Category Archives: Injury
I know I already posted about my injured arm this week, but, well, it’s still on my mind.
Meeting with my surgeon stresses me out beyond reason. I get SO anxious. I get really preoccupied for days after. And worst of all, it bums me out.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on my surgery options. Thinking lots about whether I want to leave my arm as is or get the radial head part of my elbow removed. If I leave it as is, there’s a high chance I’ll have to get the screws removed because they will interfere with the rest of my elbow joint when I get full range of motion back.
But it’s not likely the screws can be taken out without the bone falling apart. So even if I leave it as is, I may have to get the bone taken out anyway. But waiting a year to find out isn’t an option either. For best results, the surgery should happen as soon as possible.
So far in my research, I’ve come across studies that show your elbow can remain completely stable without the radial head. But other accounts reported a shortening of the forearm, a crooked wrist, excess pressure on the ulna, and a whole lot of pain.
The good news is that besides my original surgeon in Ottawa, my dad found me another orthopedic surgeon in Halifax to consult. So I should have three skilled opinions on the matter in the coming weeks.
Until then, I will try not to lose my mind.
My mom asked me if she could see the my x-rays all together. This does not represent all the ones I’ve had. In the last three months, I’ve had about 12 x-rays and 2 CT scans.
February 25th? I can’t remember, I was high on painkillers.
May 24. Looks slightly better than the March shot, but it’s at a different angle, so it’s hard to tell. You can definitely see how the screws may get in the way here.
For reference, here’s what a healthy elbow looks like. My forearm is twisted because I can’t rotate my palm up for the x-rays, so the radial head is rotated differently in the “normal” ones.
Mine again on May 24…
And the normal one…
Anyways, thank you for indulging me once again. It helps a lot to get this stuff out of my brain so I can stop stressing about it.
On the bright side (because I always have to look at it) I am still making progress. My physio tells me it’s important to keep working at it even if I have to get operated on again because the more progress I make before, the better I’ll be after. Today I was able to pick up 10lbs for the first time with my left hand. I used a big girl dumbbell!
Despite the frustrations surrounding my limitations, I am still an otherwise healthy, active person. I’ve got my two legs after all! Which means lots and lots of walks with Archie and the fam.
One other good thing is that it’s a long weekend for me! I get American holidays with my new job. There’s actually a lot of difference between Canadian and American holidays. For example, everyone had Victoria Day off this past Monday, except for me. BUT, that means I get Memorial Day off! I feel like I need to celebrate like the Americans do, so I’m going to have some fun in the kitchen.
You won’t ever see me drink a Budweiser though. Ew.
Have a great weekend!!
So I met with my surgeon yesterday. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know it wasn’t the greatest.
You see, I’ve made leaps and bounds in physiotherapy recently. The bone I broke in my elbow is the same bone responsible for twisting my wrist. In the last month, I’ve gained about 60 degrees of rotation. In other words, I’m just a mere 30 degrees from having my palm face the ceiling. Big deal. You don’t realize how much you twist your hand around doing just the slightest things. What I would give to be able to twist my left fingers to my mouth again…
Anyways. Me and my physiotherapist have been all excited about this. My surgeon in Moncton gave me five weeks to progress my movement, and yesterday was the day he would tell me if it was enough to proceed without any further operations.
Well, I guess I misunderstood. Because he took one look at my latest x-ray, saw that my bone still isn’t healing, and said he still wants to take the whole radial head out. Regardless of the progress I’ve made in physio.
The difference between any upcoming surgery and the original surgery, is that this time I have a choice. My last surgery was done in an emergency situation and I had no idea what to expect. This time around I can choose to either stay on my current path of recovery, which may not give me 100% mobility back. Or, I can have a piece of my skeleton removed and possibly get more movement back.
I’m sending my latest x-rays and CT scans to the surgeon who performed the original surgery in Ottawa. He’s a hand and upper-extremity specialist and I value his opinion. Even if the current mess of screws in my elbow are his doing.
In the meantime, I’m going to research the repercussions of living without a radial head. In the past three months since my skating accident, I’ve learned that I can live without being able to fully bend and straighten my elbow. But I can’t live without being able to twist my wrist or hold anything heavier than 5lbs. As things are now, I can’t even close the front door and hold my purse at the same time, because both actions can only be done with my right hand.
