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  • Transitioning from Recovery to Rehabilitation

    Happy Halloween to all, I hope you enjoyed the costumes and loads of candy. In keeping with the post surgery articles, I'll give an update on what's going on. I got my cast off a couple of days ago at the Mayo Clinic, here's how it went.

    The drive down to Rochester felt much faster this time because I was shedding a cast rather than getting one put on. The inability to scratch itches and straighten my elbow had gotten old.

    I went to the same unit as last time and met my new best friend-the nurse with the saw. He quickly removed the cast to reveal this:



    Can you guess which one I had surgery on?

    There was a lot of dead skin and my forearm was looking rather gaunt, but it was still attached. I swear I heard it gasp for air. I'm still taking guesses for how much weight my left arm lost in 6 weeks.

    The surgeon came in and did a quick check. He said everything looked to be progressing nicely and that the ligament was officially healed up. My arm didn't want to move from the cast position it was in, but it was time to start range of motion exercises. I need to regain full mobility before I can start strengthening.

    I was lucky to get to work with a physical therapist that had a lot of experience with athletes. She had been doing therapy for 28 years-she was a pro. We chatted while she did an arts and crafts project making a fitted splint. I learned that she is about to go on vacation-to run the New York City marathon, impressive.

    When the splint was finished she ran me through the list of motions I would do for 5 sets, 5 times per day. It sounds aggressive, but you wouldn't think so if you saw them. They consist of passive stretching-forward, back, side to side and twisting. If you can't picture that, check out this Wikipedia page-Passive stretching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Measurements were taken to keep track of my mobility. When I hit certain check points, I can move on to other exercises. In a few weeks I will go back and see the doctor to get looked at again and hopefully advance my routine.

    So that's where I am currently with wrist surgery recovery, I'm right on track to be ready to play in Spring Training, which is encouraging.

    I hope you enjoyed my update, but if you didn't, hopefully this cute picture of Willa in her "rufferee" Halloween costume will suffice.


    You can connect with me on Twitter (@apettersen1) or via email ([email protected])
    This article was originally published in blog: Transitioning from Recovery to Rehabilitation started by AJPettersen
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Good luck. My experience over the last four months would indicate that you will have plateaus and times when it seems nothing is happening. But it is. Just keep at it. Therapy works.
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      Since you are an athlete I know you don't have to be told to do you exercises, but stay faithful to it. I've been through PT a couple of times (shoulder and elbow) but never for anything as involved as what you are doing. But the PT is what makes it all work again, properly. Good luck with everything; have enjoyed reading your 'step by step' through all of this.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      AJ,

      I appreciate your candor, and the opportunity to cheer you on through your recovery. Indeed, the difference between your left and right forearm was the scariest thing I saw on Halloween! Still, I know you can recover. Our family is cheering you on. My wife, the physical therapist, has worked with many athletes who come back to achieve great things, you will too. And my boys still remember that nice guy who talked with them outside the Rock Cats locker room. Thanks for allowing us to follow your amazing story.
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Good luck. My experience over the last four months would indicate that you will have plateaus and times when it seems nothing is happening. But it is. Just keep at it. Therapy works.
      Thanks for the encouragement. You are spot on with your words. It's crazy to think I was playing in games less than two months ago and now I'm confined to such small movements. I am already noticing progress.
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
      Since you are an athlete I know you don't have to be told to do you exercises, but stay faithful to it. I've been through PT a couple of times (shoulder and elbow) but never for anything as involved as what you are doing. But the PT is what makes it all work again, properly. Good luck with everything; have enjoyed reading your 'step by step' through all of this.
      Thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying these updates. The PT is vital and I can tell already. Getting range of motion back will be really important in my continued recovery. I hope yours went well!
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      AJ,

      I appreciate your candor, and the opportunity to cheer you on through your recovery. Indeed, the difference between your left and right forearm was the scariest thing I saw on Halloween! Still, I know you can recover. Our family is cheering you on. My wife, the physical therapist, has worked with many athletes who come back to achieve great things, you will too. And my boys still remember that nice guy who talked with them outside the Rock Cats locker room. Thanks for allowing us to follow your amazing story.
      Thank you for cheering me on, I'm honored that you and your family are thinking of me. It feels nice to be moving towards playing again. I hope you are well, I enjoyed meeting you!
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by AJPettersen View Post
      Thanks for the encouragement. You are spot on with your words. It's crazy to think I was playing in games less than two months ago and now I'm confined to such small movements. I am already noticing progress.
      It is crazy, one minute you are an athlete (or like me, riding a bike), and the next you are just trying to do the simplest things. But man, it's kind of fun when you hit your interim goals on the way to health. Thanks for continuing to share your experience.
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