Thursday, November 18, 2010

Continuing to Grow Stronger

I can't believe how much strength I have lost during the last few months. I tore my distal bicep tendon on August 22. I had surgery on September 9. My right arm hasn't gotten much of a workout for a while. During my first strengthening visit to the physical therapist I had issues lifting only three pounds. Three pounds!

I'm now up to 7.5 pounds and almost a full range of motion. Pain is bad, but tolerable.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Physical Therapy Update

Holy Crap. That sums up my feelings about Physical Therapy. This hurts. I have been working on range of motion so far and have been having some successes. I was unable to turn my palm up or face it down. Put your hand out in front of you. Now stick up your thumb as if you were hitchhiking. Now imagine that your thumb is the hour hand on a clock pointing to 12. I was only able to twist my wrist to move to 11 and 1. That was it. Not much motion.

Now, I've been stretching a few times every day and am able to point my thumb to 7 and 3. There's still a bit of pain, but not near as much as there was. was time for strengthening. I was given a three pound weight and told to curl. Holy crap I was embarrassed. I haven't used my bicep in a few months, and the saying is true: If you don't use it, you lose it. I couldn't even lift three pounds. The physical therapist said he wasn't surprised and that it happens that way almost every time. At first I thought he was just trying to make me feel better. Then, I realized that he was a physical therapist. They cause pain for a living.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

212 degrees of inspiration

I saw this video at work a few years ago.  My boss was using it to show that we could get the results we wanted by just trying a little bit harder.  It turned out that he was right.  I put a sign on my desk with the number 212. I focused on the idea of a locomotive.  It was the vision that I needed to drive my team to record results. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Celebrating 100 Followers!!!

Logged in this afternoon to find that I have 102 followers.  Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and following me through my Distal Bicep Tear, Surgery, and Recovery.  It's been a fun ride.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Thor Trailer

I know that this has absolutely nothing to do with my recovery from my distal bicep tear surgery, but I've been trying to post both updates and things that motivate me through recovery. I've just spent 20 minutes watching this trailer four times. This movie looks amazing. I'm not sure how long the video will be hosted, but enjoy if it's still there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Physical Therapy

OK. I started Physical Therapy. Holy crap. I think these people are sadists. This man took great pleasure in causing me pain. He twisted and turned my arm in directions that it had a hard time getting into before surgery. I hurt that day, but I hurt even more the next day. I have some stretching exercises that I'm supposed to do, but wow, I can hardly lift my arm today.

So instead of inspiration, I'm giving you a video that put a smile on my face. I love this idea!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Daily inspiration -- a little bit naugty -- ok, a lot

So, I got my brace off this morning. If you don't know, I had distal bicep repair surgery last month. I tore my bicep and they had to reattach it to my forearm. I've been in a sling or the brace for over a month. It still hurts (a lot) but I'm actually able to do small things with my right hand like using a fork or putting gel in my hair. I still have to pee left handed though. I'm only allowed to lift three pounds or less (ba-dum-tum)

I only have to wear the to work, but I'm able to keep it off the rest of the day. It's a weird feeling and I still habitually hold my arm across my chest like it's in the brace. It probably looks odd to those that see me standing like that, but oh well.

Today's daily inspiration is a bit naughty, but she's funny.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Daily inspiration

Ok, I've gotten some great comments from the two guitar player videos below. One of the comments from frankie, my cat was to watch this video. I am impressed. This guy plays piano with his feet. His last line is excellent: Die quickly, or either live your life splendidly.

If you don't have subtitles on, make sure you click on CC so you can understand.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

a little more inspiration

After watching the guy playing his guitar with his feet I found myself looking for a few more inspirational videos. I love this one. A wheelchair double backflip!

Friday, October 15, 2010

No pity party -- inspiration day

With limited use of my right arm I am constantly reminded of people who are successful with less mobility than I have.  I get frustrated that I am not able to move like I want or have pain when I do move.  Then I think of the individuals that are worse off than I am and are able to live life every day. 

Def Leppard - Rick Allen Discusses His Technique

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How does a one armed man cut his fingernails?

So, I obsessed over this question all day.  How does a one armed man cut his fingernails.  My nails were getting pretty long and I was not able to hold the clippers in my right hand  and squeeze them.  I don't have much strength yet after my surgery.  I kept wondering the easiest way to clip them.  I would look at them and then look at the clippers.  I couldn't figure it out. 

Then I felt like a dumbass and realized that I could just bite them.  The simplest solution is generally the correct one. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More free stuff, kinda inappropriate

Free Astroglide Sample.  I love free stuff!

26 hours in two days

I'm seriously sore.  I've worked 26 hours in the past two days.  56 in the past five days.  I'm getting more flexibility in my arm.  I'm able to extend the Robocop Brace to the 60 degree setting and have that full range of motion now.  I feel guilty that there's so much work to be done moving things, but I can only sit there and direct traffic.  I'm only supposed to pick up things weighing less than three pounds.  That's not much.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Quick note

I had a long 13 1/2 hour day at work today so I'm going to make it quick.  I'm tired! 

Thanks for all that gave the suggestion of getting a clip on tie.  I can't believe that I didn't think of that.  People at work have been helpful with buttoning the buttons on my sleeve and helping with my ties.  I had one woman at work helping me button my top button of my shirt today.  Of course it's the hardest button to do, so it's taking her a little bit of time.  When she was done one of the other ladies walks past and tells me to let her know if I need any help with any buttons.  But then she adds that she's usually much better at unbuttoning things...dirty girl.

