Life Advice Beware the Slick Spots and Make Good Footwear Choices

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

Have you ever felt like Samuel Jackson’s character Elijah Price in Unbreakable? I have; I do right now. A week ago today, in a fluke of epic proportions and yet another lesson in bad footwear, I lost my footing in a waterlogged yard and fell, not once but twice and something broke. Put it this way, on the second fall, I was pretty sure that if I had taken my coat off, I would have seen the bones in my arm completely out of their respective positions.

If you’ve been following along for the past couple of years, you know that I broke my leg at my sister’s wedding so severely that I had to have surgery to put my leg back together again. It’s what I affectionately refer to as my Humpty Dumpty Frankenstein leg.

A couple months later, I had to have a second surgery to remove 2 of the screws because all of the physical therapy in the world was not going to allow those screws to let me walk without a limp. It helped and I had an amazing surgeon through the entire ordeal so shout out to Dr. Beuchel who can perform surgical miracles and has the most pleasant bedside manner.

3 months later, my gallbladder decided it wanted in on the fun and I had 2 acute attacks in as many weeks. But since I was a week out from a Disney trip (the same trip I had cancelled the previous October due to the break) I went to Disney with a bum gallbladder and a restricted diet that nearly starved me to death and subsequent removal of a gallbladder that we found was not situated in the usual place. Thankfully, Disney is very accommodating to all diets but there were no Dole whips on that trip I did, however, find the soy shake at the Sci-Fi theater and the ratatouille at Be Our Guest to be uncannily delicious.

A year later, the swelling in my leg had finally gone down enough to remove the outer plate and screws from my leg. This was necessary because I was having pain wearing anything above a flat. I just had this surgery over Christmas break. It’s been feeling great, other than a little tenderness from the accompanying scope I had to remove all the built up excess scar tissue that was causing mobility issues. I was looking forward to going to Disney next month unencumbered. Then the unthinkable happened; a series of almost comedic if not almost deadly unfortunate events.

I went outside. The snow had all melted and I saw that Monday night’s storm had left a giant tree branch atop the girls’ trampoline. Afraid it might tear it, I got dressed went outside and tried to remove it from the netting. Let me explain, this is completely out of character for me. I usually leave all manual labor to the Big Guy because 1) I don’t particularly like it 2) I am accident prone and still, I did it anyway. The first mistake, going outside.

This was not well thought out. I still had my pajamas on. I threw on the first pair of comfy pants I found folded and pulled on my jacket and UGGS. Second mistake, UGGS. They are now in the flip-flop category of shoes that will never be worn again.

I went outside and saw that I could not move the log but instead of going in the house and accepting defeat, I soldiered on. I went to the front of the house to find something for leverage. Mistake number 3 and 4, not quitting and walking to the front of the house.

I spied a shovel by the front door and thought, hmm, this will work for leverage. I stepped off the front porch (next mistake) put my foot into the waterlogged, muddy yard and went down like a ton of bricks. When I went down, my first thought was, “OMG, the plate is out and this leg can break again. OMG, I broke the leg!!!”

I was at this point wailing like a baby and jumped up immediately. This was my 5th and fatal mistake because I immediately fell right back down, this time with my left arm outstretched searching for salvation but none was to be found.

I heard a pop and I knew, if I pulled off my jacket to look, the bone would be jutting out in the wrong direction. Covered in mud, I gingerly, while full on screaming and hyperventilating because at this point I might have been insane, pulled myself up to my feet. I was shaking uncontrollably and frightened. The pain was indescribable. I had to make it into the house without falling again but first I had to make it all the way to the back of the house, without losing my footing again because of course, the front door was locked. Instead of walking 50 feet in excruciating pain, I got to walk 500 feet.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

I made it, slipping and sliding and crying and screaming the entire way. It was around 9 in the morning so no one was around. I called my husband, who works on the other side of town, and told him to meet me at the hospital and I called my brother who lives a few blocks away and sobbed my way through telling him what had happened and asked for a ride to the ER.

By this time, I think my body was going into shock. I was shaking uncontrollably and feeling faint and vomity just like the time I broke my leg. Everything was hurting. I was just trying to get dressed and cleaned up before I couldn’t move at all. Swelling tends to do that to bone trauma.

Finally, we made it to the Emergency room where I had to wait for about ½ hour before they could get me back. After another 5 hours and several x-rays, they sent me home with a splint and the news that my arm was broke. However, they said they couldn’t see the break because of the swelling and they wouldn’t do an MRI. I had to follow up with my orthopedist. I left in pain and frustrated.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

Thursday, I saw the orthopedist. The verdict is that when I fell, I dislocated my elbow which, thankfully, went back into place on its own. While dislocating my elbow, the trauma from the impact and all the pushing and pulling taking place during the dislocation, I chipped part of my bone off. My doctor didn’t seem too worried about that. I, however, am concerned but thrilled that I don’t have to wear a cast to Disney this year or have surgery.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

I do have a horrific bruise and swelling to contend with today. I have about 3 months of recovery in front of me that includes another week or two of intense pain, a month of wearing a sling and a whole lot of physical therapy. But no cast or surgery, so I am thankful for the small wins.

Tomorrow, I’m going to buy some vitamin D and calcium because apparently, I am up for the role of Elijah Price in M.Night Shamalyns next installment in the series and I really don’t want to be.

The moral of the story kids? Beware life’s slick spots and make good footwear choices!

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