Tag Archives: broken arm

Broken Arm Blessings – Arrow Learns Kitchen Knife Skills & Cooking!

Anticipation 1940 click to go to Shorpy.com for full size view

We continue with our mini series on “Broken Arm Blessings” here with this newest installment.  Yes it is a year later (plus a little) but it seemed fitting somehow.  In case you missed them, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here & part 5 here.

Right after I broke my arm the Lord impressed upon The Patriarch & me that “this time” was for Arrow’s training.  That was confirmed (without us having said a word) by Papa & Mama B on the Sunday four days after the initial break.  Yes, I did actually attend church with a very banged up face.  We didn’t want to deny anyone the blessing of helping us, but we needed to obey the Lord in this.  So, we turned down meals from our church in order to have this time of real life training for Arrow.

Baby Blue Cast & Casted Thumb

I was quite limited in what I could do in taking care of my family and out home.  My left thumb was cast immobile so I couldn’t move the radius bone.  That alone really limited my arm movements.  (Insert NON-evolutionary note here:  Even in just this I saw how we truly are fearfully and wonderfully made!! … end note)  Anything requiring two hands was o-u-t for me… for a time.  I found creative work arounds for a few things, but most things I had to have someone else do.  It was amazing to me how many things I actually HAD to use two hands for… that I did without thinking about “how” I did them.  And now I had to teach someone else the how… without being able to do the show.

YouTube!!  Did I ever think I would thank the Lord for YouTube..??!!

Arrow had to do all the majority of the house cleaning, cooking, laundry, garden watering, dishes, dog care (including giving doggy medications), as per the Lord’s direction.  I did a few little things that weren’t taxing & easily be done with one hand.  Many of the tasks that Arrow was now responsible for he had some training in.  He had just never been responsible for it all… all at the same time before!  We prayed that this time of training would 1) help develop a servant’s heart, 2) learn to work cheerfully as unto the Lord, 3) scheduling various household chores, 4) scheduling cooking so all items were done at the same time and able to be served together, 5) know what is required to ‘run the home’ so he will be a better manager of his own home (should the Lord provide him with a wife), 6) give him the skills and training to help around the house when all the children are too young to take charge on their own and his wife is incapacitated by morning sickness (should the Lord so graciously provide!) …and??

We had training in using larger knives (very interesting when I can’t ‘show’ how it is to be done!)  have you ever tried to cut an onion with only one hand… that thing rolls all over the place!  These youtube videos were Arrow’s ‘knife skill school classes':

  – (This is an excellent explanation of how to cut, and the principles of the cutting action, how to hold you hands, etc.  This would have been tops if he had also shown better how to hold the knife and how to stand, but that is covered in the 2nd link.);

  – (This second one show how to hold the knife properly, how to stand while cutting, but I don’t like his knife action as much as the first video.);

(Sorry I tried embedding the video code… grrr….!)  And the audio quality on these isn’t the greatest, but the information is top notch!  So I included them here for your learning as well!  :-)  Here is the Gluten Free Girl’s Hubby showing how to dice vegetables (different info than how to cut them!;

Gluten Free Girl & the Chef show why it’s important to start with a  hot pan!!; – this was “MY” cooking epiphany!!  Oh!!  Oh!!  Oh!!  Revolutionized and IMPROVED my cooking dramatically… I never knew.

I thought these “training” videos were for teaching Arrow how to cook.  Ha!  Just like any other subject I teach in our homeschool, I learn SO MUCH!!  I wasn’t even taught the proper way to hold a knife in my home-ec classes way back in the 70’s!!  You know, the “old” days when girls were till being taught some home skills.  I was taught the basics of the how but none of the why and much of the details were never taught at all!  I have learned them now when training Arrow and in being part of the Ratio Rally.

Our learning continued in using the stove safely, washing up as you go so you don’t have such a large mess later, tips for hardboiling eggs, tips for frying eggs so they don’t have that hard plastic edge, 1) the eggs MUST be at room temperature.  I usually place them in a container with hot water while I prep the rest of the things, 2) The pan MUST be heated completely on LOW heat.  It takes my stove about 5 – 6 minutes.  The butter should NOT sizzle and neither should the eggs., 3) Cook the eggs slowly, they should slide around in the bottom of the pan when they are ready to turn and there should not be lots of the white still uncooked.  I still use butter, but skim off the foam as that is the protein that causes me a problem.  Guess I need to make my own ghee…, 4)  get the spatula completely under the eggs before trying to turn them so you don’t break the yolks… turn gently!, 5) Only cook 2 – 3 eggs at a time in a pan of the proper size.  If you use a larger griddle for lots of eggs… the same principles apply, but you may need some kind of ring to keep the whites separated so they don’t spread all over the place.  I don’t cook our eggs on our cast iron griddle as I don’t like the iron taste it leaves behind in the eggs.

how to coordinate laundry, cooking, etc and MUCH MORE!  So far his attitude has been pretty good.

