[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!