Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013

Last Day of Physical Therapy?
October 3, 2013

My 8:30 appointment for Physical Therapy this morning was the last session scheduled.  The session was about the same as the others with the exception that yesterday and today they worked on very gently forcing the arm to a greater extension and inward pull.  After the workout, I saw the head of the department for an evaluation. 

The evaluation included me filling out a form to see how well I think I function on normal household chores and office jobs, and then specific measurements to gauge the changes in the last 3 weeks.  The grip strength was 3 pounds at the start in the weak arm and is now up to 18  pounds.  That compares to 45 pounds in the other arm.  I noticed that the good arm has dropped off in the last few months and my guess that is because of the limited activities I am now doing. 

Outward extension had improved by 15 degrees and inward pull had increased by 30 degrees.  A lot of that is from the fact that a lot of the swelling has gone down.  Half of the difference between the arms is now gone, meaning there is still swelling, but it is much better.  The hand rotation had not changed during these three weeks.  He gave me some new exercises to use to work on that and explained why it hurts at the elbow when I try to rotate my wrist.  (In case you are interested, it is because there is a ligament that goes around the artificial cap and that is being stretched when I try to rotate the wrist.  The actual rotation takes place in the elbow, not the wrist.)

My next visit with the doctor is not scheduled until the 22nd of this month.  The therapist will recommend additional therapy and the doctor may agree, but the doctor may also say he needs to see me first, so I don't know at this point if there will be any more therapy in the office or just what I do at home.  I left with instructions on how to keep working on my own in the meantime.

From there, I came home for a bit to have a late breakfast and make my lunch to take to work.  I also put a brisket in the oven to be ready late tonight so Ron would be here to take it out of the oven for me.  Several of you have asked how he is doing.  He is making progress.  The two incisions where they took out the hardware from 20 years ago are fine, but the place between a couple of toes where the doctor worked on a pinched nerve, is still sore. 

At the office, I did a few bookkeeping chores and while Ron was out on a couple of errands, I waited on several customers.  I continued my on line research on cell phones and hope to make a decision this weekend. 

After work we met my mom for supper.  We have done this on Thursday evenings for years, but lately these have been few and far between.  It was nice to get together tonight and catch up.  Once I got home, I worked on the bird feeders and ponds.  The only bird I saw in the yard today (besides grackles and ducks), was a chachalaca.  It was the first I had seen in the yard in a year or two.

You may recall that with my Cochlear Implant, I got a remote control device to change settings on the sound processor.  I continue working with it to try to find the best setting for different situations.  There are two microphones on the sound processor, so in noisy settings,  I use the Noise setting and the back microphone is turned down, leaving the front one to pick up the sound I want.  In the Everyday setting, both microphones are working equally.  In addition to those two settings, there are two more plus for each of those four settings, there is a volume control and a distance control.  I am learning to use those a little more effectively. 

For example, today in the office with the head of the Physical Therapy Department while he did his evaluation it would seem I should have no trouble hearing, but for some reason that is not the case.  The acoustics in the room may just be terrible.  He is rather soft spoken and has a fairly strong accent.  I found today, by using the Everyday setting, a fairly high volume, and a small distance (he probably sits 5 feet from me at his desk, facing his computer screen) I could hear him well.  In the big room where many are doing their exercises, I use the Noise setting and a close range, but a lower volume (so I don't hear as much of the other noise.)  That works well except that the therapists tend to come up behind me while I am doing exercises to see if I need any help, but that setting turns down the rear microphone.  It isn't perfect, but with trial and error (lots of error) I am getting better. 

There is still so much to learn about the Cochlear device and I need to focus more on those details (in my spare time between working on exercises for the elbow, working at the office, cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.).

No comments:

Post a Comment