Some of the things he made are:  a pot roast in the crock pot, chicken salad, gluten free pasta salad, GF pancakes, fried eggs, salads, roast beef hash, GF  cherry peach cobbler, hamburgers (not on buns), cole slaw, potato salad, fresh brewed coffee and iced tea.  I didn’t keep a complete record of all Arrow cooked during that time.  There would have been many other things not listed here.  And a dear, sweet friend, Mrs. G.B. made us a couple of meals anyway.  On a few days when we were gone for the better part of a day with various doctor’s appointments & such we heated up these meals.  Those were such blessings!  Thank you dear!!

Do you realize just how long it takes an 11 (at the time) year old boy to fix a complete dinner??  “MY” timing was W-A-Y off as to how long I needed to give him to get the food ready.  What took me 30 minutes was taking him 3 times that long.  I sure wasn’t about to tell him to hurry up when slicing, dicing and chopping with 12-inch sharp chefs knives!!!  So we got very little else done but the bare essentials.

I looked at this time as “my season of stillness” given as a blessing to me by my heavenly Father.   NOT that I want to run right out and break my arm again…  :-)  My ‘learning’ was in extending patience, letting go of perfectionist tendencies (do those towels REALLY need to be folded just that way??), relying on others help without demanding, new knife skills (yep I had NO clue…) and much more.  I couldn’t change what “crook in my lot” (or arm – ouch!) the Lord had given me, and complaining about it would only make me & those around me miserable!  So I spent much more time praising God for my… “Broken Arm Blessings”!

Ten blessings I am thankful for:

1) YouTube videos for teaching essential kitchen knife skills!

2 ) dear friends from church who made meals anyway.

3) that I had done some of this training before I broke my arm

4) watching Arrow chop and slice like a pro! (though more slowly!!) AND keep all his fingers

5) how pleased The Patriarch was with the fried eggs cooked by Arrow for the very first time

6) for a good set of Cutco Knives, thanks honey!!

7) Arrow’s pleasant attitude towards learning all this food prep stuff

9) watching Arrow carefully cup up a large watermelon for our church fellowship meal and do so safely

10) for the learning I had while teaching kitchen skills to Arrow!!

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

This post is also shared here:

 

Broken Arm Blessings – Casting Call

We continue with our mini series on “Broken Arm Blessings” here with this newest installment.  In case you missed them, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here & part 4 here.

“Breaking” Update… … … … …

This just in from our roving reporter in western Washington…

At my post surgery appointment today, the splint I received in the operating room was removed.  I got to see my “pins”… but they aren’t “pins”, they are half penny nails!  OK, so they aren’t quite that big, but I’m sayin!  Of course I took pictures.  :-)

Rdius Holding Pins or Medieval Torture Device

They also washed my arm!  WooHoo!  I didn’t scratch… it would have only created a desire for more scratching, so I resisted.  Yes, I did touch, OK I tapped one of the ‘nails’ sticking out of my arm. Shhhh, no medical personnel were present in the room, don’t tell!  I did ask about ‘any tips’ to wash away the “ORANGE” disinfectant they liberally covered my arm with for surgery on August 5th.  No such luck, it’s long lasting stuff, it’ll have to ‘wear off’ with time.  From just below the elbow to my fingertips I am ORANGE (as seen above).  I have scrubbed my exposed fingers as much as possible and was ‘successful’ in removing only ‘some’ of the color.  And I keep scrubbing… though there is only so much ‘scrubbing’ one can do on an injured appendage so that there is no pain.  When they removed my splint the pins were already ‘stuck’ in the gauze.  It was removed without incident, but I knew I could feel it ‘getting stuck’ and attempted to ‘unstuck it’ multiple times each day since surgery.  It’s all better now and the doc said it all looked good!  What pain I felt ‘rearranging’ my splint caused NO problems.  Phew.

I now am in a full cast, which is light blue in color.  Um, medical folks listen up… 50 year old, conservative ladies DO NOT wear hot pink, bright lime green, cobalt blue, lemon yellow, bright red, construction orange or black casts!!  I mean puul-eeease!  And those of you know me, you KNOW I don’t look good in white!!  Where’s the classy cream/ecru or tan colored cast material??  What about a sweet, delicate pink??  None, so that left baby blue.

