martial arts · training

Update: The Saga of Christine’s Wrist

On April 16, when the doctor came into the room and reached to shake my right hand, I thought it was a test. I gripped his hand firmly and shook, expecting him to make some comment about strength or whatever but instead he said ‘So, which wrist do I need to look at?’

The author's right wrist/hand with her thumb in the 'thumb's up' position.
My first moments of wrist freedom.

Obviously, that was a good sign. I don’t need physio, I can drive and do just about anything I want to, my only restriction is that I can’t do contact sports for another few months.

My wrist aches and my hand swells from time to time, but that’s all part of the process. I am just easing back into my regular activities and taking it easy when I need to.

I have almost full range of motion and I am doing anything I can to get the rest back. I can feel that it is a muscle/ligament issue at this point, rather than any damage per se. It feels like the kind of stiffness that happens after over-strenuous exercise rather than a warning not to move.

Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that the discomfort I feel when I move my wrist in certain ways is annoying but it doesn’t cause me any distress. When I first injured it, my internal distress was a real signal for me that this was a serious issue.

 

Report on the Fitness Front:

An ink drawing on white paper. Two people in white martial arts uniforms with black belts. They are sparring and the person on the right is jumping in the air to deliver a left handed punch.
When I couldn’t *do* TKD, I did some related drawings. Personally, I think the drawing/writing/typing I did while my hand was in the brace helped with my recovery.

The short version: I didn’t do as much exercise as I had hoped I would.

The longer version: I kept going to TKD and I did as much as I could to learn my new patterns and do some strength training.

I couldn’t easily go for walks because the paths and roads around my house were snow and ice covered and felt really risky.

Things like dancing or using my old aerobics step usually resulted in too much arm movement and caused me discomfort or pain.

I did some yoga but I couldn’t do most of my favourite poses because my brace felt heavy with my arm extended and because I couldn’t rest any weight on my arm/hand.

And, mostly, the effort of getting through my day with one hand, with the weight of the brace and the position of my wrist, just made me extra tired. And accommodating the brace made me move my right shoulder differently which caused me tension in my upper back that was hard to stretch out.

So, while I did what I could, on some days, that wasn’t very much.*

 

Next Steps:

 

Since my brace has been off, I have been doing all kinds of bits and pieces of exercise. A little yoga, some walking, some body weight exercises and the like.

I have been adding more movements into the scaled-down patterns I was learning. Being able to use BOTH arms makes it a lot easier to learn and perform my patterns. (I know, surprising, hey?)

I’m finding TKD a little strange, even six weeks without jumping and turning makes for some uncertainty. I feel unsure of my capacity and nervous about my balance but I think that my confidence will return with practice.

My TKD instructor, Master D, has told me that it is likely I can still test for my 3rd degree belt in June. However, I have to do my hand-technique board breaking with my left hand.

That is going to make things interesting. The technique I am using is new to me (a jumping double punch – two boards one after another to be broken with one hand) and I was a bit uncertain about it with my right hand. Using my left adds a different element. However, I wonder if my lowered expectations for my non-dominant side will actually help me not to overthink the process.

I guess practice will tell!


*This led to a tangle of fitness bewilderment but I’ll get into that in a separate post soon.

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