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The One-Month Arm Update

Surely, I can't be the only writer who examines and tracks her own injuries and recovery time just in case I need a realistic baseline when inflicting harm on my characters.

So. A month ago, while I was teaching a hold escape, my elbow was dislocated and the ligament on the inside of the elbow ended up with a partial tear.

Today, if I'm just sitting or walking around, it doesn't hurt at all. Very minor activity--typing or writing, moving folded clothing, gesturing--will result in an ache after fifteen or twenty minutes. The arm still will not completely straighten unless aided, and the straightening doesn't hurt so much as feel "full" on the outside of the elbow. The arm will now bend enough for me to reach the back of my own head. That bending thing makes me happier than you can imagine; the inability to get my own hair into a braid or bun was making me seriously consider hacking it all off. The bending also makes it possible to eat with my right hand again.

Alongside the improvements are annoyances. I can't rest my arm on a table, nor on any surface that causes pressure on the inside of the elbow. I can't lift anything weighing more than a pound. I can't put pressure on the heel of my hand. Teaching with my usual exuberance--even without touching a thing or throwing a punch, even when wearing the brace--makes for a very achy elbow by the end of the night. I can feel things moving and shifting when I straighten the arm after having it bent for a few minutes. That doesn't hurt, exactly, but it feels really strange. Oh, and the brace. I'm so sick of the thing, but it certainly beats the sling!

I told everyone who'd listen at the dojo that I'm not supposed to train for at least another month. That was my protection against my own impatience. This is the stage of injury recovery when it doesn't hurt enough to make me stop right away, when it's so easy to make the injury worse because I push too soon. The tactic has worked. My adult students have, with polite deference, taken over demonstrations and the like when they see me even thinking about doing it myself. The added benefit to that is the first steps of training teaching assistants!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
So glad you've noticed improvement, but sorry it takes so long for an injury to heal.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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