March, 2012 browsing by month


A Lucky Girl

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Typing only with the left hand is no small feat, when you’re right-handed anyway.  Why, you ask, am I only using my left hand to type?  No, it’s not just some stupid experiment…I broke my right arm in two places last week.  I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there is no fascinating story or interesting background to share with this unfortunate news.

I was out for an evening walk with the pups and darkness had fallen…that makes it sound dramatic, doesn’t it?  Instead of “it was dark” or “the sun was down”…”darkness had fallen” sounds rather ominous. :)  In any case, it was dark.  I had my headlamp on and the dogs were wearing their orange safety vests.  When we were rounding one of the corners in the neighborhood, I noticed headlights coming up the hill.  We don’t have any sidewalks in the road, so the pups and I stepped off the road into the grass to wait for the car to pass.  I took a couple steps in the grass and all of the sudden my foot rolled on an errant stick and I fell directly onto my right forearm.

When I stood up, I thought “Well, that hurt!”, but it wasn’t until I looked down at my arm that I really started to worry.  You know how forearms are supposed to stay straight?  Well, mine was not that way anymore.  For a split second, I thought “maybe if I close my eyes, I’ll wake up and find this was all a terrible nightmare.”, but in my brain I knew my arm was twisted and it would not magically heal itself.  For another split second, I wondered if I should push my arm to try and get it straight again…then, I decided, “nah that’s probably a very bad idea.”  So I walked up the slope and waited for the headlights to get closer.  I waved my left arm, trying to flag down the driver, but they either thought I was just a really enthusiastic waver or they didn’t see me.

I should probably tell you this was one of the very rare walks where I didn’t bring my cell phone.  So, I started walking.  The dogs were wonderful…they never pulled and luckily they didn’t realize enough to panic.  If you know my neighborhood, you also know the houses are a fair distance from one another.  I walked to the closest home…someone must have been watching over me because they were home!  I wasn’t sure if I could walk to the next house and I was still half a mile away from my own home.

Shannon was absolutely wonderful, calling the ambulance and my parents.  She took Jameson and Guinness inside when the ambulance pulled up and put me in the very capable and reassuring hands of the county rescue squad.  All I could think of in the back of that ambulance was how wonderful Ronnie was at that job.  I imagined him sitting back there with me, gently bracing my arm and teasing me to get my mind off of the situation.  I so wish I had gone on a ridealong with him.  I felt sad, yet comforted because I could feel his presence.  I knew I would never get the chance to share this crazy story with him, but I felt that he already knew about it and he had things under control.  I also felt incredibly proud of him because of his years as an EMT.  Watching the cars part behind the flashing lights and joking with Don, my paramedic, I realized just how much is involved in working as an EMT.  It requires skill, vast knowledge and an enormous heart.  I pictured Ronnie’s smile while I chatted with Don, and I thought about the conversation I would have with Ronnie about the experience.  He would have been proud of my strength and my calm and he would have wanted all the details about the injury, the ride in the ambulance and my perspective as a patient.

Laura met me at the urgent care clinic and spent the evening by my side, making me laugh even when the nurses wheeled in the creepy torture device shown below.  I broke both my radius and the ulna.  For anyone interested, Laura has an entertaining account of my reaction to the above-mentioned device!

On Thursday, I met with an orthopedic surgeon who showed me the X-Ray the ER had taken prior to reducing the fracture.  Wow…as the doctor told me, it was quite a “nasty fracture”.  Dr. Ain scheduled my surgery for Monday morning, and I felt relieved to know I was on my way to being put back together again!

I had the surgery Monday and spent one night in the hospital.  Today I met with Dr. Ain again and saw the X-Ray of my new “robo arm” (that’s how Katie is referring to it…she said Ronnie would have loved the fact that I had a “robo arm”!  :) )  Here’s the inventory of metal in my right forearm:  2 plates, 12 screws and 30 staples (to close two 4″ incisions).  I also have some man-made bone (aka putty) in there, although you can’t make that out in the X-Ray.

I feel so lucky.  I keep asking myself, “What if I hurt my leg when I fell as well?  What would have happened if I passed out in the grass?  What if Shannon hadn’t been home?  What if the ambulance hadn’t arrived so quickly?”  I am indeed a lucky girl, plus now I have a cool “robo arm”!  :)

Thank you to everyone for the thoughtful notes, beautiful flowers, delicious fruit, cute gifts, etc., etc., etc.  You must be getting pretty darn sick of sending those to me!!  I hope you’re all doing wonderfully and enjoying the spring weather.  In the midst of all this crapola, the world celebrated the first day of spring…Happppy Spring!!



PS My toe is doing great! :)