Baby Blue Cast & Casted Thumb

The post-surgery splint made my thumb go to sleep on the underside.  Well, almost asleep it was slightly numb feeling, yet maintained good color & circulation.  Partly this could be from how I was holding my arm/hand.  Whatever it was, this one doesn’t seem to do that quit as much.  There’s still a little, but if I ‘exercise it all’ it helps.  I basically ‘activate’ the muscles in my forearm, tense & release the thumb muscles, and straighten & bend the fingers.  I also try to move the shoulder & elbow as much as possible to encourage lymphatic flow.

On the way home we stopped at a dollar store to buy cheap socks & I tried to pull a sock over my cast.  I finally figured out how to wiggle that sock on over the cast.  The casted thumb makes for a really wide area to get a sock to just ‘slip over’. The cast material is, for obvious reasons, quite hard.  The end of the ‘cast material strip’ is hard with pokey bits.  A cast covered by a sock has the added benefit of making it softer to the touch and no poking areas, plus covered there won’t be any bits sticking out to snag my clothing made out of more delicate fabrics or that have delicate laces and trims.  Another benefit to a ‘covered’ cast… well then I can make sure my purse, shoes & cast match of course!  LOL  [I'd ROFLOL, but rolling on the floor is an unapproved activity right now...]  Or at least have this hardened appendage coordinate with my outfits.  No ‘clashing casts’ for this woman!

Light Lime Green 'Cast Cover'

Pretty spiffy don’t you think?!!  The other ‘cast cover’ was a medium rose pink.  Though I didn’t get any photographs of it.

Blessing List:

1) the dollar store has cheap-o socks to cut up and use for something other than a covering for the feet.

2) that the dollar store had two sock colors that coordinated with the majority of my clothes.

3) for cell phones with cameras!  That is how I got the picture of the “half penny nails”!

4) for modern medical technology – x-rays, pins to hold bones in place, pain medication, homeopathy remedies, casting material even if it isn’t in classy colors!

5) my dear husband who put my waist length, curly hair up for me every night for bed and then differently for the daytime

6) the wonder of our bodies and our ‘healing mechanism’!  That one thing puts the lie to evolution.

More to come!

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

Broken Arm Blessings – Surgery

We continue with our mini series on “Broken Arm Blessings” here with this newest installment.  In case you missed them, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here & part 3 here.

Off to surgery we go, off to surgery we go, hi ho the merry-oh!  It’s off to surgery we go.  I was not anxious about the surgery knowing that this too is wholly in the Lord’s capable hands.  I am sure the lack of anxiousness also stems from the quality of care I sense I am getting at Virginia Mason.  The other bigger factor in my level of calm is all the prayers!!  A dear woman from church, “Friend B”, came to take me to surgery.  This would be her third trip this week to Virginia Mason.  Trip 2 “Arrow” & I got a ride in with the orthopedic office manager who lives just up the street from me.  “Friend B” was such a blessing to us, sacrificing her family time to take me to my doctor appointments.

On the morning of surgery (August 5th) I was able to take the Arnica at 10 AM & again at 11 AM.  After that I was in the surgery prep area.  Before I entered the surgery area I stopped in the gift shop and purchased a lovely scarf.  I had plans for it… later.  That ‘s also when I sneaked in my last pre-surgery dose of Arnica.  “Arrow” and “Friend B” waited for me…

I was whisked off to the pre-surgery area where I got to change my clothes for one of those hospital nightgowns… why oh why do they tie in the back??  And how would I manage THAT with one usable arm?  Ah, one of the nurses helped me.  She also had to put “tape” over my earrings.  These are the small diamond ones given to me by my mother-in-law.  I never take them off and how would I do that with only one arm???  I think they asked me my name & birth date & if I was allergic to anything at least 10 times.  The first nurse came to put in my IV and I asked her my standard question, “are you good at inserting IVs into deep veins??”  I have deep veins that all but the most experienced have trouble inserting IVs into.  I am DONE with allowing one who is inexperienced to poke around and around my veins in an attempt to find my veins.  I have had my share of bruising from all that!  She told me if she couldn’t get it on the first try she would call over one who could.  She couldn’t find my veins… they are in there.  The anesthesiologist came over and inserted the IV into a vein in my hand.  The first nurse’s comment was, ‘oh, I would never have tried that one’!  He got it in one poke, and I never had a bruise.

After that, and more asking of allergies,  my name and birth date, I was wheeled into the surgery recovery area to finish my prep.  I was going to be given a nerve blocker.  But first they painted my arm with some lovely turquoise antiseptic stuff.   I got to watch the sonogram while they found the nerves and injected the ‘stuff’.  It numbed my arm from the elbow to the fingertips.

