Thursday, December 4, 2014

Adventures with Lea #7: My First Broken Bone

  As a kid, a lot of my friends would break bones doing gymnastics or sports etc.  The one I remember most was Nick's younger brother, who I think was named Isaac, who broke an arm in 1st or 2nd grade and became ambidextrous because of it.  Over the years, I've developed a false sense of safety thinking I could never and would never break something.  Hubris.  Hubris killed me.

I'm pretty sure the card was a Chansey...The nurse Pokemon...
   While visiting my cousins in Colorado for Thanksgiving, I was having a fine time until fate decided to smack me upside the head with humility.  On Saturday, as I went to the basement to gather my things--specifically my Wii U--I was being careful to avoid the mattress in front of the TV.  I was not able to see a deadly stack of Pokemon cards just past the corner of the mattress and slipped.  I guess I put my arm under me in a few moments to break my fall and my phone landed right in front of my face.  In inexplicable tears, I called my mother who rushed downstairs with the cavalry.  The family helped me upstairs where I discovered my left arm was in immense pain.  I usually don't get physically hurt, and when I do I'm pretty good at shaking it off, so when my mother saw my apparently pale face, she decided I needed to go the the hospital.   

    We wrapped my arm in an ace bandage after testing if touching anywhere on my arm hurt, which it didn't.  We got an icepack and loaded me into the front seat with a fluffy blanket to give my arm leverage.  20 minutes later, we strolled into the front and gave my name, birth date, etc.  Without having to sit, I was ushered behind the desk to answer a few questions and have my blood pressure taken etc.  Immediately after, I was taken to a room where the doctors commended us on how well we handled the problem with ice and aleve.  My family and I realized that back home, I'd still be in the waiting room, most likely for an hour.  The doctors came in and asked all about what happened and I carefully explained.  I was taken off to X-rays, immediately given 3, and swiftly returned to my room where the nurses had already prepared medicine for me to ease the pain.

     A while later, we discovered I had a slender break on the radial head-a fancy way of saying I broke the part of my radius bone in my elbow and that means rotating my arm would hurt like Hades.  My arm was wrapped in cotton and then a bandage with a large foamy thing to hold my arm in place and I was given a splint.  Apparently, by not putting it in a cast, it allowed the arm time to swell up.  Fabulous, my arm=a marshmallow in a microwave.  After a few more tips on what to do next, I was ushered out.  I spent a total of an hour and a half there and 20 minutes driving there each way.  The next day was a 10 hour drive home.  

        On the way up, I had been in the very back seats of my mother's Pilot, crunched up like an old tissue.  On the way back home, I was given the passenger seat.  Sadly, I had to stop at nearly every town to get out and walk since I felt like puking the whole ride.  Then, on Monday, I had to go to the doctor in town to get a cast EXCEPT they decided I didn't need a cast because that could cause my elbow to lock up and never move properly again.  Instead, I have to just hold my arm in the sling and INTENTIONALLY move my arm and cause myself pain.  Ow.   At least all the cats in my house and at my cousin's gave me love since they could tell I was sick. So, what do I think of the whole thing?  It's bad but it could have been way worse.  I'm lucky I didn't hurt my wrist or have any other breaks and although being without a cast hurts more, I don't have to cover my arm with a bag to shower and I can get into clothes mostly easily albeit slowly.  So, onto....

Lea's Tips:   
  1. If you get hurt, don't assume nothing is wrong.
    1. I didn't think I'd need to go to the hospital since I was in shock, but try waiting a few minutes and icing where it hurts before you decide whether or not to go.  
  2. See what you can do before you go to the hospital
    1. My family is very used to people being injured and has a pretty spot on sense of what to do in each situation.  If you are not o well versed, we live in the internet age!
      1. Try googling what you think might be wrong or calling family you think has experience
      2. I'd say it's usually a safe bet to try ice and advil/ibuprofen.  
  3. Relax
    1. Try not to panic, since freaking out can actually cause you more pain.  If you have family or friends around, let them do the driving.  Listen to music, play apps on an iphone/tablet, or just do anything to keep your mind off the pain.  
  4. Rest
    1. There is no reason to go to school/work the first day or two after breaking something.  I was lucky to have a really minor breakage, so I can still get around, but everyone deserves a little rest after a break.
    2. Get in contact with your teachers/job
      1. All my teachers have been extremely understanding and have allowed for extensions and help when I need it.
  5. Make a web of connections
    1. It's extremely important to have people who can help you out while you are incapacitated.  If you live in the same town as family, ask if they can help you in whatever way you need.  Otherwise, ask your friends.  Put out a call to arms on facebook or other social media to get the assistance you need.
      1. For example, I don't feel safe driving yet and I had to go ask all my friends and family and eventually my sister's half-brother (long story) offered to drive me to school this morning.  
      2. No shame in asking for help 
  6. Don't get behind on work
    1. Just because you are hurt though, doesn't mean you can allow your work to pile up.  Take your time and do it all in stride, but make sure to at least attempt to keep up!
  7. Do what the doctors say
    1. No matter how much it hurts to have to move my arm, I have to.  I have to take my meds.  I have to wear that itchy sling.  But, if you listen, hopefully it'll all be over soon!

That's it for today guys!!!  Share any stories you have below!  Bye byeeeeeeeee