I'd expected him to do his usual 'I don't like seeing you with that', like he did with my stick and the ordinary sling. But instead, he was really pleased with it, and with the experiments I've been doing trying to move my arm more, using the arm pedaller, and getting out and about more. He was really pleased to hear about me sitting up more, staying over at a friend's for the first time in nine months, and all the rest.
He said he had no doubt it was the arm pedalling that had kicked off the pain and neck pressure, but told me to keep trying. He said the more I can move through the pain, the better. He agreed I can try swimming again, and gave me some ideas for very gentle exercises.
He wasn't worried that morphine levels remain high, and he said he's still optimistic, because I'm always trying to find new avenues to get better, I'm always willing to experiment, and I just really want to get better and to work.
He's going to talk to the shrink to try and get her to give me the help I need, but in the meantime, the message is to just keep doing what I'm doing.
Of course it's not all good news - I'm still getting hideous pain and neck pressure, plus very little sleep, and I'm still very restricted. There are still lots of days where I'm stuck in bed, I'm still drugged to the eyeballs most of the time. But the sling is allowing me to sit up some of the time, and giving me some good days. Which is better than nothing.
Unfortunately, however, the doc didn't seem to think the improvements mean there's anything they can do to help me. Some of us had been thinking that if a 'mechanical' fix helps, surely that means something could be done surgically. He said the improvement is just because my arm is being held in a more natural position now, and that's allowing me to move it a bit more.
I'm disappointed, but not entirely surprised. And at least it means I don't have to go through endless tests and examinations, just to be told yet another branch of the NHS won't help me.
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