Yesterday I engaged in my first significant athletic endeavor since I broke my wrist – I went on a bike ride!  I couldn’t shift with my right hand, and I had to keep the ride shorter than I would have liked, but regardless, it felt incredible to be on the move again.

This phase of recovery reminds me of the first trimester of pregnancy. It’s a period characterized by no outward signs of difficulty (no visible baby bump or arm cast), yet there are significant invisible struggles. Just as the first trimester can be the most demanding for some, I’ve found this stage of healing to be more painful than any other phase of my injury. The reason is not surprising – I’m doing more now, which is fantastic (yay!), but it also means experiencing more discomfort (boo).

Here’s what I observed in my recovery process:

  1. It’s astonishing how much mobility I’ve lost in such a short time after I broke my wrist.
  2. Weakness is a real consequence of even a short period of immobilization.
  3. Strengthening movements and stretches are more effective after proper warm-ups.
  4. Morning stiffness improves with movement (I can barely make a fist in the morning, but by night, it’s pretty decent).
  5. Stiffness is relieved with heat (I wrap my hand in a heating pad during my morning and evening meditation).
  6. Stretching restricted tissue can be uncomfortable, but it gets easier over time (Ouchy becomes manageable).
  7. A movement that was painful or uncomfortable last week barely registers this week after repeated practice (It’s getting better!).
  8. Once a painful movement has been freed, an underlying one often surfaces (as long as I keep striving for my pre-break range of motion).
  9. Settling for limited range of motion will keep it limited (that’s basically what happens).
  10. Comparing range of motion from side to side can be both encouraging and frustrating.
  11. Patience must be a guiding principle throughout the healing journey.

So, that’s where I am right now – still feeling weak and achy on the right side, but firmly on the road to recovery.

– Bonnie Pariser (Amarjyothi)