Facing it- Initially
Facing weeks of dependency on my family, neighbors, and friends- I did what anyone in my homebound situation would do in this modern era of reality shows and social networking. I joined Facebook (FB) updating my status for close family and friends that were on that site. Some of my entries show my truth, feelings, and life changes related to my broken arm and partial shoulder replacement. The first entries were difficult because one arm still fought working. When it did move forward to the keyboard, that limb did as it pleased causing typos and pain. The italic words are explanations or expansions of my thoughts and feelings.
After my trip and fall, the first words out of my mouth as I flew to that crash landing on my shoulder were, “I don’t believe this!” I still don’t!
This is not my typical reaction to a fall. I think that possibly the song on the boat radio before this harsh landing colored my communication. The Journey melody entitled ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ was going to be hard to do.
When I broke my left arm by the shoulder last week, while still conscious, I said to the ER doctor, “I’ve lost my sense of Humerus (bone). It broke! Can’t feel it anymore!” In reality, the Humerus gave me enduring pain except when they medicated me as needed!
He read my chart hardly smiling so I turned to my daughter adding, “Tough crowd in the ER- today!” The X-Ray tech got the joke smirking while relaying my silliness to her colleague! As decisions were made about transporting me to a trauma hospital, I prayed and meditated knowing my only course was through this ordeal and suffering to get the healing started.
In those traumatic moments, I failed to wrap my head around just how bad that bone broke and why a trauma doctor took over my case. If I’d totally understood the magnitude of my issues, my mind might have snapped. My psyche turned fear into intermittent jokes to alleviate the tension allowing for small emotional eruptions.
Even as I told my husband and daughter that I was sorry for falling and ruining our day at the park, feeling sorry as in pity is not an option to healing! Two hospitals later- with the last being an excellent while newer trauma center- several days later, a partial bionic shoulder arm piece is my new normal. They say I have six months to full recovery but I should! My recovery went far beyond those expectations and not in a good way.
I, also, wrote to my friends and relatives On FB; “I still have my sense of humor!” It’s my coping mechanism.
Some relatives and friends came too soon to see me because the two hour surgery went way past that mark. It lasted over five going on six hours; so some visitors left before talking to me at that hospital. My FB entry let them know I understood. At the second hospital, I was not really ready to socialize after surgery but thanks for coming by or calling.
On August 27, 2009, my entry read; “It’s Thursday and about ten days after surgery. I could barely walk to the DR’s office due to fatigue, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness. I blame the painkiller and am taking myself off it!”
On the way to the trauma, orthopedic surgeon, I decided to walk the ten cars and two blocks to his front door. The blocks were air conditioned as well as inside a wing of the huge hospital. I paused and hesitated four or five times with cold sweats and shortness of breath; it might have appeared a stroke occurred each time my body moved more than ten feet- meaning two feet moving five steps each. Not to mention the constipation! Relief from that pain medication gave me more pain and physical discomfort than my bionic limb. I converted to aspirin that very day.
How do people get addicted; that medication made me feel worse and panicked? It made no sense that some people get hooked on these medications or street drugs. Every time a doctor prescribes me a modern drug, it isn’t a miracle medication as much as a wonder drug. I wondered why I took it because my body reproduced the rare side effects. Once, a long time ago, I took high blood pressure medication. Within two weeks, I couldn’t even lift a fork to eat my muscles were so sluggish and tired. My body suffered the rare side effect that could cause death. Taking myself off that drug, I changed doctors, too. We worked on stress reduction to reduce my blood pressure as well as natural remedies.
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