Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Domino Effect



About 10 days ago, I had a bit of a wonky transfer. The person helping me to get from my bed to the chair put her foot half an inch closer to me than it should have been, blocking my left leg from moving and my left ankle twisted.

These things happen.

My left leg is my stronger leg. When I was 16, I had a synevectomythe in my left knee, which subsequently fused. It wasn't supposed to, but it was a good thing. A fused joint has more stability and blessedly, no pain. It means my left leg sticks out straight, but it's stable, strong, and not subject to the vagaries of RA.

The ankle, however, is not fused. And it didn't like the twist. Thanks to Humira, the sprain. I've been "enjoying" in the last 10 days was a light one, not the colorfully-bruised-and-swollen-extravaganza-lasting-well-over-six-weeks I’ve experienced in the past after an injury. Nonetheless, it hurt and when one area hurts, the rest of the body follows like so:

Normally, my left foot is pressed firmly against the footplate of an elevated foot rest most of the day. I like to believe that this qualifies as a kind of weight-bearing that can help prevent osteoporosis. However, more or less standing on a sprained ankle is not comfortable, so I started bracing my right foot against the left foot rest, serving as support for my left ankle. Leading to…

This helped the left ankle, but now my right leg started feeling the strain. Particularly my right knee, which is not fused and therefore subject to the consequences of placing extra stress on the joints, muscles and ligaments. Bracing the right leg against left foot rest - not a natural position - put stress not just on the right ankle and knee, but also on that muscle that goes along the outside of your thigh from your knee into your butt. Putting extra strain on any muscle when you have fibromyalgia is not fun. Between joints and muscles, my right leg was soon on fire, but slightly less on fire than my left ankle, so there was nothing for it. Leading to…

Placing right foot under the left also required me to schooch down in my chair a bit. When one's derrière is not as far back in one seat as it should be, you have an interesting bit of strain being placed on your lower back. Which was soon screaming. Cindy easing the left ankle was still a priority, as it is the one that takes most of my weight when I transfer from chair to bed and so on, there was nothing for it. Leading to…

I have very little mobility in my shoulders. When you're at the computer, schooched down in your chair, you have to lift your arms higher to reach the keyboard, mouse and other work accoutrements. When you have very limited mobility in your shoulders, this means you will essentially move your arms from your upper back instead of the shoulder joint. Leading to…

Putting this level of strain on your upper back and shoulders very quickly start poking at the never-ending neck injury, making it even more irritable. Which is why this weekend, when The Boy imitated a Slow Loriseating a rice ball and making me laugh so hard I cried, my neck seized up.

And that's how my sprained ankle became a pain in the neck.
  

7 comments:

Diane said...

The whole domino effect makes perfectly good sense, other than why didn't you have someone adjust the chair for your left leg until the ankle felt better?

Lene said...

Diane - because it's fused in the straight position. Adjusting the footrest would leave my leg completely unsupported and cause way more problems.

AlisonH said...

I like that you got to laugh. Please thank The Boy for me.

Diane said...

Figured there was a reason...I wonder if a custom-cut foam cradle for your ankle would have been useful? Just to keep it from turning from side to side.

Lene said...

Diane - hard to stand on something like that. The attendants and I just need to pay attention as we transfer.

Diane said...

I meant after the fact to stabilize your ankle while in your chair.

Lene said...

My mother suggested the same thing. Not problem with stabilization while in the chair. Thanks for the suggestion, though.