Friday, December 28, 2007

Dealing with it.

At the fracture clinic, the doctor poked the lump that hurt, twisted my arm one way till it hurt, then twisted it the other way to see how much it hurt that way, nodded approvingly, and said 'keep the sling on, and come back in a couple of weeks and we'll see how it's getting on. By the way, if you start hearing your elbow go 'click', get to A&E; we'll need to put a pin through the fracture to hold it all together'.
By a pin, he meant 'we're going to shove your elbow in a metal halo to immobilize it, then whack a titanium bolt through all those lovely nerves that pass over the outside of the joint, then leave it sticking out for a month.' This, of course, has had the effect on me of nervously listening out for every single crackle and pop my whole bloody arm might give. I don't want my arm out of action for any longer than necessary. As I have found out, it isn't just my arm that has been rendered of limited use - it's had an impact on everything I do.
Well, I hear you cry, so what's new? After all, it's not as if it's something that doesn't occur on a daily basis to thousands of people. However, it's the first time it's happened to me, so I can only talk from my own experience. Starting with what I'm doing right now, I have a limited range of mobility and dexterity in my left hand, meaning that I'm doing most of the typing with my right. Next, I keep waking up around half past four in the morning, my upper arm and shoulder aching from the position I need to keep them in to keep the elbow supported and comfortable: Also, I have to take the sling off every now and then during the day to flex my arm as much as possible. And then, of course, I need to deal with the further limitations in everyday life. I can't cycle for six weeks to two months, meaning my main source of exercise has disappeared. I can't cook, or rather I can't do anything that involves chopping, dicing, holding stuff firmly, twisting (unless I use my legs), or anything above boiling stuff. I'm beginning to wonder how I'll get to work and pick up the kids on a thursday afternoon, seeing as I can't drive.
See? It's a whole world of fun. Yet despite all this, I'm well aware it could have been much worse, and it makes me wonder how people with serious injuries cope.

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