Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Stupid, stupid effin arm

Now that my movement was going from strength to strength, there was still one thing that hadn't shown many signs of improvements throughout my rehabilitation, and that was my arm. I was getting nothing back from it unless it was through the help of stimulators, and it's not like I could carry those around with me 24/7 because it just didn't work like that. I couldn't understand why my arm wasn't responding to me. I tried all the exercises, I was constantly massaging it, even my Mum was at it on her visits and Kiran and Gav.

It's funny because when this all began, all I kept saying was as long as I'll be able to walk and that I didn't care if nothing else returned. Well, I was a big fat liar, because I had my movement back but somehow that wasn't enough, I wanted to restore my body back to before this happened. I was determined that if it was possible for the feeling and movement in my leg to return it had to be possible for the same in my arm. The ever repetitive 'take each day as it comes' from doctors, nurses, everyone was ringing in my ear so hard that I just had to trust that I was doing the right thing and that I shouldn't give up. I shared my concerns with my OT Alex, and she gave me so many helpful hints and tips. She informed me that just trying to get the arm to move wasn't enough, I had to incorporate my left arm and hand back into my daily routing, like trying to rest the toothbrush in my left hand whilst putting on toothpaste, instead of battling with keeping it balance on my lap. She also told me to place things in my hand a lot more, so when I was applying moisturiser, I was holding the tub/bottle in my hand. After a few days of identifying my arm and hand in my normal routine, I started to see flickers in my wrist and started to feel more but was still sensitive to hot and cold.

I think calling my arm/hand 'the arm/hand' wasn't helping because psychologically I was detaching myself from 'it' and for anything to return in my arm/hand I had to acknowledge that this was a deformation in my body and only then was I able to move forward from there. My boyfriend had been doing his research and was constantly telling me off for calling my arm, 'it', 'fucking stupid arm', 'crap arm' and the list continues. He'd been to see his phd supervisor who had taught him some feldenkrais exercises, so now on his visits he was conducting these exercises on me. It was an odd feeling to begin with but a few exercises in and I was starting to get the urge to resist the maipulation of my arm. Now physically, it wasn't happening but mentally it was and that tapping into my neurological helped trigger the return (slow train style) of my wonderful arm.

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