"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pre-Injury State Key to Senior's Post-Fall Function

Good morning, everyone! First an update on my arm fracture............I fell two weeks ago today, and considering that short period of time, I think I am doing quite well.  I wear a light ace bandage on the arm, more or less to warn people that I have an injury.  My scar is a doozy, over 7 inches in length.  The stitches come out tomorrow.  Functionally, my fingers seem to be doing pretty well, I can make a light fist, and I am able to carry light objects. I am typing this post at a desktop computer, and although my typing is slower and less accurate than usual, I am working on getting back that important function.  There is considerable concern about my thumb, I can move it back and forth at the base joint, but have no other movement (or feeling) in it----yet. I start physical therapy either later this week or early next, and I can't wait. I can take care of my grooming, some light household chores (I am getting in a housekeeper for a few weeks to keep my pain in check), I'm driving, and I am back to mostly a normal schedule.  Dr. Carr has made a few upward adjustments in my hormones to promote healing.  Stress and pain will make you burn through your hormones faster, and I can tell my progesterone level is struggling:  few very mild hot flashes, and my focus is less than optimal.  I'm confident as my recovery progresses that I will be back on top of my game soon.

Now, the caveat when I share this article with you from MedPageToday.com------I do not, at 55 years old, consider myself to be a geriatric case! Far from it, in fact, I was at the gym working out when I fell (doing a weight workout, which promotes bone health).  In fact, I was pretty impressed that with only a little assistance from the EMT (who was very nice looking, by the way) I was able to get from my sitting position on the floor with a broken arm, up to my knees and then I popped right up on my feet!  All those leg machines I have been doing during workouts obviously helped more than I realized.

For a few days, however, I really did lose my independence, and it quite honestly scared the hell out of me.  My mother, who had severe osteoporosis and spinal stenosis, fell about two years before she died and she was an invalid for those last two years of her life.  I took care of her full time, and it was a nightmare for both of us.  My independence and mobility are almost an obsession with me.  My mom was not in great health before the fall; for a couple of years she really worked at losing weight and went to the pool with me at least three days a week, and it helped her energy level and mobility immensely, but then she got away from it and went downhill pretty rapidly.

Bottom line is that those of us in our middle age years need to pay attention to keeping healthy (hormone optimization, diet, regular bone stressing exercise, challenging our brains) so that we have a better outcome when we do face health challenges in our later years.  I can't wait to get back to the gym, not because exercising is my favourite activity, but because I don't want to lose the muscle strength/mass I have gained by my regular workouts.  I have a very messed up back also from a long ago car accident, and core strength is absolutely crucial to my mobility.

Hope everyone is enjoying these waning weeks of summer.  It has been a rainy, cool summer here in the Southeast, and honestly, for a lot of reasons this is a summer I would rather forget-----I'm looking forward to Fall and some fun "girls days out" with my friends.