Yesterday got off to an upsetting start. My hands were stiff and unresponsive and I felt utterly worn out, both because I hadn’t slept much and because of the on-going uncertainty about my hands.
Poppy comforted me when I broke down in tears and then helped me get washed and dressed. I had an early start because of a hospital appointment before work. The appointment was with a specialist occupational therapist (OT) who helps people with neurological conditions. I’d been referred to her by the physiotherapist I saw a couple of weeks ago who thought some splints might help keep my hands straight at night.
It was difficult to convey to the OT how different my hands were to how they’d been just the day before, but she was lovely, understanding, thoughtful and pragmatic. She showed me how, if pressure’s applied to certain muscles, it can help free up movement. It’s amazing and seems a bit like magic – if I push at the base of my thumb it goes from being rigid to being much more mobile again.
The OT tried a variety of splints and chose a different one for each hand. They both push on slightly different muscles and help with different parts of my hands. I’ve got to wear them when I want to use my hands for tasks such as typing (I’m wearing them now) and at night. She’s also arranged for me to see the orthotics team again. They’ve helped me in the past with ankle splints and reinforced boots and they can also supply custom hand splints.
After the appointment I felt more cheerful. Despite my lack of sleep and my wonky hands, I headed into work and had a productive day. I’m glad I kept going even though I’d felt like giving up.