Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Humerus is not all that Humorous.

Today was a milestone for me.  I wore my bra for the first time in just over a month (even though I had to snap it first and then put it over my head).  And's not like the 1970s when going bra-less was fashionable.  It's 2013.  And I am a bit older, and let's just say...more down-to-earth?

And yesterday?  I buckled the seatbelt in my car for the 1st time in a month.  And guess what?  I am typing today full-throttle.  With both hands...and all my fingers!  Even Mrs. Hall, my strict old-school typing teacher would be proud.

Why am I marking these, and other, milestones?  You know that saying?  The one that says "she can't chew gum and walk at the same time?"  Well, that was me 5 short weeks ago.

I was meeting the school bus near my daughter's home to pick up two of my grand-daughters.  I had my young grandson with me as we walked just a couple of houses down the court past the homes with well-manicured lawns.  I suddenly felt the heel of my boot wobble and the next thing I knew, I was on my hands and knees.

What the hell?  How did I get here on the street?  I remember grabbing for my sunglasses wondering how they got thrown to the road, when I suddenly felt intense pain in my upper arm between my shoulder and elbow. 

Three of my daughter's neighbors, two who were also waiting for the bus, came to my rescue.  Concerned that I may have hit my head, or something more dreadful may have happened, the ladies prompted me to stand after a few minutes. 

There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to stand.  The pain made the rest of my body sweaty and weak and I felt nauseated.  So there I sat on the cold, hard pavement for 15 minutes until I could muster up the strength and walk back to the house.  By the time I reached the house, I had to lie down again for a few minutes.

A couple of Advil, a quick ice pack, and, against the insistence of my daughter and her neighbor to help, I drove myself to the emergency room of the local hospital.

After a couple of hours and lots of waiting,  x-rays confirmed that I had broken the ball in my shoulder in three places.  I guess I had caught myself on my hand and the force traveled up to my shoulder.  The hospital staff sent me home with a sling that wasn't much better than a scarf tied around my neck, and told me to see an orthopedic doctor in three days.
Three days later with an arm now as black as the asphalt I had fallen on, my sister drove me to Dr. Bones (not his real name).  Dr. Bones, it seems, is quite the funny-man when it comes to me breaking my bones.

After more x-rays, I left with a $350 "shoulder immobilizer" that the technician charged directly to my credit card even before he fitted me.  (It would have been a $700 charge to my insurance company IF my insurance had covered "medical devices")  Side note:  In January Medical Devices will be covered under the new Obama Care health rules.

The first two weeks were quite painful, especially sleeping .  When I laid down to sleep, my arm from the elbow was straight up in the air. And without the use of my right hand, my daily duties have been highly curbed.

Cute Contraption
It's been a month now and every day I see improvement.  Matter of fact, a few nights ago, in a particularly fitful sleep, I unfastened the 5 velcro constraints, and tossed the brace to the floor. 

I am not wearing it any more around the house, but am advised to "fasten-up" if I venture out in crowds.

The month actually passed by quickly.  I had Thanksgiving dinner for 10 at my house...thanks to Boston Market.  And my daughter and son have chipped in with a little grocery shopping, putting up the tree, and some of the other household chores.

And I thank my neighbor for snow removal and trash can retrieval.  Also thanks to another neighbor, my daughter-in-law, and my sister who each brought me a meal during that first week.  And also all those who offered their services, it was truly appreciated.

This was the first and hopefully the last bone I break.  I've nursed others through broken bones...ankles (yes, plural), wrist, collar bone, knee, and broken arms.

And just to be extra careful, next time I am chewing gum, you can bet that I will be sitting down and holdin' on! 

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