I had my wrist surgery a year and a half ago. I went to occupational therapy for almost five months. I’ve been doing well, I think. I’ve been rock-climbing since September and my wrist has gotten a lot stronger from that; I’m able to grab onto holds with strength I most certainly did NOT have even three months ago, much less last September.
Despite all those advancements, it’s still something that impacts my day-to-day activities. When I was shopping in Princeton yesterday, I had a bag of about eight CDs. After carrying that for about 45 minutes, my left wrist was experiencing sharp pains shooting up into my forearm – I thought about asking one of my friends to carry them for me, but I would’ve felt like a helpless weakling (definitely NOT a feeling I enjoy). So I switched carrying hands for a bit, but I’m right-handed so I needed my right hand to reach into my purse, open doors, get money out of my wallet, sign my name, and other such things.
Yes, I can feel changes in barometric pressure in that wrist; the weather will affect it for the rest of my life, according to my surgeon.
Today, though, it’s really bringing me down. I did some light cleaning and then took a break to do my new Pilates DVD so I would have some kind of exercise today. Since my friend LJ is out in California, responsive and regular climbing buddies are a rare treat (commodity?). I’ve been able to go climbing once every two weeks, basically, down from twice or three times a week. Last time I went (Tuesday night), I sucked. Before getting back from vacation, I’d been climbing 5.9s (not easily, but I was finishing them) and trying 5.10s, but I was struggling with a 5.7 on Tuesday. Maybe it was just a bad night or I was tired from a long day of work; those happen – but it was pretty demoralizing. I didn’t cry, but it was close.
However, in a change from the Eva of Olde, I’m not going to give it up or give up on it. I’m trying to enlist my brother since he has the gear but just hasn’t been climbing in several years. I’ll keep contacting friends at the rock gym to latch onto their climbing nights. This has been such a good thing for me in so many ways, it would be stupid to toss it without trying every possible method for retaining its presence in my life. I can hope that my steadfast friend returns soon and brings with him the promise of regular intensive climbing, but I can’t count on that. In the meantime, even once a week is something.
So my substitution is more Pilates; both Pilates and climbing work your core muscles, so they dovetail nicely (some of my best climbing has been after doing a Pilates work-out beforehand). On this new DVD, I got through the first 17 minutes; broke a sweat, felt good about doing a more challenging workout… but then it got to the portion where the mat exercises required me to rest my entire weight on my hands (a la downward dog) while lifting my legs or stretching. It also called for me to rest my weight on my hands and wrists behind me while I balace on my tailbone and lift my legs into the air.
I couldn’t bend my left wrist enough in either direction to complete the exercises. The range of motion (ROM) in my left wrist is limited and while I can increase strength with exercise, my ROM is as good as its going to get because my anatomy is different; it’s not a matter of stretching or exercising. I have missing bones. Bones that aren’t supposed to be located in the active portion of my wrist have moved into that space; that’s how I was supposed to heal. It’s never going to be the same.
There are other things it will impact as well, but as a currently single gal, I have the luxury of waiting to cross that bridge.