Because my surgery was being ‘squeezed in’ I did not meet the surgeon until a few minutes prior to surgery.  It was squeezed because I didn’t know I had a referral for orthopedic surgery until two days before my surgery!  By that time the break was already a week old and it was going to soon be VERY important to have the bone in the proper place… BEFORE it started it’s healing!  He and all the surgery staff at Virginia Mason were very kind & gentle & explained all possibilities that might happen to fix my arm.  Not only were they all of the above, they were also thorough.  The surgeon, whom I had only JUST met, proceeded to write “left wrist” on my left turquoise-colored bicep!!  I feel so much better knowing my surgeon knows this.  :-)

I got option A: a “left distal radius closed reduction percutaneous pinning & casting”.  They need to pin  the two bone halves so they are kept in place while they heal.  Only small holes are made for this, and a brief ‘going under’.  The same stuff used in ER that had no ‘recovery’ time!  I was also told it is similar to the Novocaine used at the dentist’s office.   The surgery was done by x-ray.  One immediate bonus to the surgery is the pain level is greatly reduced because the bones will be aligned properly and not rubbing wrong or whatever they do that causes the current pain.

In the surgery room, I was asked if I could feel anything as they proceeded to pinch me with ‘something’.  I was thankfully able to answer that I felt absolutely nothing!  Then my arm was ‘sheeted’ so I couldn’t see anything.  The anesthesiologist asked me if I would like a little nap.  I told him a nap would be lovely and I was g-o-n-e.  They woke me up to show me the pins and then I was gone, again.  The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery area.

I think I surprised the nurses at how quickly I was awake.  They must have thought I was a nut asking for copies of my x-rays for my blog!!  I posted them below so you can also see the 3 pins I am sporting to hold the radius bone in place while it heals.  These pins will be removed in 4 weeks, and I will get another cast for another two weeks.  The surgeon said it would not have healed long enough to go without the second cast.

The moment I was out of the surgery center I took another dose of Arnica and then every hour for the rest of the evening.  I also took it the couple of times I got up in the night. The day after surgery I  reduced the dosage to 3 – 4 times a day.  Because of the extensive bruising (about the size of a large dinner plate or serving platter and p-u-r-p-l-e) from the initial injury & surgery I opted to take Arnica for an additional week or two but to gradually cut the dosage back so I was taking it once every three to five days.

Left wrist, side, thumb up

Left wrist, palm down

After the noon-30-ish surgery I had “Friend B” run a couple of errands for me on the way home.  I was out of surgery & in recovery at about 2 and in the car heading home about 2:45 or 3.  I was told that the numbing stuff would wear off in 4 – 6 hours. Well I processed through the surgery meds pretty fast & was in MAJOR pain well before we got home at about 4.  In all my preparing for surgery I had neglected to bring a dose of my pain medication – ugh.  It was all I could do to keep from screaming or crying… neither of which would have helped…  :-|  I had “Arrow” call “The Patriarch” on my cell phone to ask him to have my pain meds ready for me.  He was so sweet, he was waiting outside for me with the meds and water!  It took the rest of the evening to get on top of the pain.   I was taking everything allowed as often as allowed & icing every 30 min for 30 min.  By bed time I was pain free and able to sleep all night!

——-   Day After Surgery   ——-

The surgery center call was what woke me up at 9 in the morning.   I was relatively pain free & hadn’t taken any of the vicoden for over 8 hours.  I think the nurse I spoke with was quite surprised!

Splint after surgery

“The Patriarch” has gotten quite good at taping my arm so I can shower.  He started his taping training when I had carpal tunnel surgery nearly 20 years ago and has perfected his taping technique with this current need.

On the night I broke my arm he helped me get ready for bed.  Every time we turned around there was something else that I realized I couldn’t do and he needed to help me with.  Two funny things.  First, he had to help me put up my waist length, curly hair.  Now THAT was humorous, I wish I could have taken a picture of it.  Then as I was heading to bed I suddenly realized that I still needed to take off my contacts.  Number 2!  The look on “The Patriarch’s” face was priceless!  It seemed all night long he kept asking, ‘well how do we do that’?  He held each eye open while I took out the contact.  That too would have been a really funny photo!!  No wonder he didn’t want to help me put them in subsequent weeks.

Don’t touch that dial.  Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of “Broken Arm Blessings”!

