Monday, January 9, 2012

My First Bone Injury

Well, do I have some news for you.

I dislocated my elbow. I went to do a short climbing session and took a digger on a boulder route, landing on my outstretched arm. When I landed, I saw the elbow joint jump up and go back into place. When it didn't stop hurting, I knew the session was over.

Luckily I have a lot of first response connections, so having a simple dislocation and full hand movement means a much easier recovery and return to normal alignment. The assessment called for a sling by my lovely roommate Crystal, and lots of ice and rest. It is also on my left side, so I am pretty darn lucky and it could have been a lot worse.

I'm going back and forth between feeling like it's kind of a big deal and no sweat. With movement limited by the sling, the pain is under control and not that big a deal. Using one hand is easier than I thought, with a little careful maneuvering. Most jars and bottles I can open with my right hand if I squeeze them between my knees- thank goodness for the Advil easy-open cap and that climbing has given me a strong grip.

On the other hand (no pun intended), there is so much I can't do- knitting, sewing, carrying in wood for the fireplace. Once the sling is off I'll have more options, but climbing will be out of the question for at least a month. So will yoga, circuit training, and as my best friend Mitch pointed out, the boxing class I signed up for. I need to drop it completely but I'm going to wait just a couple more days in case there's a miraculous turn around.

This is my first real injury, so that's something a little different for me. I had to get stitches on my chin when I was little, and one time I dropped a bench on my toe, but I was a cautious and nonathletic child and have never broken a bone. My mother has suffered multiple fractures due to her very active lifestyle and I can totally empathize with her now that I'm in the limited mobility boat.

When I went for a visit to lend a hand, I was frustrated that she didn't want to slow down and I had to keep reminding her to take it easy, use her cane, and let me help. Taking it easy is usually not a problem for me, but yesterday I found that because my only option was to sit on the couch and read or watch movies, the last thing I want to do right now is read or watch movies. Instead, I'm restlessly pacing around the downstairs and calling everyone I know. Geez, and it's only been a day!

In the meantime, of which there is no limit, I'm just going to have to accept lots of help, slow it down, and be grateful it wasn't worse.

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