Friday, June 29, 2012

Synthetic Ice?

Good Morning, Campers.  Your diarist has been vacationing "down" on the Jersey shore.  Don't ask me why people say that they're going "down" to the shore when mostly they arrive from the west or in my case the south.  It's sort of like people in Boston saying that they're going "down east" when they travel to coastal Maine.

Be that as it may, although I've done no skating since the last post, I have done some dinghy racing which you can read about here if you're interested.  I've also gotten in a fair share of lazing in a beach chair reading the local paper (the Atlantic City Press) and yesterday's issue had a newsy news article in the C section of the paper entitled "Wildwood proposes synthetic ice skating rink".  I read this article with great interest.  Wildwood is a shore community about an hour south of where I vacation in Brigantine, New Jersey.  Anyway, the city of Wildwood is looking into building a synthetic ice rink which according to the article would be outdoors and open all year long.  You can read the article on-line.

A synthetic ice rink brings a number of questions to mind:  What's the surface made of?  Will they come out and resurface the synthetic ice ever couple hours with a synthetic Zamboni machine? Is synthetic ice slipperier than real ice?  And most importantly will your diarist break synthetic bones if he touches blades or catches an edge?

But seriously folks, has anyone out in the blogosphere experienced skating on such a surface?  What's it like on a nice, hot and sticky afternoon in say, August?!  The thought of all that kinda makes my head swim!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Week 12 report: Physical Therapy isn't a doodle.

After four weeks of PT I can report a little progress.  At the first session my therapist measured my grip strength; undamaged, semi-dominant left hand 90#; recovering, used to be dominant right hand 15#).  Initial wrist extension was left wrist: 55 degrees, right wrist: 10 degrees.  She measured other angles of articulation (flexion, supination, pronation) but I can't recall the numbers. 

I asked her if she thought I'd be able to get back most of the range of motion compared to my left hand.  She thought about this for a minute and replied "Well, if you were actually flexible and had say 80 or 90 degrees of extension before injury you'd probably not get it all back, but since you're about as flexible as a freakin' brick 55 degrees shouldn't be out of the range of possibility."  So there you have it--a silver lining!

I see her once a week and she gives me new torture routines exercises and keeps track of grip strength and range of motion.  Today I'm up to 35# of grip strength and 35 degrees on the extension measurement.  Today's measurements for supination, pronation and flexion  were 35 degrees, 65 degrees and 45 degrees, respectively. 

For those interested in brushing up on their anatomical terms of motion Wikipedia has a nice explanation here

Today she also pointed out that the swelling in my right arm has gone down enough so that I have wrinkles again--who knew wrinkles were something to look forward to?  Another silver lining! 

The new exercises for this week include "wall push-ups".  Imagine standing about a foot away from a wall, placing the palms of your hands about at head level and then leaning into and pushing away from the wall.  If that sounds easy it's because you don't have a healing but still tender broken arm!  You can make this exercise increasingly more difficult by moving your palms lower in relation to your body (for example shoulder level rather than head level; chest level rather than shoulder level etc.).  It will probably be several weeks before I can once again do regular push-ups from the floor.
I have a boat race coming up on the 16th of June.  By then I'm hoping to have a bit more grip strength or else holding on to the main sheet during long starboard legs up-wind will be iffy.  Also I'm hoping for light wind!   I'm packing the boat, we shall see.

Bowie Ice Arena will be back on line in July (they melt the ice for two months every year for maintenance)--we'll see about that as well.  Stay tuned.