Today is the 8-week Injur-versary from when I fell down, go boom at the roller rink. As you may remember (bear with me — I’m telling the newbies!), I fractured my distal radius and was in a hard, yet removable-after-4-weeks cast for 6 weeks, then a soft brace when I worked and slept until this past weekend. What a strange, weird, interesting experience this has been. I know I still have weeks to go until I have full use of my left extremity again, but I think 8 weeks is a good time to look back at Bone Break 2017.
A recap of some interesting and somewhat amazing to me now things:
- I drove myself to the hospital from the roller rink and went through the ER experience all by myself. (Note to self, again: You really can do anything.)
- Anxiety tried to take over, and I let it for a couple days. I read everything I could about bones (I will rock the hand/arm anatomy Jeopardy! category) and healing and cast anxiety. Did you know some people absolutely cannot tolerate a cast, and doctors can even make plaster ones removable in case of panic attack? I think my doctor gave me the hard-yet-removable space-age-y cast I could take off (in an emergency and then, after 4 weeks, when I showered) because he knew Anxiety and I are friends.
- Events like this amplify who people are, including you. I am mostly a go with it kind of person when life doles lessons out, but I really outdid myself this time. The amount of laziness I accomplished is my highest standard yet. But I was going to do NOTHING to jeopardize my healing. And also, what’s the alternative? Bitching is sooooooo exhausting. I’m all zen (to the shock of some who just can’t figure out how I do it).
- On a similar note, the helpers helped (“Twist my caps!” — as I mentioned in a previous post, bottles were difficult to open.). The not-so-helpful (posterior people!)… well, you know.
- A literal break caused an emotional, psychological, and physical break that helped me make life breaks that needed to occur.
- Not being able to use your hand for almost two months also makes one appreciate inventors even more. For instance, shout out to garage door opener inventor person. So much easier than turning keys in deadbolts.
- Though I’ve always been a fan of celebrating the little things (like when Target got new carts!), when Lefty, twice, slowly slid a sopping wet soapy washcloth up and down Righty during week 7, I nearly threw my healing hand/arm a parade.
- And thankfully, though typing was out of the question for the first couple of weeks, my fingers got stronger every day after that (though Thumb-y didn’t hit the space bar until, like, week 5). I bought a microphone for speech-to-text, but it’s just not the same, so I was happy my typing could go on, even as my bones grew new bits.
- And of course, this experience reminds me again that my sense of humor saves me more often than I can count. I told the physician’s assistant “You never have any fun in life, do you?” when he told me for the third time a person my age shouldn’t be roller skating. I told people during week 4 that the hard hat bone crew was arriving with scaffolding and sanding equipment to start smoothing out the spackle job the bone crew did during weeks 1 through 3. (Picture it: teeny tiny construction cells with teeny tiny hard hats flying to my distal radius’ rescue!). Every time someone draped my
capecoat over my shoulders during weeks 1 through 3, I said, “Colonel Tom Parker… thank you, thank you very much.” I am hilarious. Thank goodness.
I still have a way to go until I get full function back and the black hairs that grew in either fall out with the emergence of new skin that’s trying to make up for lost time or turn blond like the other arm (I look like Sasquatch, but only about a third of the way up my arm). I happily do my exercises and, as of today, Thumb-y can reach over and touch the tip of Ringy Finger. Pinky is waiting patiently for Thumb-y to be able to stretch that far. Shouldn’t be long now.
And it’ll be a bit before I start my own serious therapy — I decided right after I broke it that I would play the piano again (it’s been a while) and take drums lessons again. Luckily this time, I won’t have to wear a silly outfit, like in marching band in middle school. Well, I mean, I could…
I don’t recommend anyone break a bone on purpose, but in the grand scheme of things, as with everything that happens to us, there are silver linings and things to be learned. And I know you’re wondering, after weeks of dealing with this… after deliriously saying, whilst enjoying thousands of milligrams of Advil pain relief, that I would skate another day… NOW, seeing the reality of what happened and its aftermath…
Will I roller skate again?
You bet I will. And I’ll have a grand time. Make no bones about it.
This post is part of a limited-time-only December Lookback series of who knows how many posts, as 2017 comes to an end and 2018 begins.