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Update on the Wrist

Which was broken?

[For those that are just joining this blog, back on 30 June 2014, we had been in Texas for a few days near Austin, in the town of Round Rock enjoying a long overdue visit with family. As we were hiking a rather friendly, though rocky trail with my brother Mike and his wife Kathy, Jeannie slipped on an algae-covered rock as we crossed a dry-ish creek bed. To make a long story short, she broke her wrist. She has been healing, though too slowly for the purposes of our adventure. WCF]

I had anxiously tracked each week (no spreadsheet required) as I expected that week 12 would be a significant point in the healing of my wrist. My therapy was a bit inconsistent due to our various excursions, but I hoped it was enough. So at week 12 I was disappointed when my wrist strength and range of motion was still limited, and now my shoulders were extremely sore, especially the left (no surprise, same side as broken wrist. ) I really wanted some medical help but how to find someone and communicate?

So when we had dinner one evening with our French friends Catherine and Aurelia, they asked how my hand was doing. As I shared my concerns with them, they had a quick side discussion, in French of course. Catherine then suggested that perhaps I see her osteopath. I was not familiar with this branch of medicine, but desperate for any help, I asked if she could arrange an appointment before we left on Tuesday. I did not have great expectations as this was Friday night.

The next day I received an email saying that they had arranged an appointment for 3pm and would come by and take me there. This was Saturday! It seems that this specialist has been treating Catherine and another member of her family for some time so he agreed to make an appointment on the weekend. I had never been to an osteopath and did not know what to expect. Google provided some comparison between osteopathic and chiropractic treatment, but I was just hoping to get relief from shoulder pain.

After preliminary discussion, me in English with Aurelia and Catherine translating, the specialist took my hand. He spent most of the time feeling the bones in my hand and wrist, then pressing, pulling, turning. There really wasn’t pain, some pressure and mostly mental discomfort as I needed to trust this doctor as he worked on my hand. He also manipulated my neck a little but since the real source of my trouble was my wrist, there was the focus. Then I received instructions on the exercises I need to do. The lack of use of my hand, and my arm as well, had resulted in weakness on the left side and strain on the right.

I am happy to report a favorable first experience with a French medical specialist and osteopath. My wrist is much improved from the stretching of the tight areas across the top and palm of my hand. I am now working with more weight and am surprised that I can lift heavier items (not yet my big suitcase so Chris still has his job as sherpa.) Now things should be much better at week 16! Since my US doctor said it could be a full year before full recovery; I do need to manage my expectations, but that is not so easy!


This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. A year!?! Glad to hear you are “in good hands”.

  2. osteopathic is MUCH more holistic in approach than allopathic doctors. I prefer D.O. to M. D for that reason. Jeannie, if you get this, you might also look for a massage therapist who is knowledgeable in structural integration to work a bit on the shoulder as well as the common flexors /extensors which are just above the crease in you elbow,near the bicep. So glad you found this person to help as I feel sure atrophy would have become a problem in your left arm. Love you lots, and my best to Chris.

    1. Great recommendations Patti, thank you! Once we get to Montpellier, I will look for further help. Could be worse so we’ll travel on!!

  3. Loved your “home”pics! Love how modern! Will pray for your wrist and shoulder. Lem loved hearing from Chris! You two are tbe best! Hugs! Linda

    1. It’s great to have family along with us on this adventure!

  4. So happy for the improvement!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! If this was a cycling trip, we’d really be in trouble!

  5. YEA! (Although never let Chris know that you are able to lift the big suitcase).

    Linda has lots of experience with osteopathics, and really likes the one she sees fairly regularly for some long-term aches and pains (please, no jokes at my expense!).

    Thanks for your recent call. I enjoyed it and appreciated it.

    1. Can’t resist, long-term aches and pains…how long have you been married?!

  6. I started seeing a DO ( Doctor of Osteopathy) in CA for my herniated lumbar discs. On visit #1, the DO diagnosed some shooting leg pain as a problem at my ankle where my fibula and tibia were incorrectly seated and not rotating. He realigned and almost immediately erased two years of pain, while other doctors had written it off as unexplained. I was skeptical until I remembered suffering a severe ankle sprain two years prior… the likely cause of the bone misalignment. Ever since, I have been a firm believer in the DO philosophy and methods, particularly the hands on approach that I have found lacking with most doctors in the military health care system.

    1. The words realignment and manipulation are a little uncomfortable still; but I think I will seek further osteopathic help. Glad to hear of your experience (at least the healing part!). How’s life with the new baby? Send pics when you can.

  7. Glad to hear that your experience with the osteopath had a positive result. Hope the healing continues.

    1. Me too, thanks!

  8. What wonderful news! Not only that it was a positive experience but you are feeling improvement after the one visit. I think the wrist needs a new bracelet…maybe there will be some malls close by in Belgium.

    1. Great idea! My fingers are still a little swollen and I can’t wear my wedding ring on my left hand. Maybe I need a new ring?!

  9. Glad it’s a little better.

    1. Yes, but no rock climbing or rappelling yet!

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