Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Learning patience as I start occupational therapy July 16, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I got this smaller removable splint about two weeks ago. It stays on 24/7 except when showering and for therapeutic exercises. The thumb lock bugs me the most. Many times I’ve just wanted to rip the splint off my arm. My fingers and the top of my hand are still noticeably swollen.


FEW WOULD LIKELY TAG the virtue of patience to me. I am not particularly patient. That is evidenced by my response to a question about my goal for occupational therapy, which I started last Thursday. On the questionnaire, I wrote: To regain use of my left hand ASAP.


Look on the right side of my wrist to see the surgically implanted plate, shaped like an ice scraper, in my opinion. How Minnesotan is that observation? The x-ray was taken through layers of bandages wrapped around my arm/hand.


Exactly the type of response you would expect from someone like me who wanted my broken left wrist healed yesterday. It’s been four weeks since I slipped on rain and moss-slicked wooden steps, fell, broke my radius and underwent subsequent surgery to insert a plate held in place by 10 screws.

After meeting with my therapist for the first time, I realized just how much muscle strength and range of motion I’ve lost. A lot. That should come as no surprise given last summer I had a broken right shoulder and weeks of physical therapy. The success of that therapy confirms that eventually I will have a healthy left hand/wrist that works like it should.


Four of my first exercises. If you think I can do these with any ease, you would be wrong. The “making an o” exercise and wrist circles are especially difficult. I can barely touch my thumb and pointer and index fingers. Forget the other fingers. My circles resemble minimal wrist movement nothing like circles. 


I am determined to get there. But on my therapist and ortho doctor’s timetable, not mine. Last summer I got in trouble for doing too much too soon. Now I need to check myself, to do only those exercises assigned to me at the mandated frequency. Patience.

My therapist approved typing with my left hand. But not for two hours, she qualified. Ah, she’s already got me pegged. It felt wonderful to have both hands back on the keyboard. For maybe 10 minutes. My body told me to stop and return to the solo finger pecking method.

After two summers recovering from broken bones, I’m learning patience. Maybe.

TELL ME about something in your life which taught you patience.

Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


29 Responses to “Learning patience as I start occupational therapy”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Patience is very difficult to have. It requires patience. 🙂 You are doing great to follow the doc’s orders and to listen to your body as to what is over doing it. As your PT continues I am sure you will gain back the strength and mobility that you once had. Keep it up.

  2. Rosalie Quale Says:

    Recovering from a concussion in Dec. 2015. I too did “too much too fast” and suffered a setback. I learned to accept a lot of help during that period. I don’t think Jon would say I learned a lot of patience…..but I think I learned at least a little!

  3. Put on your patience pants and take it easy my friend 🙂 Happy Day – Enjoy!

  4. Claudette Says:

    Toddlers. Teenagers. Lol…

    I too don’t like patience’s much, but it depends on what it is. Good luck, sounds like you know yourself well.

  5. Neil Says:

    Like many people, you’ve probably prayed that God would help you to be more patient. Just look at all of the learning opportunities He has provided to you!

  6. Bella Says:

    thanks for update and this healing process really requires patience I am amazed you can keep up with blog posts

  7. Jackie Says:

    Its so hard to wait and be, patient when the rest of you says, GO! You will get there my friend, by the way the plate looks perfect… well skilled hand put that in for sure.

  8. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Marriage and parenting have taught me some patience but I have a lot of room for improvement

  9. Ruth Says:

    Oh my. Doesn’t look or sound easy.
    I’m still learning about patience. In my life. I guess it would be awaiting the birth of a grandchild, eager to know all is well.

  10. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Just remember your body will heal faster if not put under the additional stress of impatience (says the person who’s never broke anything, but helped heal a few). You’re so smart, you’ll do great!

  11. Littlesundog Says:

    Oh my gosh, you had me rolling in laughter with, “Ah, she’s already got me pegged.” You are so predictable, Audrey. I am not sure patience is something you or I will ever completely come to terms with, but we know when we have to pull back the reigns for a while. Here’s to a speedy recovery! By the way, I’m catching up on reading your posts… you’ve done well being laid up like this. 🙂

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