Phenomenological experience of injury
The lived or phenomenological experience of injury provokes a spectrum of perceptions, emotions and thoughts. Injury is a strong phenomenological experience because it is affectively charged with perceived threat to the material coherence of the organism – injury is a provocative ‘primordial fluctuation’ – a startling salience in what for the most part is a uneventful transparent embodiment.
Here are some notes from my journal that track my experiences after a traumatic wrist injury last year – I have decoded some of my clinical abbreviations:
8 April 2015
traumatic hyper-supination injury whilst splitting wood. head of axe struck then shot off into supination.
immediate sense of discomfort and mechanical strain in left wrist
local pain around distal ulna, pisiform, triquetrum and overlying ligaments
click – extensor carpi ulnaris
continued to work – needed to split wood and suspected that it would rapidly get worse and prevent work.
had a nap – weird sensations throughout the myofascia of the arm – developed a fever…?
treatment: self-mobilisation, ST, soft compression, rest – numerous articular releases from the wrist and radial head + existential analgesia (pale ale)
engaged local colour to cut wood next morning.
gingerly helped collect wood – mindful of keeping the wrist in neutral – popping (ECU) and pain with flexion-pronation.
pronounced swelling around distal ulna
self-treatment: soft compression bandage + 3-4 sessions of self-massage/mobilisation
some injury euphoria… looked it up on Google and found myself on some fascinating self-harm websites. made me consider the experiences of those who feel uneasy in abled bodies. The spectre of injury provoked thought about adaptation, change, re-configuring my embodied life
did some research on probable tissues – tracked down wrist widget – established email comms with Wendy – the developer of the brace – discussed tissues, signs and indication for use.
maintained daily regimen of self-mobilisation 2-3 times + acupuncture
wrist widget received – immediate relief and improvement of all symptoms – improved weight bearing
bush walk up Wadbilliga river – no dramas – guarded but not anxious
medical appointment to establish a documentation trail…
same overall self-management regimen – wrist widget 27/4 – pulling and searing stiffness with active supination – sustained this produces focal pain in the collateral ligaments and triquetrum
with brace off the region aches and radiates into the 4th and 5th metacarpals and phalanx (pain increases from 1-2/10 to 3-4/10 niggling background aches)
able to hand grind coffee (in my loved Lido 2 grinder) using my left hand in its usual stabilising roll.
slept without brace – quite achy first thing but settled as soon as i applied brace
similar pattern overall until 26 April – did some work on the chainsaw and axe on the evening 24 April – pretty sore in the evening 25 April – lots of pop without wrist widget 26 April – still massively improved – tend to wear wrist widget up to 20/24 hours.
Since that time I have recovered most function. When training martial arts, particularly heavy shadow hitting, I feel tracks of interconnected fascia that are still lacking the elasticity I desire. These qualities will reemerge through practice and the passage of time – time that no doubt will be punctuated with other primordial fluctuations.