, was a one-handed challenge.  After the dough started to rise, I rested a few minutes before starting the Swiss steak.  Again, cutting thin slices of onions is hard without two strong hands.  I am allowed to use the left hand, but it is very weak, and many actions cause pain, so I don't push when that happens.  The planned scalloped potatoes gave way to baked potatoes as I thought of trying to peal and slice all those potatoes.  There were a few more things on the menu, but the rolls and Swiss steak were the main requests from Stephen.

As full as we were, Stephen still wanted homemade ice cream after supper, so we made that and I cleaned the kitchen while it was getting ready.  I was tired by the time I finished, but we had a good time and enjoyed visiting.

Today I spent much of the day at the office and most of my time was spent sorting report forms from Medicare, my supplemental insurance, and my prescription drug coverage plan.  I am so very thankful for those plans and the coverage they are providing.  I am amazed at how fast all the bills have been submitted, but things for the most part are being paid quickly.  My Medicare coverage has already sent a payment to Memorial-Hermann Hospital for over $86,000.   Without this coverage, there is no way we could have afforded to have the surgery to restore my hearing. 

Middle of the afternoon, I headed to the physical therapy session (the one the lady told me would be about an hour and fifteen minutes).  She was wrong.  It was an hour and forty-five minutes.  I did get a pretty good workout on the stiff arm.  We started with an exercise bike.  (For a broken elbow, you ask?)  This one is powered by hands, not feet.  Ten minutes of bike time.  Then my therapist, Carlos, moved me to the table where I did five, three-minute sessions on wrist exercises.  I felt like I was training to be the Queen.  First I put my lower arm and wrist on an inclined wedge and did what looked like an up and down "wave".  Then there were two, three-minute exercises of making the hand rotate in one direction and then the other.  Next came a side to side motion and last, turning the hand from "palm down to palm up".  That was the most painful.  I don't have good rotation in that exercise or in usage.

Next I was given a hand exerciser and was to do three minutes of pressing it, followed by three minutes of squeezing a firm foam egg shaped object.  Then came what looked like neon orange silly putty.  I was to squeeze it, turn it, squeeze it, turn it, and on and on.  The next event in the hand sport competition was one where I would extend the arm as much as possible with the wrist turned at a 90 degree angle upward and with the other hand, press it toward my body and hold.  I did that for a while and then repeated it with the hand pointed down.

About 20 minutes of "shake and bake" with the heating things above and below the arm and the electrodes attached to my elbow area and set to stimulate the muscles was next on the agenda.  That was followed by an arm massage with a couple of creams rubbed all over the arm.  (I liked that.)  We are making a little progress on the inward range of motion, but I am not sure yet on the outward extension of the arm - maybe a little bit.

I returned to the office for a while and then Ron and I closed up and met my mom, Stephen and Kristina at Antonio's for supper.  Good food and conversation followed.  It was loud in there and before long the loud noise in my head began.  By the time we left I could hear little else except that noise.  Conversation was very difficult.  I am beginning to think the noise is a response to noises around me.  I am hoping after the re-programing next week, that things will get better.

Today and yesterday I was able to do a little of the Immersion Reading, but not too much.  Yesterday I guess I did more, but tonight it is putting me to sleep!  I have downloaded several books with both the printed Kindle version and the Whispersync audio version.  I don't know if I mentioned, as you read along, the passage being read is highlighted in case you get lost.  This would be good for someone who has learned a second language and the listening would help with the flow of the language.

Once we got home, Kristina had Stephen show us some videos on the computer, of the school where she will teach this coming year.  The school is the West Dallas Community School.  I was able to follow 95% or so of what was said on the video! 

The current hearing challenge seems to be dealing with surrounding noise.  I do pretty well in conversation with 2 or 3 people in a quiet setting, but add a lot of background noise and I am in serious trouble.  The pain in the arm is easing.  So, all in all, things are going well.


  1. Made my mouth water thinking of Antonio's enchiladas! Thrills me to see Stephen looking so happy. Kristina is beautiful!

    1. Those Antonio's enchiladas were just what I had. Yummy! Wish you had been there with us. Stephen is happy and Kristina is lovely!