~Mrs. R

This post linked here: Gratituesday

Broken Arm Blessings – The Initial Aftermath

We continue with our mini series on “Broken Arm Blessings” here with this newest installment.  In case you missed them, you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

My first morning with a broken arm.  I previously had a goal in life (one of many) that I would get through all of my life with no broken bones.  One goal gone in an instant.  Would you believe that one of my first thoughts upon waking was about rendering fat?  No really, I’m NOT kidding!!  Sure enough I was ‘in the process’ of rendering fat for my soap making.  This time I was using two 18 quart roasters out in the shed but I kept blowing the breakers.  Argh!   I’d been banished from the garage and relegated to the shed to render fat awhile back by The Patriarch.  Now with my broken arm there was no way I could deal with those two roasters FULL of supposed-to-be-rendering fat.  But that was only ONE of my first thoughts… I also had to call my primary care physician to let ‘them’ know about the ambulance & emergency room visit the day before.  That was my very first call.  I told them the ER doctor said I would require surgery and was rudely told that my PCP would determine that.  Hey, I just know what I was told not why!  I was then given an appointment to see my PCP a week later.  Oookaaayyy.

I got myself dressed and right after breakfast I made my second call to a sweet young lady from church (Miss Wholesome) whom I was rendering fat with/for.  We had a soap making class coming up and would need all this fat rendered into tallow!  Dialing the phone posed no problem, and Miss Wholesome just happened to answer at the other end.  I told her that I had broken my arm the day before and that I needed her, if at all possible, to come and deal with the fat, hoping to save it.  The very first words out of her mouth were, “Oh my goodness, let me come and stay with you to help you!!”  Wow.  Now I had had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands about 19 years prior and prior to being saved.  At the time we were attending a liberal Presbyterian church, I was working outside of the home and we had “Peter Rabbit” (then 12) who attended public school.  The twin girls, ‘Floppsy’ & ‘Moppsy’ were 20 & already out of their mother’s home and attending college.  They both were diagnosed with Fredrich’s Ataxia (another post another day…) and wouldn’t be able to help me, nor could they get to our home without a ride.    ‘Cottontail’ (then 10) had been sent to live with my ex in another state… (yet another post another day…).  Not one single person from our church or my work offered to help us in any way, shape or form.  “Peter Rabbit” had not been trained to do much at all in the kitchen, & “The Patriarch” was at work all day.  And that surgery left me unable to use my arm/hand for anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, for a full 2 weeks then limited use until fully healed.  Then the process repeated for the other side once I had regained full use of the first one.  I was off work for 3 months and nary a call or meal… nothing.

What a completely opposite attitude and display of joyful, sacrificial, service when one is trying to actually live out what doctrines are taught in God’s word.  Orthopraxy & orthodoxy.  These two should be evident in all the church’s who claim Christ!  Miss Wholesome’s sweet mother drove her over.  When Miss Wholesome came to the door I saw her gasp.  She said, “Mrs. R you didn’t say anything about your face!”  Oops.  It never occurred to me since the break was the biggest deal to me, severely limiting my activities.  But the face is what everyone would see, and it was scary.

“Arrow” went out to ‘trim back’ the hydrangea bush.  I had asked him when we were waiting at the hospital,  if tomorrow he would trim the bush away from the sidewalk.  At one point he brought me a large, lovely bouquet of the gorgeous periwinkle blossoms, which we placed in a vase on the coffee table in the living room.   What a sweet blessing!! —  It reminded me of the time a few years prior, when I watched “Arrow” out the kitchen garden window, singing & skipping along in the front yard picking “flowers” in order to bring me a “bouquet.  It was the a sweet love gift from my sweet little boy, a lovely bouquet of darling dandelions in a beautiful shade of bright yellow. — Again I digress…

I had “Miss Wholesome” take a photo of me for my pictorial progress.  “The Patriarch” had taken the first one last night and I wanted to pictorially document the wonders of Arnica.  By now my face was sporting no bridge to my nose and bruises starting to appear under my eyes.  I continued to take Arnica and ice my arm.  I also called a friend from church to pick up some more homeopathic remedies for me.  A different friend from church was able to pick them up and they also brought us a meal!  The outpouring of love we were shown was so heartwarming & encouraging.  I am so thankful for our church family.

During the first day or so of my recuperation The Lord made it clear that this ‘season’ was for “Arrow’s” training, and he should be the one in the kitchen.  This was confirmed at church by a godly couple, and I hadn’t said anything to them about what I thought the Lord had been revealing to me.  So from that day we had to turn down meals from our church family who were already lined up and waiting to serve.  Our church family was able to help us with rides to doctor appointments since I was unable to drive.

