It seems as though I was really tempting fate with my last post. I didn’t even make it to Spruce Street. Somehow, between the trolley tracks and the dappled icey patches on 11th, I ended up sprawled on the side the road, my bike about ten yards behind me. Five gentlemen seemed to appear out of nowhere, scooped me and the spilled contents of my backpack off the ground, and rescued my bike from on-coming traffic. One of them said that it was a gnarly fall; the others concurred. Just a little sick that I take pride in this…must have to do with the whole youngest child’s need for attention and recognition.
My first thought was that I just got the wind knocked out of me. I tried to put my backpack on and get back on the bike, but the right shoulder was not having it. Fine, I’ll spurge on public transportation and strap the bike to the rack on the front of the bus…but I couldn’t really do anything with the right arm, so I came to the conclusion that lifting the bike might be a bit of an issue. I grabbed a poor patron of Good Karma Cafe to help me get my bike to my apartment building, and then I called John.
Together over the phone, we determined that I didn’t have any nerve injury, no tingling or numbness, and I felt that, were it not for the pain, I could move my right arm in all directions. So John agreed that I could probably wait it out for a bit. I had a neighbor come over to help me get my coat off, but we couldn’t slip it over the shoulder due to swelling. That was my cue.
Everyone in the ED felt pretty confident that I dislocated my shoulder. They gave me a bunch of percocet and sent me to radiology. But first, here’s some comic relief: it’s standard protocol in the ED to have women in their childbearing years submit a urine sample in order to rule out pregnancy. Easy enough, right? Okay, imagine you’re trying to complete the task, one-handed, and it’s not your right hand. Now imagine that the damn sealing tape on the cup is so unfathomably strong, you’re reduced to slitting it with your lower teeth before clamping the cup between your feet and unscrewing the cap. And the door the bathroom sticks…so you’re literally throwing the left side of your body (much to the discomfort of your jostled right shoulder) into the door in an attempt to flee from the bathroom of disgrace, before you finally surrender to knocking for the nurses to let you out.
When the PA returned from radiology, he hesitantly started, “Well, the good news is that you didn’t dislocate your shoulder.” Pause. “You have what we call an acute fracture of the proximal humeral head extending to the surgical neck of the humerus with impaction and displacement. The fracture line extends superiorly.” Well, I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure that means I crushed part of my arm closest to the shoulder.
So, what does it all mean?
- It’s confirmed, I’m an idiot. I have no one to blame but myself. I tried to save $4 in bus fare and ended up spending $75 in copays, and that’s just the beginning.
- I’m sulking a lot because it feels like I can’t do anything: write; type comfortably (many body and hand contortions were attempted in the writing of this post); cook; clean; brush my teeth effectively; take off the shirt I was wearing the day of the accident (I eventually did, but many a tear was shed); perform any physical activity; make it through a lecture without falling into a drug-induced sleep.
- I think showering and putting on deoderant are my greatest challenges; so I expect many of my friends will start to avoid me when the stench gets too bad.
- I’m not 100% decided, but I’m likely having surgery on Monday morning. I want to heal quickly and correctly. Since the bones are already displaced and it’s not possible to cast this part of the arm, I think surgery might be my best option.
- I might be taking the MDTI final orally. Good God that sounds terrifying.
- Finally, although I’ll try to write from time to time, I think I have to take a 6- to 8-week break from blogging. It saddens me considerably, but I hope you might check back in periodically. And thanks for sticking with me thus far.
Happy snow days everyone! Be safe and toasty warm!