Saturday, September 10, 2011

Broken Arms Broken Dreams

It's been a week since I broke my arm and three days since I discovered it was broken. I thought I might fill you in on some missing information and let you know...the rest of the story.

This is not the first time this arm has been in a cast. In 1999, I had surgery on this arm that involved shortening my radius by 5mm and putting in a six inch long titanium plate. The surgery went well but the recovery was HELL!

I spent six months in a cast or splint, had occupational therapy three days per week and physical therapy 2 days per week. It seems that my bones are not fond of regrowing quickly. I had to wear a "bone growth stimulator" every night. I had an at-home ultra-sound thingy that I had to use and I developed adhesive capsulitis because my arm was immobilized for so long.

Adhesive capsulitis is basically when your ligaments and tendons begin to stick to each other and form a bond.

There was one way to get rid of it. Go to a physical therapist who lifts weights regularly and worships Satan daily. That Satanic individual lays you on a table and cranks your shoulder back over our head. The adhesions have to break apart.

Have you ever torn a ligament, tendon or muscle? The pain is excruciating. I believe I cussed and then passed out. I vaguely remember someone yelling, "He's passing out!" and then I remeber them sitting me up slowly and feeding me ice chips.

Ice chips! Really?! How about some Vicodin or Demerol?! Hello, is anyone listening?

I had the pleasure of having multiple sessions of this treatment. I wanted to put a hit on the PT, but The Spouse wouldn't let me.

I learned to do a lot left-handed. I could cut my food and use a fork and spoon proficiently. I learned to write left-handed and continued teaching through all of this. I could write notes on the board and I learned to type fairly fast with just my left hand. I also learned, very quickly, how to take care of personal hygiene issues left-handed. (Try it some time with the opposite of your dominate hand. There's a learning curve!)

After almost a year of therapy, I was released to live a "normal" life. I was able to do all the things I used to.

Now, I find myself facing a similar time. I'm not looking forward to the possibility of having surgery, a new plate and therapy. It seems that I've broken the titanium plate in my arm. I'm not sure how and I'm not sure why I'm not in pain. I'm grateful for that part. I'm smarter than I was then and the good doctor and I are going to have a LONG talk about all of this before I undergo the knife.

My current job involves a lot of travel. I can't travel with a broken/casted arm. It seems that Missouri has a funny law that designates that anyone in a cast is considered an impaired driver. My company takes a dim view of folks like me driving, too. I've worked it out with my boss that I'll just have to work via phone and email for a bit. She's been incredible about this incident and has offered to drive me to our sales conference in the next few weeks.

So, I would ask you to keep me in your thoughts and prayers for a while. I just need to make it through the surgery and NOT have the recovery complications.

Thanks for reading and I promise to post more funny and educational items in the near future!

1 comment:

  1. Roy~ I'm so glad to hear that your company is being supportive. During my years with Ww, I actually broke two bones, and the company was incredibly non-supportive both times. The first break was my left foot, which happened as I returned home late one night following a long day servicing some of my Arkansas accounts.

    The second break was my knee, a horrible injury which actually happened inside one of my schools. During all of the long months of recovery, the company sent someone to exactly TWO of my schools (one large account in the St. Louis area and one small school in Arkansas). It was prime contract renewal time as well as color deadline time, and the decision not to help service my accounts was a deliberate move by the company.

    Good luck and congratulations on having chosen a quality company!



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