Right Arm down – Three weeks – Jan 20, 2020
This is supposed to be the saddest day of the year for the majority of people. But my sad day came three days ago. I like to call it an extremely resistant day. Just not comfortable with my circumstance right now. Having an injury is not something you want to commit to. For example, I’ve learned to do many things with my left hand recently, but I refuse to re-learn how to write. I don’t want to spend time learning that skill because I know I’ll have my right hand back in another month or two. So I avoid handwriting altogether …until today when I wanted to make a to-do list:
But waiting for the day when you can do the things you used to do messes with your head. So, I’ve decided to stop waiting and to live on a day-to-day basis. If I want to learn to write with my left-hand today, I’ll do so. If I don’t want to do anything at all today, that is also completely fine.
This week, I’ve noticed I’m more afraid of the world. I’m afraid of slipping or overworking my left arm. I get nervous when people are moving too quickly around me. I don’t want to get bumped. I’m afraid of tripping and I don’t feel sure-footed. In fact, I feel off-balance. And I am moodier than ever (at times : )). I feel like a dependent… and I don’t like it. Trauma. It’s tricky. You don’t think a little old broken wrist will change your life much at all. Well, it does… maybe this doesn’t happen for everyone(hopefully), but it is certainly happening to me (momentarily).
Luckily, everything in life has prepared me to move through this experience with awareness. Having this cast and experiencing consistent discomfort is definitely a great motivation to return to source as often as possible. All that means is: I have to get quiet and release the resistance or else I will go completely ape s*** crazy. And I have to remember that I’m valuable even though I’m broken…a challenge I haven’t experienced in this way before.
On a humorous note, I have been seriously styling! I wear a fanny pack around the house because I can put items in it that my right hand would normally carry. You’d be surprised how many trips you have to take from room to room to carry the crap that you need around your own house! My phone, computer, a mug of hot chocolate, glasses, headband, ball, the glove I like to keep handy in case my hand gets cold. I’ve also taken to wearing a leg warmer over the cast and a glove over my fingers when I’m cold. I still can’t fit my cast into a jacket so I just hang it over my right shoulder. Quentin pointed out that I looked pretty wild at the grocery store yesterday. You can’t tell that I have a cast when it’s covered in leg warmer and my arm feels better when I hold it up high. So, I was roaming around, with the covered arm overhead and a funky, lopsided jacket strapped to my torso with a purse. No cares at all.
I must say, I look at everyone differently these days. When I see someone limping or rubbing an arm, I wonder about how much pain they’re in and where they might be on their healing journey?
Moving on to the pain section of this blog. For all my broken wrist-ers out there, the situation is as follows:
13 days after surgery, I went for x-rays and they “look good.” But on the day before the X-rays I had twisted my arm in the cast and it felt like I had sprained something near the ulna. When they removed the old cast, I could see the swelling around that area. I ask the doctor and he explained how the tip of the ulna had initially broken but that it looked like it had fallen right into place. I’m pretty sure I re-broke the tip of the ulna when I twisted my arm the day before the X-ray and that it didn’t move the bone any noticeable amount…just enough to cause pain and to have to restart the knitting process of the bone. Needless to say, it hurt, and I was disappointed. I was given my new cast on day 13. It is fiberglass or a material like that. Up until then, I was certain that the pain I was having was caused by the previous cast not fitting properly. This was an illusion. The new cast felt delightful until nighttime. I woke up at 3 a.m. and it felt like someone had put my wrist in a wrench and was squeezing both sides of it. What I’ve learned about swelling is that it’s best to prevent it rather than treat it…because the only real treatment for it is ice… and patience. So now, when the swelling is coming on I take an anti-inflammatory immediately. Tylenol 3 doesn’t seem to do anything for this kind of pain (for me) and Tramadol seems to create a burning sensation in the affected area alongside a big old red, burning face (I’m pretty sure I’m allergic :-)).
As a lover of natural medicines, I’ve had to readjust my self-righteousness. My current theory is that natural remedies help with natural issues. But unnatural issues sometimes need unnatural remedies. For example, a broken bone might be fine with a few herbal painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, but six bolts through a bone and a titanium plate jammed against a radial might require a bit more powerful painkiller. And I’m okay with this now : ) Long-term pain messes with your mind and if your mind is messy it’s very hard to heal…or even to function in this world.
So my current advice to my fellow broken writers is: do what you got to do In order to hold a mental space of optimism. Take the pain meds. Get sleep. Trust the process.