It all reminded me of a scene from the movie Door to Door with William H. Macy.  If you are trying to overcome adversity, or just want an uplifting movie, this is a good one.  (IMDB link)  It'll also be a good view for  people in sales. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wearing a tie post distal bicep tear

Ok, so my job requires me to wear a tie.  I can get away without wearing a suit jacket, but a tie is definitely required.  In my last post I ranted a bit about how much of a pain in the ass it is to only have full use of one arm. (See this link for the reason for my useless right arm)

So, back to the tie.  Have you ever tried to tie one with only one hand?  Effin ridiculous.  I'm getting used to brushing my teeth left handed, and typing one handed is getting quicker, but this tie thing is pissing me off.  I know that I will overcome this some how.  I figured out how to put on deodorant and am able to use the restroom without getting any (read much) on me.  But it's bugging me so much that I'm sitting here at 4:30 AM practicing how to tie a tie one handed. 

I think I may just stop at the store tomorrow and buy a clip on.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Long Day = Sore Morning

I probably should not have worked a 12 hour day on my second day back to work.  I didn't use my arm much, other than to type and write, but man, it hurt at the end of the night.  It's still sore after a night's sleep. 

I'm not supposed to use my right arm at all.  I was told to not hold anything in it heavier than a fork.  That doesn't make much sense to me though.  I can hold a fork, but can't get the damn thing to my mouth because of the brace.  That said, I'm still eating left handed.

That brings up another thought.  I challenge you.  Yes, a challenge.  If you are right handed, I challenge you to do things left handed today.  If you're left handed, then do it the other way around.  You will notice how much of a pain in the ass it is (literally).  Try brushing your teeth with the other hand.  How do your gums feel after doing that.  Get dressed one handed. Pull up your pants and zip your zipper with the other hand.  Put deodorant on your left armpit using your left hand.  I tried using aerosol and wound up spraying it in my eyes.  Open a jar of mayo or peanut butter.  You get the point.

So that's my challenge for the day readers.  Are you up for it?  It seriously will be a pain in the ass, especially when you wipe.  Now, that's an adventure.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back to work

First day back to work after my distal bicep repair surgery. I've been out since September 9, and surprisingly, it felt good to be back.  Sitting on the couch watching TV and surfing the net all day gets a bit boring after a while.  How many times can you hear Maury Povich say "You are not the father". 

I got asked often about my robocop brace (a Breg T-scope elbow) and had to explain often how it worked.  There's a dial on the side that lets you set how far you want to let your arm flex (bring your hand to your shoulder) or extend (straighten your arm).  Currently, I am able to set free flex.  It hurts like a bitch, but at least I can move my arm a bit.  Not far enough to scratch my nose, but getting closer every day.  I keep my elbow at 90 degrees most of the day.  I am able to straighten it a few times a day to stretch and slowly get my arm ready for physical therapy. 

Only 3 1/2 weeks more with the brace and then I get to take it off.  I seem to be allergic to it as I'm breaking out and getting mutant blisters from it, but it helps keep the pain down.

Still not using any heavy meds to mask the pain.  Only Tylenol. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Robocop Brace

Here's another pic of the brace I'm using after my distal bicep repair.  Since they reattached the bicep to my radius (video here) the doctors do not want me using my arm and popping the bicep back off.  Since my arm has been in a sling for over two weeks, the muscles are unused and are atrophying a bit.  To keep me from stressing the muscles, I am using this type of brace.  It's pretty cool.  The dial on the elbow part allows me to dial how much I want it to flex or extend.  Right now I've got it set to 90 degrees most of the time, but set it to 60 degree extension a few times a day to stretch and use the muscles.  It hurts like a bitch.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mutant blisters

My Robocop brace is giving me some mutant blisters. I think I'm allergic.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

distal bicep tear repair going well

My sling came off today.  It felt great to be able to scratch the skin that has been stuffed under bandages for the past two weeks.  Taking the tape off the incision sucked.  Here's a pic of the what was below all the bandages and tape.

 And here's the view from the back.  Have you watched the video below to see what the surgery was?  It was a distal bicep tear repair.

Still cant use my right arm much.  It's in a brace that looks like this:

I just don't look as good as this model

Monday, August 23, 2010

distal bicep tear

I hurt my arm today. It's a bit lame how I did it. I was at work and we're having a tent sale. We had a guest purchase a mattress and she needed help loading it into her vehicle. Our CPU guys were busy in the back so I figured I can lift a load a mattress as well as the best of them. I didn't know how wrong I was. And it was only a full size.

I reached down to lift the mattress and as I pulled it towards me I felt three distinct pops in my forearm and elbow. The pain was intense. A woman standing six foot away from me heard it pop. She asked if it was the mattress that popped or my arm. She looked pale when I told her that it was my arm.

It went into my store to fill out an accident report. I couldn't write so John filled it out for me. He then sent me to the Concentra med center. Just my luck, the one down the road from us was closed as it was Sunday. I had to drive across town to the one that was open. When I arrived I thought it was closed. There were no cars in the parking lot. When I entered there was one woman behind the counter playing on her laptop. I believe it was Warcraft. She had me fill out paperwork even though my right arm was in pain and I was having a hard time writing. She then got on the phone and call the Dr. to come into the office. I then sat for about an hour waiting. When she arrived she was clueless. I have never had a Dr. diagnosed me using a textbook. Seriously, she was flipping from page to page looking at my arm and looking at the book to decide what to do next. After pulling and yanking on my arm she decided that I needed an xray. She asked the Warcraft woman to do the xray and she said that she wasn't sure how to. After looking at her textbook she decided that she was ready. They didn't have any gowns so I was walking around without my shirt on. A bit embarrassing for a fat guy. This was the most mickey mouse medical establishment that I could imagine. I was happy to be told that I would be going to another office for my follow-up visits.