Blessings List:                                                                                                                           (I should have had one in each post but forgot, so I will start with this post)

* that I live in an area with a great ambulance service

* for modern medical technology & pain medication

* that I broke my left arm and not my right

* that it was AFTER the wedding I was sewing things for

* that I didn’t break my teeth

* that I didn’t break my nose

* that it was NOT a compound fracture, which is so common for forearm breaks… [shudder]

* that our church family was SO willing to help us in any way we needed.  We are humbled by your instant willingness to help a sister in need.

* my God given sense of humor (handy when in pain!)

* homeopathic remedies, especially Arnica!!

* in Miss Wholesome.  You are a blessing in my life and I thank the Lord for you!!

* that my injuries were not worse than they were

* in godly council/confirmation in “Arrow’s” training in righteousness.  Thanks Papa & Mama B!!  We love you.

* that “Arrow” was there with me the entire time.  What a help he was.

These were not the only lessons I was learning…!  Stay tuned!!  Don’t change that dial….

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

This post also linked here: Gratituesday

Broken Arm Blessings – The Emergency Room

We continue the tale of the “Broken Arm Blessings” here in part 2… The ER.  You can part 1 here.  Yes you are right, blessings and broken arms seem to be at odds with each other… keep reading!  :-)

We arrived at the Good Sam hospital and they wheeled me into the emergency room.  Good Sam was B-U-S-Y and I was taken to ‘the other side’ of ER.  They were very efficient in getting my billing information.  I was given a nurse call button should I need ‘anything’ and we waited.  And then we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited some more.

I did use the call button one time.  My disposable ice was now no longer even remotely cool and I wanted to do what I could to still keep the swelling down.  I figured it was going to be really bad, especially on the face from the bridge of the nose cuts.  Well, I pressed the button and I saw the light come on above my ‘curtained cubicle’.  At one point a very busy nurse rushed passed me to somewhere and told me she would be with me in a few minutes.  I know I waited at least 15+ minutes.  When she came and got me fresh disposable ice packs I saw where she got the disposable ice from.  My bed was directly across from the nurses station so I just sent Arrow over to get me more the next time I needed some.  It was such a blessing to have Arrow there with me.  He got me many more bags of disposable ice, which was such a relief on my broken &/or banged up bits of me.

I also was able to have Arrow give me 2 or 3 more doses of the homeopathic remedy Arnica while we waited for the doctor to see me.

I had plenty of time to ‘meet’ the lady in the bed next to mine.  She was taking care of her daughter’s home & flowers when she broke her ankle “stepping” off the last step of her daughter’s deck.  She had arrived mere moments before I did.

I had Arrow call Daddy to let him know how we were doing and to also let him know we would have to turn my cell phone off as the battery was getting low.  [Note to self: keep the cell phone charged!]

Finally a doctor came by to see me and ordered x-rays and morphine.  What a relief to no longer be in pain!!  As I was being wheeled to x-ray my emergency room acquaintance said “Oh my you look really bad!”  Up to that point we had not seen each other but only talked through the curtains.  I guess my face lacerations would make me look pretty bad.

When a person has to have x-rays of a broken part of their anatomy it can be quite amusing, in an ironic sort of way.  Here they want me to rotate my arm in order to get x-rays from different angles.  Um, you have to be kidding… right?  No?  Whoa.  The contortion act I did to keep my arm from hurting while they took the necessary x-rays was interesting in a clinical sort of way.  I had the x-ray ‘pad/board/thing’ balanced on my raised knees for the three positions.  The last one was a challenge, where  I leaned way over to rotate my arm with my body rotation.  Then another hallway ride back to my ‘curtained cubicle’ and more waiting and waiting.  My toes were also getting cold, so I had ‘Arrow’ take the hospital gown and drape it, folded over my toes.  It was better than nothing!

By this time my dear husband ‘The Patriarch’ had arrived.  When I saw him I said in my most cheerful voice “Happy Birthday Honey!!”  A trip to the emergency room is a very unusual ‘gift’… if I do say so myself…  Yes, it was ‘The Patriarch’s’ birthday that very day.  My special dinner plans would have to wait for another time.  If I am remembering correctly, this would have been about 5:30 or so, making it now3 hours at ER.

