Yesterday was my last visit to my "home away from home", Palm Desert Physical Therapy.
I have been going there three times a week since the beginning of April. What a GREAT group of people!
From left to right, physical therapists: Danny (the head honcho), Jessica, Andre, Brandy, and Office Manager, Barbara, on the phone:
Last October 28, I hosted a party for Slow Travel friends. I tried to lift a HUGE heavy pan of 14 dozen ravioli in sauce to pour it into a chafing dish. I felt a crunch in my shoulder, and got Brad to pour the contents of the pan for me. On November 1, 2006, my shoulder started hurting. I thought I might have pulled a muscle, so I waited for a few weeks to see if it would go away. Then it was Christmas, and a busy holiday time. In January, I began TRYING to get an appointment with my doctor at Kaiser Permanente (THAT is a whole other story...). The pain got worse in February, and I was FINALLY seen by a doctor on April 2, 2007. I was diagnosed with "frozen shoulder" and immediately began physical therapy.
The treatments include an hour and 15 minutes of supervised exercises, stretching by one of the therapists, and then a treatment of ice, heat, or ultra sound, and eletronic stimulation.
Here is Brandy, STRETCHING my arm after an ultrasound treatment.
When I started therapy, I could raise my arm only 30 degrees (90 is straight up like raising your hand in school). I am now at a painful 86 degrees, and 91 degrees out to the side. I have a ways to go. I also have a routine of exercises and stretches to do at home each day. I can now close the trunk of my car, put coffee in my high microwave, and shut the door of my top oven (all simple things I couldn't do for a while). Drying my hair and hooking a bra behind my back are still TOUGH! The biggest problem has been SLEEP! I am not a pill person, but once or twice a week, I need an Aleve or three Advil and an ice blanket to get to sleep. I have packed a stack of pain patches for our Italy trip. When we get back, I will battle the doctor/insurance for either a cortizone shot, or an MRI to see where we are with treatment.