|This is the tree we harvested---the log that rolled on me.|
I was so lucky to have doctors and nurses to fix me.
I wanted to thank them.
Hey he did. Really.
End of story. Yeah right.
It took me a while for everything to sink in. I had no idea what the next two months would entail. That I'd have to retrain my arm to move again. I was pretty naive, I never thought that dislocated elbows required a cast. I thought very simply, I thought once they popped the bone in, I'd be fixed---like a popping a Barby arm in, I was sure after the next day, I'd be doing tai bo. I had no idea that I'd need a cast, or physical therapy.
|Me and my arm the day after the accident. This may not be the best shot of me, but believe me, I looked ten times worse after I got the flu.|
My cast was so heavy, it would make my back ache so badly that standing, and moving very much caused extreme pain and discomfort. And my arm was so sensitive to movement that I couldn't stand sitting at my computer for more than a few minutes.
|This is after I got the cast off, as you can see my fingers were still sausages|
Sheesh, who knew bras could be such a dang bother. The entire time I had my arm tied up, I conjured up a theory that boys who dislocate their elbow have it far more easier than girls who have to deal with bras, hair, makeup, and shaving under their pits. It's no wonder that the bulk of people who dislocate their elbow are boys---who play football or rugby. I guess it takes quite a deal of force to knock ones elbow out of socket.
I however had no such epic story. Pooh.
By the time I was dressed in the morning, it felt like the day was half way over. And after all the bother my sister went through helping me get dressed, I determined that I was not going to take my bra off, unless I had to. I'd have someone unbuckle it. But that thing was just going to hang there.
Putting on socks. Hah!
I've learned over the weeks is that if you are one armed, its best to keep passwords simple, and preferably in the English language in case of one handedness. Somehow stuff evaporates when each hand is involved in muscle memory.
That was a very good day.
After all, I'm Spartan!
And then there are the new fears you acquire after having your bones pulled out of socket, and then learning to bend those bones again. It's terrifying. The fear of seeing the log you fell of.
Yes. I look at it and it gives me this prickly-goosbumy feeling.
I avoid it every time I see it.
The fear of falling again.
I as one miserable puppy. I coughed so hard I lost my voice. It was nasty, nasty bug, made me cough so hard I'd pee my pants. My sister and I called it the pee your pants cough bug. How I wished that I was just back to my arm being hurt. I surmised that my arm being in a cast, compiled with coughing my lungs out, was inhuman.
That was the quote that gave me a shaft of light. I held onto that light, and it kept me going. All those bits of sand, the pain, the fall, the aches, the frustrations, they are just beautiful pearls in disguise.
Then I found other bits of bits of wisdom things that just gave me some peace. "Surrender is a place of power. When we surrender that which we can't control, we're then free to control that what we can---which is ourselves, our own intention, our own reality." Dr. Margaret Paul
And then this quote. It's a good one to remember when life happens.
And then this last quote I thought was very nice.
"You must let life flow naturally, for life's secret is patience; you must stop pushing for change and allow things to unfold." Leon Brown
I also made myself listen to motivational speeches like thise one, while doing my exercises. And believe me it helps.
My fingers were super swollen still. And my arm was frozen in place. He also gave me the pictures of my X rays. I was too out of it at the time to remember what the pictures looked like, so I was happy to get a second look. It was a full dislocation. The doctor told me to show the x rays to the physical therapist. The desk clerk and the therapist were pretty funny/expressive when they saw them. Made me feel validated in my pain to show someone the pictures for the first time.
He also said it will probably will take six weeks for my arm to regain strength in my arm. And three years to fully heal to get it as strong as it was before my accident. I guess there's a lot of soft tissue that gets damaged that needs to heal. I mentioned to him that a lot of people keep on telling me that at least I didn't break my arm, that I'm so lucky. He said that he begged to differ, that dislocations take a lot more work to rehabilitate because of all the scar tissue.
|A week after my cast was off, my hand started peeling like lizard skin.|
After I came home from the therapist, I took a bath---the most luxurious wonderful bath of my life. I was able to submerse my arm in warm, wonderful water for the first time in a long while. That day I actually bent my fingers and see my knuckles.
On one of my more motivated days, I tempted a painting on a pretty large canvas I rescued from a thrift store. The original painting was just just kinda ugly. It was a typical water mountain tree scene. The colors were all blah. I began painting over it. Opening paint tubes was challenge, but I worked at it, and am still working on that painting.
|This was how far I could bend my arm On October 11th|
It has now been over six weeks. And this picture below, is me holding the yellow armband. It's pretty much how far I can bend my so far. This picture was taken on 21st of October. And I hope to be able to bend my arm further.
I'm not sure when I'll be able to fully straiten it or bend it.
|This is about how far I can straighten my elbow. Hopefully I'll be able to bend it more sooner. This picture was taken after I posted this blog post, probably on the 28th or 29th of October.|
That thought sounds painful, so I'm doing extra work so that won't have to happen.
I've been sleeping on the couch for nearly six weeks, and yesterday I slept in my own bed, the second time in all those weeks I've slept in my own bed. But in my mind, it's progress. I've gotten to a point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can dress myself so much easier. A lot of my shirts now have one arm hole that's bigger than the other, but that's a small price to pay to dress yourself. I can touch the top of my head. I can now sort of scratch my nose. I can lace my arm through a hoodie, put on my own socks without it taking me forever, I can pull up my pants--if they're stretchy, I can lift my own cup, and plate, and various non-heavy objects. I can type for longer periods of time--especially with a pillow under my arm. I can now start trying to get my cardio up, and do sit ups. I made myself do Zumba everyday last week. It's weird, but even the easy dances are challenging for me now. I can even milk the goats for short periods of time. I still can't put my bra on like a normal person, or put my hair in a ponytail, or lift heavy stuff, or push open heavy doors---but I'm so grateful for what I can do. Thankful for and my mom being patient with me, doing so much for me when I couldn't do it for myself, for my sister Bessie, for her rooting me on, and helping me out through everything. When I do my arm exercises, she comes over and coaches me, repeated back one of my motivational videos I like to listen to. "No, don't give up, you are a champion! Now say it, Steph, you are a champion! No! Say it louder, you are a Champion. Don't quit!"
Oh I tried various other devices in which to floss.
I tried a contraption you use to floss with when you have braces--- that was a joke. Don't waste your money. I tried these evil, and when I say evil green flossers, I mean EVIL!
They may look nice. But they are deceptive little torment devices. At first they work, then when you get to your back teeth, they get stuck. And you have two choices, either to rip out your teeth, or to gasp, and drip saliva as you howl and yelp for someone to help you.
But you never know when the log is going to roll. You may have traveled the same path over a million times, balanced across the same log, day after day, trusting in your ability, feeling strong and confident. After all the log is solid.
And when you fall things change. And sometimes you can't go back to the way things were before. You hope that you can. But you change too.
Life is very unstable. It's always changing, and shifting.
Get back up.