Once the doctor had seen me, and I had my first set of x-rays things progressed much quicker.  And as they came to discuss treatment to my ‘next curtained cubicle over’ neighbor, they then came ‘next door’ and told me exactly the same thing… as we would require the same treatments.  The first item on “our” agenda was to set the bones.  They did offer to let us have them set without putting us under, though neither of us exercised that particular option.  Go figure.  When they were setting my curtained-cubicle-neighbors’ bone they kept calling her by my name, but I thought they were calling me.  I kept answering, hey I’m over here!  After about 4 or 5 times of them calling her by my name and me answering, they finally realized ‘that’ was not her name!  Though she was o-u-t from the stuff used to knock one out to set the bone.  My bone setting was done quickly (I think, I was now o-u-t…) and when I woke up I was sporting a splint from elbow to fingertips.  Then off once again for another set of x-rays.   The nurse who wheeled me to x-ray was very nice.  Well they all were actually.  I can’t remember now what in the world I said, but when she was ‘dropping me off’ she said ‘thanks for the laughs’!  Probably something witty like, “oh I’ll wait here “…

This set of x-rays the technician had me place my arm on a table beside my ‘bed on wheels’.  I don’t think I could have rotated my arm with the splint.  When the x-rays were taken the technician asked me how I was doing and I said fine but my toes were cold.  He said, “Oh is that why you have that on your feet?!”  He then got me one of those heated blankets.  Hmmm, heated blankets…  Reminds me of the time when “Arrow” was little and he was putting on his jammies, warm, straight from the dryer.  He asked, “Does Jesus wear jammies?”… but I digress…  Those are so wonderfully comforting and comfortable!  This ride back to my ‘curtained cubical’ was warm and toasty.

The doctor came to let us know the results of the setting.  The bone wouldn’t stay in place and he told “The Patriarch” and myself that “I would require surgery”.  Zippidy Doo Dah, can’t wait for that, isn’t a break enough??  Lord???  The doctor did have the nurses get some water and clean up all the dried blood that was in my nose and on my face before sending us out the door.  I was so thankful for that.  As we were walking out of ER I told “The Patriarch” that I needed to use the bathroom.  He did ask if I needed his help.  I said, well, I will try by myself and see how I do.  If I need you then I can let you in.  It wasn’t easy, but do-able, even if it took MUCH longer than it normally does.  But the job was done with a minimum of pain.  It was just the first of MANY lessons in how many things require two arms!

It is now 8 PM and we are just now able to leave the hospital making it nearly 5 and a half hours in the ER.  Ah, a good birthday gift after all.  Oh WAIT!  The birthday “present” doesn’t end here!!  On leaving the hospital we stopped at Wendy’s for dinner since no one had anything to eat since lunchtime.  To top it all off I still HAD to stop at the grocery store.  No, I am NOT kidding.  We were completely out of milk and bread and I was in no condition to make bread now!  So off the the store after our ‘birthday meal out’.  LOL  One lady at the store asked me if I had been in a car accident or a fall.  I told her a fall.  She said my face injuries were the same as if I had been in a car accident and the air bag got me.  Oh.  I had never thought of that, but she was right.

Ah, finally home sweet home.  There truly is no place like home!!  “The Patriarch” and “Arrow” put the groceries away and then “The Patriarch” helped me get ready for bed while “Arrow” got himself ready for bed.  I didn’t need to have my pain prescription filled as I still had some of the same stuff from a previous prescription.  I made sure to take some of that so I could sleep undisturbed by pain.  As I was heading for bed I stopped and told “The Patriarch… “uh oh, I need to remove my contacts…”!  He just stood there looking at me and then finally said, “how do we do that??”  I wish I could have taken pictures of our contortion act just to remove two small plastic lenses…  He pulled my eye open and I was able to remove the contact with my unhurt hand.  I was even more thankful that I had recently had my eyeglasses updated along with my new contact prescription!!  Finally off to bed.  Blessed rest.

Next installment – The Aftermath!  Stay tuned right here.  The “Blessings” are sure to come…    ~Aunt Mae

This post also linked: Gratituesday

Broken Arm Blessings – The Break

First, before I get into the details you need to know that my walkway extends along the front of the house and meets up with the driveway at a 90 degree angle.  At that angle, the grass is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches below the level if the driveway.  Along the walkway and against the house is a planting area which contains two jasmine bushes/vines on trellises, an unknown, very slow growing, variegated  low ground cover, one hosta with lovely purple flowers and one hydrangea bush.   This planting area is all of 2 feet in depth.  All of you gardeners are now wondering who had the “bright” idea to plant two jasmine bushes that like to grow up under the siding as well as extend tendrils far out into the walkway (they can reach to a height of 10-15 feet, growing approximately 12-24 inches per year ) and a hydrangea bush (“The” bush in the photo at the top of this post) that will grow to be 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide in this narrow planting bed.  I too have been wondering…

Also, this will be a multiple part set of blog posts.  There is so much that happened that I couldn’t put it all in one giant post…  it would be way too long!  lol  Just how long will this series be?  I am not sure yet but 5 or 6 I think.

