I learned a great deal about the anatomy of the thumb today. Well the thumb and surrounding areas of the hand. From what the occupational therapist told me, the club of people with arthritis at the base of the thumb has many members. Probably just another sign that I should be spending some of my free time actually looking at information on my condition.
See I was kind of under the impression that there is no cure and it will just get worse over time so what’s really the point. The point that the occupational therapist made was that by taking steps to protect the joints, you do extend their useful lifetime.
I learned about the various muscles around the thumb adductor muscle which is the web between your thumb and the rest of your hand. When there is instability in the joint, this muscle often tries to compensate and so it can become tight and limit motion which is why they want me to stretch it. There are other smaller muscles around the thumb that can be more help but it is like other aspects of training – you have to isolate them to make them work or the big one just takes over. So I’ve got exercises to help there.
Because my mind works this way, all I could think of was scallops when she said adductor muscle since that’s the actual part of the scallop you eat. Which is why scallops are so good to eat because they are mostly protein with very little fat. But I seriously digress.
If you put your thumb next to your index finger you get a little pinching position. If that doesn’t work, think about opening a zip lock bag by grabbing both sides and pulling the bag open. This particular motion is actually not good for the thumb arthritis. And the therapist actually recommended having a pair of pliers in the kitchen and bathroom to use to open thing and for other general purposes.
For example, ever buy something in a jar that comes with a seal over the top. Sometimes, they will have a little piece of plastic you could use as a handle to pull the seal off the jar. Have always hated those and more so lately which is probably because of the arthritis because you have to pinch the to pull them off. This is where pliers are useful.
So I left the therapist and went to the hardware store to pick up some pliers. Yes, I have pliers around the house. I’m certainly not Mr Fix It but I do have some basic supplies. But if I’m going to use something around food, I thought it made more sense to get something new and shiny and dedicated to that purpose rather than using the not so shiny ones we have around the house.
As I’m out in a part of the day when a lot of people are typically working, it seems like there are three main groups of people out. The retired, the stay at homes (mostly female) and those who actually do work outside. That third group usually has some selection of lawn implements as they drive from job to job and I hate getting stuck behind them. Same thing for the retirees who are driving 5-10 miles below the speed limit and coming to a complete stop before making a right turn. Yeah, I can get a bit impatient with other drivers. Some would call me road ragey but I prefer to just say that I drive assertively. Might have to adjust this if I become one of the day people who can pretty much run errands at any time of the day.
Its not really a problem but I don’t look old enough to be retired. I’m not even sure what a true retirement age is but I know I look younger than my years. This is not ego. This is what people have told me. So I always imagine people looking at me and wondering why I’m not working. Which is silly because the people at the hardware store are just selling me pliers and furnace filters. Don’t think they really care about why I’m out at 10:30 and not working in an office. Or maybe they are judging. Probably shouldn’t worry about it.
Funny thing happened on the way back. They are tearing up the main road between our house and the hardware store of choice. I got tired of taking their detour so I decided to try a different route. I normally have a pretty good innate sense of direction but I got messed up somewhere along the way and turned the wrong way. I’m driving on this street and then I’m not recognizing anything I’m passing and I hit a little town and I looked at my dash and realized I was going in the wrong direction. Ended up having to turn on the GPS to get me pointed back towards home. This would be more interesting if something had actually happened which would have suggested I was drawn to that location. But, sadly, it was just a faulty sense of direction and a wrong turn that ended up making it a longer drive to the hardware store than usual.
All who wander are not lost but sometimes they are.
At least I know I won’t get lost on the way to the studio tonight.