I have an update for you from the powerball today. For those that don’t know what these are they are the size if a baseball and contain a weighted gyroscope. The ‘purpose’ is to maintain rotation and increase speed which essentially means reducing the input to minimal movements of the wrist. Because the inputs have to be kept in synch with the rotating mass they actually take a surprising amount of effort to maintain.
As with every other exercise I noticed that my left wrist was worse at it than the right. This could be because I am right handed but I would have thought that any such advantage would have been cancelled out by the new angle at which the hand sits. The problem with the powerball is that when you keep it rotating for a few minutes your arm burns and you give up, shortly after this you have another go. It just doesn’t seem like your arm should get that tired from such minimal exercise. I should note that I use it with my arm fully extended because this pushes the long tendons.
I spent most of the evening picking up the powerball and working both arms, still convinced that the burn was nothing more than you would normally feel if you held a weight out in front of you. Debs did mention yesterday that it was surprising how much work the powerball achieves, of course she didn’t warn me to go easy because we both know there would have been no point. When I went to bed last night there was the very slightest hint of an ache from lefty and I wondered whether the powerball was really worth £30, but if Debs says its good. At 3 am I woke up, unusual to say the least, it took all of twenty seconds to realise why, I was in agony. Both wrists were complaining bitterly at yesterday’s surprise powerball attack, they didn’t just ache but genuinely hurt. Gingerly placing them under the pillow I laid my head on top to see if compression would help, it often does, but the sound alone was enough put payed to that plan.
If you’re wondering why my physioterrorist didn’t warn me of the consequence of this innocuous little ball then stick with me. Having considered the various options available to me to overcome the pain I discounted most. Getting up and warm soaking them was too time consuming, strong pain killers are only for the weak and haven’t been touched since I left hospital. The final solution that I settled upon was the one that generations have used to combat hangovers, hair of the dog that bit you. So if you walked past my apartment in the early hours and wondered why I was waving at you, I wasn’t it was exercise. After the initial, and rather unpleasant pain, had been overcome the exercise reset it to an annoying ache. That is why Debs doesn’t bother with warnings anymore, I have my own way of dealing with Ms Nature and my way works!
I also learnt a new word yesterday from my physioterrorist. The crunching, grinding, popping noises that I heard in the night are called crepitus. The same name applies to the crunching of the screw tips in the metal work as they tear through adjoining muscle fibre, hey it’s all learning. Apparently the screw induced crepitus often results in pain after a couple of years as the muscle damage scars over and toughens, at this stage they often remove the metalwork. Since removing the metalwork is likely to result in the loss of my hand i guess we put this one down to ‘wait and see’ and they wonder why I lie about pain? I think we need to look at a biocompatible thread lock because the idea of putting over size screws in to aid retention is flawed. Apparently surgeons believe that if they don’t protrude from the opposite side then they will unscrew, as an Engineer I can assure them this is garbage. The total thread engagement is the only factor in retention of a self tapping screw, the thread protruding does nothing since it is not engaged in bone. I would hate to see these guys put up an Ikea!