Bionic Arm! Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yesterday I started my day with about 90 minutes of lower body and core stretching and strengthening, and then the 1.7 mile walk to Steelhead. I spent the morning at Steelhead writing my blog post about Sunday’s open house at Flow LBC. Just after noon I ventured out into the 100+ degree heat to catch the #71 bus heading downtown via Orange and Alamitos. I love the bus system here! They have a messaging system that lets you know quite accurately what time the bus is due, and as far as I am concerned that takes all the pain out of using the bus.

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Photo courtesy of Berlin Bistro

My destination was the East Village, specifically Berlin Bistro. Jessica (aka, @nowheregurll), one of my favorites from the Fox Coffee House, is now working there and had highly recommended it, so my plan was to kill two birds with one stone by visiting the Berlin while she was on duty.  Berlin is located on 4th St between Elm and Linden. It occupies the northeast corner of the same building that houses Fingerprints Music, and there is an easy flow between coffee shop and record shop that enhances the atmospheres of both establishments. The food did not disappoint. I ordered a main dish, Shrimp & Grits, that was both very creative and very good. I am hitting myself in the head right now for not getting out my phone and taking some pictures for a decent blog entry; I will do better next time!

From the Berlin Bistro I shuffled the two blocks to 4th and Atlantic to catch the #61 bus up Atlantic for my appointment at the Memorial Orthopaedic Surgery Group. Shuffled quite literally as the temperature by that time was 105, and joined a small group huddled in the shade of an abandoned gas station waiting for the bus. The bus stop at the other end was right on the doorstep of the MOSG, and I arrived at 2:40 for my 2:45 appointment. The waiting room was full, and I spent a lot of time waiting, first in the waiting room, and then in the examination room. The nurse cut off the splint, the doctor came in, took a look, and then told the nurse to fit me with a brace allowing zero to 30 degrees of flexion. When she came back with the brace, though, she set it for 20 degrees, telling me that the doctor had changed his mind. She was nice enough once she had it on and taken a look to go back to Dr. Warden and ask him to take another look. He did so and agreed that 30 was okay–a small victory! The plan is that I am to avoid activating the triceps to straighten my arm. Gravity should do all the work. I will be seeing him again in 4 weeks.

The new brace is a big improvement over the splint, in addition to looking way cooler! I can now do things like reach my butt, which is important for reasons I will not be going into, and while I haven’t tried yet I think it will also allow my right arm to contribute positively to the driving experience. Still can’t use it for eating, though, but at the same time my left-handed technique keeps On my way! improving. Every day a little better!

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