Sunday, 14 February 2016

Yet another injury

Points pondering, linking to shiatsu and complementary treatment.

1. Initial bodywork/first-aid – a colleague kindly came over when I first fell over, and did very special bodywork on my forearm, helping to move the swelling just distal to the radius, in a way I wouldn't have imagined possible. Subsequent sessions also helped to ease pain, and swelling. It seems probable, on reflection, that it would have been wiser to go to accident and emergency and have an x-ray, which could have detected that there was a break in the radius, and bones misaligned. I was very shocked when this was discovered by chance two weeks later, and accident and emergency said they felt they could have got the bones back in place if I had come on the first day of injury. Having said that, my colleague is also clearly a skilled bodywork, and the work that was done to ease swelling seemed incredibly effective, and I don't think I've ever seen a western medical practitioner doing that kind of thing. Wouldn't it be great if they could learn from each other.

2. And so ended up having surgery, and metal plates inserted into my radius bone. Following surgery, I was shocked and in pain. I think they pumped me with painkillers until I stopped saying 'it hurts'.  The nurse instructed me to lie in what for me was a very uncomfortable position on my back with my arm high and elevated. Additionally, there was a cuff around my arm extending beyond my fingers, which was quite uncomfortable, because my fingers - my little finger - felt like it needed to wriggle. The kind and well-meaning healthcare assistant said she thought there must be a good reason for being restricted like that. However, I think there was a lack of understanding of what the purpose was. And I feel that often there wasn't quite enough communication between practitioners as well as patients to understand what the purpose was, and so allow for the best and most comfortable outcome. I felt my shoulder ached to be pushed back, in fact both my shoulders ached to be pushed back; and I asked the nurse to do this at least on the damaged shoulder. Rather reluctantly, she did various times through the night when I asked when she was doing her checks, and it did feel helpful. The nurse expressed concern that there was something else wrong with my shoulder, and didn't seem able to understand that the pressure could somehow help relieve pain in my arm. As a shiatsu practitioner, this seems intuitively natural that it could be helpful.

3. Post surgery intuitive body and finger work.

I was instructed by the consultant before discharge to keep moving my fingers, as well as to try to pronate and supinate my forearm. I somehow felt that I was being encouraged to force things. However, what I felt somehow was the need to acknowledge the presence of my fingers – and I found myself just working in to hold them in all sorts of different directions. So, the finger would be static, and my working hand would just hold each side of it. This felt like it could extend back into the tendons deeper in the wrist. Over the next few days, certainly some more mobility and flexibility has returned, and it feels easier to work with more movement. However supination and pronation still feel almost impossible. I find myself working with pressure 'the other way '. This is something we quite often do in exercises as shiatsu practitioners; thus, by example taking the forearm into the pronation it will do, putting the hand to secure it and then making as if to supernate may help with allowing little bit more pronation to happen. But, it seems to me needs to be quite gentle and careful so as not to over strain.

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