Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Beginning of Sorrows, part 3...(A Cracked Sense Of Humerus)

Because we were having such an incredible run of good luck going – obviously, something had to happen to extend the streak. So...

About 2½ weeks after the flood, we were trying to get settled in at my sister & brother-in-laws (and still trying to catch our breaths), when the universe tracked us down and decided to give us a little something extra to go with our recent misfortune.

One day (a Thursday, it was) – while Patty was at work – I had a problem that required that I be lifted. Since Patty is the only person who is able to lift me (solo) without it hurting like a blankety-blank, I turned to my sister and nephew for help (they'd lifted me before, so it didn't seem like a big deal). Well...

As they were lifting me – one on either side of me; my arms around their necks; each with one arm under a leg, and one behind my back – I slipped. And, as I slipped, my left arm was forced up over my head....at which point there was a noticeable pop, followed by a sound like several celery stalks being broken at once. Needless to say, it was painful. On a pain scale of 1 to 10: this one goes to 11! It hurt so bad, I thought I was going to stand up.

My sister and nephew did everything they could to keep me from slipping. Unfortunately, sometimes gravity just wins. Period. And this was one of those times.

Judging by the sound, I thought I must have torn my rotator cuff, or something equally enjoyable. But I decided that (in spite of the pain) I'd give it till Monday to show some signs of improvement, and only go to the doctor if there was none, or it got worse.

Well,...I made it to the next morning (Friday). The pain had gotten much worse, and there was a good deal of swelling and stiffness. So we called to see if we could get in to see our doctor. We could. So off we went.

X-rays were taken, and I was told I had fractured my left humerus (the upper arm bone), right where it turns into the ball that fits into the shoulder socket. YIPPEEEE! But, he wanted to send me to an orthopaedist, just to be safe. Unfortunately, the orthopaedist couldn't see me until Monday. So I was prescribed darvocet, and told to keep the arm as immobile as possible.

Monday, the orthopaedist (a fellow Jets fan, no less) said it didn't require any serious treatment to immobilize the arm, since I can't move my arms alot anyway. (Hey, sometimes, crippled has its perks!) He said to just keep it as still as possible, and come back in six weeks.

Sleeping...was...a...BITCH!!! The darvocet didn't do anything to relieve the pain. It took forever to get me in a position that wasn't excruciating – and then I'd wake up, after an hour or so, and have to be repositioned. It was maddening in the extreme. I felt awful, continuously interrupting Patty's sleep (she was beyond exhausted, yet she never got ill-tempered with me). It is nothing short of amazing, how patient she is through all the crap I (unintentionally) put her through.

You know,...you can go through your whole life without experiencing certain things and not feel gypped. This was one of those things. I was introduced to a level of pain that had, hitherto, remained unexperienced by me in my 48+ years of life on this delightful little planet of ours. But now,...I can confidently add another item to my list of Things-I-Never-Want-To-Go-Through-Again-In-My-Life. Seriously,...the whole being-in-a-wheelchair thing is enough for me.

And however bad I thought the breaking-celery-stalks sound was – it's a whole lot creepier when you realize it was your upper arm bone trying to snap in two. (I always thought it a bit of Hollywood overkill-for-effect, when I'd see sound effects guys using celery stalks for breaking bone sounds. Now I know they were just being accurate.)

There are some less than helpful x-rays here. (They're not the glamour shots I requested – and I don't even have a good side – so prepare to be underwhelmed).*

*My CAT scan images (here) are, at least, a little more interesting (if not downright disturbing).**

**And if you find all this internal exhibitionism distasteful, then just be glad they didn't record my Cystoscopy last year.

No comments: