Fourteen months after my stroke, The A-Team finally agreed that my shoulder had "opened," and that we could tackle my bicep. On Tuesday, July 19, The Miraculous Mira massaged my arm like she was tenderizing beef. "Your bicep will open within the next 10 days," she told me.
On Wednesday I reported this to A is for Arbi, who put me on the shoulder and chest press machines in the gym to stretch my bicep. Electrical stimulation on my arm that day triggered spasms that had me shuddering for half an hour. Arbi then stretched my arm by holding my elbow in place, turning my hand palm upward, and bending it backward at the wrist.
On Thursday Mother Teresa did her own brand of stretching and massage, twisting my forearm outward (supination). She taught me to stretch with a pillow under my tricep, palm turned upward. I started assuming this position for sleep.
I did my part: I exercised, I stretched, I believed. And Saturday night in a relaxed state as I settled down to sleep, I heard the first crack.
My bicep cracked twice that night – loud, like a knuckle. It felt wonderful. And now it is open – soft as a puppy's tummy. Onto my forearm…