I have been contacted in recent weeks by a few fellow brachial plexus sufferers and it has made me a little guilty that I have dropped right off in keeping the blog up to date.
The latissimus dorsi surgery I had last year has been effective in giving me more lateral rotation however it is still very weak and any resistant at all means I can’t rotate the arm. The great advantages are that I can use a fork to eat, run without my sling (which is now not needed) and when my arm is by my side it hangs with on a normal angle.
My arm therapist is now Hayley and we have established a new goal, “drink from a stubbie”. I can hold the stubble, raise it slightly but can’t quite get it to my mouth. There is hope as, despite the surgeon’s view that my deltoids are stuffed (to use a technical term), there seems to be something going on and I am able to raise my arm slightly suggesting the anterior deltoid might be working. We have set the goal to be achieved by Xmas, fairly ambitious.
Last weekend I succeeded in doing my first full triathlon since the accident.
I have done a few small ones but the swimming with one arm has been challenging. Since the accident I have done the run leg of the Noosa Triathon as part of a team. Yesterday I did the whole race – 1500m swim, 40km ride and 10km run. The swim was in the ocean and thankfully the weather was kind and the water flat. I am in trouble swimming with one arm in choppy water. I found the swim hard but really enjoyed the ride and run. The Lat Dorsi operation has really helped my riding as the arm feels a lot stronger on the handle bars. I am yet to decide if I keep doing the longer triathlons. I need to let the “forget hormone” kick in and then decide.
It is nearly four years since my accident and I quite vividly remember meeting another patient who was three years down his journey and couldn’t imagine three years of operations and therapy.. The time has flown and whilst my arm has limited use each operation and the therapy have made gains. I suppose the message is believe and keep working at it.