First day of physical therapy

Once again, I got to drive to physical therapy after some pretty nasty weather. The temperature was still in negative numbers when I left the house this morning. Luckily the minivan started because the battery hasn’t come in for the other car and it won’t start in these cold temperatures.

PT started easy with some deep tissue massage. This pretty much involved me lying on the table while Amanda massaged my chest and upper arm. After the massage she did a little stretching and was impressed with the improvement in my range of motion. It’s not quite back to normal, but I can at least get both arms near vertical again.

Once the massage was over, it was out to the main room for some stretches and exercise. I had to lay on my back on a foam tube to provide negative space behind my back. First, I did some stretches with my forearms flat on the ground and pulled up toward my head as far as I could go. The trick with this move was to keep my shoulders relaxed so I stretched my pectoral muscles and not my back. Next was the seal clap. Hands together over my body, extend the arms perpendicular to the body to the floor. Next was snow angels, keeping my arms extended and my hands on the floor. Finally, I held a broomstick and lifted it over my head as close to the floor as I could get. Each time, I was able to go a little farther with my right arm, so progress was made.

As a bonus (and a good reason to talk to the therapist), I got a stretch to help with the tingling in the edge of my palm and pinkie finger. Turns out, that’s the ulnar nerve and you do upside-down goggles to stretch it out. Here’s a picture since I can’t explain it easily:

Ulnar nerve stretch.

Ulnar nerve stretch.

And, since it’s been a while, here’s a picture of my hair:

Hair check - it feels like hair now and not just prickles!

Hair check – it feels like hair now and not just prickles!

I’ve actually taken my hat off in public the past week – it’s definitely long enough to fake being an actual choice instead of just growing in from complete loss.