Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day 8 What I've Learned So Far (8-3-16)

8 days ago I was taken to a local hospital by ambulance with a broken humerus. Here, in no particular order, are things that I learned:

Sometimes pain meds don't remove pain. Sometimes all they do is remove the edge. When my pain is at 11+ on a scale of 1-10, even the strongest meds will only take me down to an 8. Sometimes adding a benadryl will allow me to sleep. Other times, I'm barely even able to relax. Today it's the latter. I can't get comfortable. I take comfort knowing that this is temporary.

Screaming in pain will sometimes help. On the occasions it doesn't, it will prevent people from touching you.

Different cries really do sound different. Shilo learned very quickly whether I was crying from pain, or because I was sad.

Laying down for long periods of time will cause long hair to mat up in knots. The worst part for me is that no amount of washing, conditioning, or brushing has prevented it. I'm resigned to getting my hair cut as soon as it's practical.

I'm more comfortable wearing nothing than wearing clothes. It's hard to put on a t-shirt when I can't even move my arm properly.

The phrase "There's nothing funny about a broken humerus" doesn't offend me as much as most people think. It fits well, and I even said it in the ER.

Like most instances when something bad happens, people will offer to help. I've stated before that lots of times I just don't know what I need or want, but someone taught me something last week. Instead of just offering to help, she offered to come over and fix a few meals for my Family. That was something specific, and it was helpful. She made enough to last 5 nights. That prevented me from eating frozen food, and I really appreciate it. I can't stay in the kitchen long enough to fix one meal, so this was a godsend. I have learned that when someone offers a specific thing, I'm more likely to accept it. This is also something that I can "pay forward" to others. Offering a skill to others.

On a similar note, I've learned to "let go." I'm used to being in control of everything. Right now, I'm unable to do anything without the assistance and cooperation of others. I have no choice but to let people do things that I'm used to doing for myself. This requires a lot of trust in others.

Watching my bruises 'bloom' and change color is fascinating. Rather than looking at them as sources of pain, I view them as works of art and proof of healing. My broken toe is still quite purple. My arm and shoulder are a greenish brown with specks of red. My left knee is purple with long tendrils climbing both up and running down to the side. I almost wish I had taken pictures of them in the beginning so I could compare them. Naturally, it's very difficult to take pictures considering that I'm right handed. I have as of yet to truly manage to use my left hand as well as my right. You'll just have to trust me about the colors.

I detest asking for help to use the bathroom. The first couple of days I couldn't even wipe myself. That was the worst. At least now I can wipe myself and pull my pants down a little. I still can't get them down far enough that I don't need help, but at least it's better than it was before.

I've become very much aware of the weight of things. Holding a spoon in my right hand for more than a few seconds is Quite a feat for me. Feeding myself is next to Impossible with my right hand because I can't lift it. I need to either eat with my left hand or be fed. Being fed isn't enjoyable, but it's much faster than me trying to feed myself.

Using a bowl and spoon is more practical for me when it comes to eating meals. I can usually manage pretty well that way. Strangely enough, I find it easier to eat ice cream in a bowl with a fork. Less spillage. Sometimes I just hurt too much to feed myself, or I'm just too tired. That's when Stitch comes in. He's not overly patient, but he gets the job done.

The more pain I'm in, the more Sunshine comes out. The EMTs mistakenly thought that Stitch was my father because she kept screaming for Daddy. Stitch finally convinced them that Daddy was a nickname for him that I used, and Baby was his nickname for me.

A trip to the hospital can be quite eventful, because each of us have a different last name. Trying to explain it can be a real pain in the patootie. Our story is that Stitch is my adopted brother, Shilo is my husband, and I kept the same last name as my children. They rarely ask questions after that.

Taking a shower requires help, so what I do is make sure that Stitch is home to do it. Shilo is still getting adjusted to a new shift at work. He's only on his second week, and it's taking more out of him than he thought it would.
I'm working on being as independent as possible, because I'm afraid that I may wind up with no help at all after the end of the week. Stitch managed to get this week off to take care of me, but Shilo has no time left.

The more I use Speak to Text the better it gets at figuring out what I'm trying to say. It's much faster than typing with one finger on my left hand. I even surf the internet using my phone because I can't sit at my desk without getting uncomfortable.

I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy. I'm learning patience through this though because I can't do many things by myself right now. This has been quite a learning experience for me. Even the tiniest of steps towards my independence is worth celebrating. I'm kind of curious what I'm going to look like a month from now. Only time will tell.


  1. Wow, that sounds like quite the traumatic series of events. I admire your tenacity.

    (I also felt it was time to return the kindness you've shown me on my blog by visiting and commenting on yours. I only hope you forgive me for taking this long to do so.)

    1. Thank you! Reciprocity is appreciated but not expected. Besides, you're prolific, and I go MONTHS with not a word.

  2. PS. I linked your blog on mine as well.