There I was, out to help Arrow find my garden bag.   That’s the bag with all my garden tools and I knew it HAD to be in the shed… but he claimed he couldn’t find it.  To tell you the truth I was irritated that he claimed he couldn’t find what I knew was “right there”.  I had on my apron and I was ready for the day.   We had more vegetables to plant!  I walked out the door and down the cement walkway, stepped around the lovely, full of big periwinkle blossoms, hydrangea bush (I had not pruned it back this year…) caught my foot on the driveway that sticks up above the grass and started “the trip of a lifetime”!  I took 4 or 5 “running steps” in an effort to catch myself, which actually only accelerated the velocity at which I was now “traveling”.  Well, that is until I stopped “traveling”.  The driveway is at about a 30% incline and my left side was on the uphill side of the driveway.  I remember hitting hard with my left hand and then pitching forward onto my forehead/face.  I rolled over and took one look at my arm and knew it was broken.  It had a slight dog-leg to it that shouldn’t have been there.  I clutched my arm to my chest as I lay there crying out (Oh, Oh, Oh) in pain.  Arrow was in the shed and looked out to see what the commotion was all about.  He came over and I could see he was very upset and starting to panic..  I had to get a grip on myself…  You know, Lamaze techniques come in handy for more than just giving birth!

I could feel the blood pouring down my face.  I rolled over onto my knees and stood up.  I didn’t feel at all dizzy.  We walked into the house and I had Arrow get me something cold for my broken arm.  In his panic all he could find was a bag of  reusable ice in dolphin, shell & other seaside shapes.  But it was blessedly cold!  I then went into the bathroom to assess the damage while Arrow got my cell phone.  I just prayed I didn’t break my teeth… they seem fine.  I did have a number of what looked like deep cuts on the bridge of my nose and they continued to bleed.  I told Arrow to call 911.  He came back holding my cell phone and said he couldn’t remember how to dial 911.  Poor thing.  I said just dial 911.  He did and then was answering all their questions and trying to follow my directions…

get my wallet, the house keys & put the dog outside and make sure he has water.  The 911 operator was trying to tell him to just shut the dog in a room, but I knew we were leaving and didn’t know how long we’d be gone.  Once he was off the phone with 911, I had him call his daddy to let him know what had happened & where we were going – the ER.  Then I had him grab the homeopathic remedy Arnica and give me one dose.  Cargo pants with all those pockets are my new heroes!

I then heard the EMTs arrive and we went outside to meet them.  They start calling out to me, “ma’am, ma’am we’ll come to you”!  Arrow got me a chair in the shade in front of the garage doors and I sat down, still focusing on trying to stay calm to help Arrow not panic and help me not go into shock.  I can’t see where it would help to ‘give in to the pain’.  It seems to me that it just makes me more upset and upsets those around me but doesn’t “help” the pain one bit.  The EMTs start asking questions  what’s my name, what happened, can you move your fingers, etc.  Well in my efforts to ‘stay calm’ I was using my lamaze breathing and focusing.  So I hesitated in answering the first question… guys you have to get through the “I need to stay calm” process first.  My slight hesitation made then VERY concerned.  So then I get all the, were you dizzy, do you know the name of the President kinds of questions.  But they had to ask THAT one.  So I said, “yes, unfortunately I do know the name of the president, Barak Obama”.  They put my arm in an inflatable splint and then wanted to know if Arrow was alright at home or should he come with me.  I figured Arrow would panic wondering what was happening and as homeschoolers we ‘do everything as a family’ anyway so along he came!  Then they asked something about hospitals and a preference.  I had no preference as I knew little about any of them!

I walked onto the ambulance and they pointed out the little bed in the middle of the floor, telling me, ‘this is your seat’.  O. K.  Then they strapped me in and we were off.  As we rode along they continued to take my blood pressure.  It had registered 190 over ‘something I can’t remember now’.  In the ambulance it was registering 107 over 70.  Pretty low indeed.  But it registered that consistently and they were starting to think they had faulty equipment.  They had me stick my tongue out (I forget why) and the EMT asked me in a shocked tone if I had piercings!  Who me??  Oops, no those little white pellets you see on my tongue are the Arnica.  [Note to self:  when taking a homeopathy remedy place pellets UNDER the tongue.]  At least he was shocked!  :-)

Though I didn’t get any lights or siren.  I could tell where we were by the turns & inclines even though I was facing backwards.  I asked for more disposable ice for my face and watched traffic behind the ambulance as we headed to the hospital.  Arrow got to ride in the front.  At one point I asked one of the EMTs what time it was… 2:38 PM.

Next installment – The Emergency Room!

Where are the blessings you ask??  Stay tuned they are coming… I promise!

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

This post also linked here: Gratituesday,