So, to sum, it’s all very stressful.
And when I am stressed, I want to do one of two things: drink whiskey, and cook.
This time, I chose Eat Live Run’s Chana Masala. I tried chana masala for the first time a couple weeks ago at an Indian restaurant here in Moncton and fell in love. How have I gone so long without??
I followed her directions exactly, but changed some of the spices with fancy ones I bought in Toronto’s Little India. It turned out divine!! Not quite as “creamy” (for lack of a better word) as the kind I had at the restaurant, but a definite make-again.
And because I am a non-traditionalist, I ate it with quinoa and fiddle heads.
I bought two pounds of Miramichi fiddleheads off the back of a truck last weekend. I just couldn’t help myself. For those of you who are wondering, fiddleheads are a young fern that grow like weeds in the Northeast and are usually in season late-spring to early-summer. They taste like a cross between broccoli and asparagus – the perfect green veggie! I ate them here steamed with just salt and pepper. The best way to have veggies in my opinion!
Now I just need some whiskey.
**Warning lots of text ahead**
First and foremost, if you are viewing this in a reader or inbox, you must click out to see my new layout! My old one was supposed to be “temporary.” Which of course turned into five months. I’m quite happy with this new one, so we’ll see how long it lasts!
Secondly, thank you for being so patient and supportive while I took time off from blogging. I suppose I could have lined up some guest posts or something, but what I really wanted to do was drop ALL blogging responsibilities. I needed a full-on break and I am coming back much better because of it.
Truth of the matter is, things with my arm are not going well. If you’re new-ish, all the posts explaining my injury can be found here. Short story is that I shattered my elbow almost three months ago and had reconstructive surgery on the bone. I had to give up my job as a personal trainer and basically change every aspect of my life to accommodate my new limited mobility.
One would think that a broken bone would get better with time. But mine is not. My physiotherapists tell me I’m not making progress at the rate I should be. I see my surgeon again in just over two weeks and he’ll tell me if I’m doomed to be on an operating table again. The whole situation scares me beyond belief.
One would also think I would grow more accustomed to my injury with time. But honestly, my ability to cope with it is getting worse. Having to wash my hair with one hand two weeks after the accident was doable. Having to STILL wash my hair with one hand three months after the fact is driving me crazy. Knowing that it may be a year from the accident until I can put my two palms on my head makes me feel really, really uneasy.
I am so, so sick of feeling limited ALL the time.
I know I should be thankful for what I can still do. I know I am lucky in so many ways. I hate bitching and moaning about an injury that in the grand scheme of things really isn’t that bad. This is why I had to take a break from blogging. Because stress and ill feelings over my injury dominate all my thoughts and emotions. I’ve become my injury.
The past month since moving home has been challenging. It has not been the saving grace I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely where I want to be right now. But I tricked myself into thinking moving home would solve all my problems. Really, it just highlighted them.
In the past three months, I lost the use of one limb. I lost a job I loved. I lost my energy and stamina. I gained a lifetime of pain. I moved to a different city and into a new house. And last week, I started a new permanent full-time job.
It’s a lot for a girl to deal with, even “well adjusted” ones like me. I’ve gotten into this bad habit of crying whenever I have to talk about the state of my arm. It shows how unstable I’ve become about it. I am so sick of talking about it and yet it’s still all I ever think about.
So no, I am not “okay.” Things are not getting “better.” I wish I could surpass expectations and overcome obstacles. I wish I could be an inspiring beacon of “healthy living” hope. But really, it just plain sucks. Big time.
So there’s the truth. I feel like I’ve been keeping it from my readers. I feel like a fraud. I don’t plan on complaining about it regularly, I think I may seek help for that.
Instead, I hope to be doing shorter posts. I hope to have more pictures. And posts will now be going up in the morning!!
Thanks for being with me through this (and reading through this post – hoo-ah!). Here’s hoping things start to get better from here…
I mean, Buddy the dog has finally warmed up to me. Even if that does mean more slobber stains on my pants.