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Day 35 – Improvements

July 25, 2013

The days continue with my five exercise sessions starting every morning and ending every night. I am still concerned about my fingers not being able to open completely and that they still want to curve inwards. However I have five more days until I visit the doctor and the physiotherapist again. To stay on a positive note, today I’d like to outline some of the improvements I have noticed since I have had the cast removed. Just to note, I could not do these things four days ago:


  1. I can hold my camera in my left hand and operate the shutter with my right hand using my index finger
  2. I can pull the right side of my pants together and I am now able to do up my pants button
  3. I can open the fridge door with my right hand
  4. I can shift my center console into drive and back into Park in my Honda Civic
  5. I can press enter on the keyboard as well as click a few keys the some of my fingers
  6. I can lift an empty cup of coffee
  7. I tied my shoelaces yesterday, although in a very unique way
  8. I held strawberries while I cut them with my left hand
  9. I can plug the micro USB power plug into my Windows phone
  10. I can lift a bottle of water and drink it using my right hand
  11. I can do my zipper up with my right hand
  12. I can pat my dogs with my right hand
  13. my right hand is not hurt as much
  14. my fingers are more nimble
  15. my hand is not as deformed as it was two weeks ago


I still do not take any more painkillers during the day, however I am still taking the prescribed painkillers and one Advil before bedtime to help me sleep. I find that I have some good days and bad days and I’m not certain what I did to get the good days or what I did to cause the bad days. For example, I only slept one and half hours on Sunday night. I was up most of the night and fell asleep around 5 AM. When I woke up at 7 AM my hand wasn’t hurting at all. It seems like the swelling went down, my fingers were nimble, my stretching exercises were excellent and for the first day I felt real improvements. It was a huge jump forward. On Monday afternoon I decided to drive up to Ottawa and test-drive I fiat Abarth. My wife met me down in the plan was that she would test-drive it since it was a standard and I would be a passenger. However my hand was feeling quite well and I got in the car and I was able to manipulate the shifter using my right hand with the brace on. It did not seem to hurt at the time nor was it sore afterwards. By Tuesday morning when I woke up, my fingers were swollen and it was as if I went back three days. Did I overdo it by test driving the Abarth? I don’t know. I do not know why it was so good on Monday either. On Sunday I happen to have a double shot of wheatgrass for lunch with an amazing vegetable shake. I know wheatgrass works wonders and I’m starting to second-guess myself and think that it reduce the swelling. Probably not.

Mary, my physiotherapist called me yesterday to follow up on how I was doing. I’d center a link to my blog and she was able to watch the videos. She did explained that everyone reacts to surgery differently and that some have more or less swelling and more or less stiffness in their hands. It seems like I am on the far end spectrum of swelling and stiffness which means that I will have to work longer and harder to regain my movements. Now obviously I will not regain all of my movements but the goal is to have between 50 to 60% wrist movement and up to 75 to 80% grip strength. Mary was also concerned about my fingers and commented that we would discuss this issue with Dr. Steven McCabe next Tuesday and mentioned that physiotherapy is probably going to be required.

Since I am so far away from the hospital I will be using the physiotherapist locally in Cornwall, Ontario. I am assuming that the physiotherapist in Toronto will be able to relay the requirements to my physiotherapist in Cornwall.

I expect that the Dr. will have an x-ray taken next Tuesday see how the bones have settled in after the surgery. I am very anxious to have a look at that x-ray as well and while I am there I will ask for digital copy of the before and after x-ray for this blog and for my own personal interest.

For those of you in Canada I like to mention that I spoke with revenue Canada yesterday and they confirmed that much of my expenses including the hotel travel meals etc. would be tax deductible. Additionally, all of the purchases I’ve made such as Dragon software, VXI headset’s, WaterPik, electric razor, and other items to help me function properly without my primary hands are also tax deductible providing I have a letter from a doctor recommending these items. So for those of you going to this, it is important for you to have a letter from your doctor as specific as possible indicating what they recommend for you. Keep all of the letters and the receipts for tax time. In my case this is well over $2000 for hotel, train tickets, taxis, and more.

From → Log

  1. Nancy Foster permalink


    Have been following your blog with interest. I had a total wrist replacement last year as a PRC was deemed to not be sufficient.

    Two questions: 1- are you seeing a certified hand therapist ? Makes a world of difference to see a CHT instead of a regular therapist. 2- sounds like you do not see the therapist too often ? For best outcome, you should be seeing the therapist 2 or 3 times a week

    Best of luck as you continue to improve. It is slow and frustrating, but improvement does come

    Best, Nancy

    • I have exercises to do since I only got the cast off two weeks ago and my surgeon did not want physiotherapy at the moment. I am returning to visit the surgeon and the physiotherapist in Toronto in four days on July 30. They have given the exercises which I have to do five times a day. The physiotherapist in Toronto calls me regularly and reviews my videos that I put on this blog. The problem is that I live in a small town and I do not think there is a hand specialist locally. I am assuming that after my visit next Tuesday I will be given further exercises to do and they may consult with a local physiotherapist whom I can visit 2 to 3 times a week. I think the surgeon wanted my wrist to heal a bit more before starting to physiotherapy on the wrist. My problem at the moment is my fingers since they wanted these fingers to work properly before my next visit. Although they have improved considerably with the exercises I have been doing, I still cannot fully open my fingers. I am very anxious for my next visit since they will take an x-ray and will give me my next set of marching orders. Additionally, I have many questions for the surgeon.

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