However, my careful steps were ineffective. I slipped on some ice and very gracefully landed on my butt. A kind person crossing the street called out to me, "Are you okay?"
...and I replied how every human being does unless your bone is poking through your skin: "I'm fine!!"
When he reached the other side of the street, this kind man actually crossed back over to me. "You haven't gotten up yet so I actually don't think you're fine." I had planned to rest a little on the ice/didn't actually know if I could get up just yet, so I was taking a break.
"Yes, it kind of hurts a little," I admitted. Fortunately, he helped me up, and I very appropriately answered his question when he asked if I fell on my hip. "Nope, just my butt. Y'know. Good stuff." He waited with me till I assured him again, "Thanks so much--really, I'm fine, but thank you."
(By the way, Julie pointed the following out to me...
...it's likely this kind sir was married...and not as cute as he appeared given the spots I was seeing, but hey, a girl can dream of living out a rom com.)
At this point, I was on my feet and approximately 250 feet away from Starbucks, if that. (I only live about 400 feet from it--clearly this was a long trek.) Sure, my vision might have been a little blurry, but I didn't hit my head so I wasn't very concerned. As long as I made it into the 'bucks without passing out in the crosswalk I would be okay.
Once in Starbucks (yes, I made it), I let my vision return to normal, so I could see the beauty that was my drink, and I walked, even more carefully, home.
When I got home, I went to pick up my coffee with my left hand and discovered a dilemma: my hand did not appear to work. I couldn't pick anything up/hold anything, and so I ended up taking off the day and enjoying House of Cards with a stack of peas on my arm. I ordered sushi and eventually caved and took some painkillers.
|I love our pillows.|
My arm decides it does not want to work? Challenge accepted. I will make you work. I will will you to be strong.
At trivia on Wednesday night, a week since my fall, I proudly showed how my arm was nearly 97% straight (though Emily said it was only 95%). I managed to put on eyeliner that day, because MY HAND COULD TOUCH MY FACE. My willpower worked.
|Does this look like the face of someone in pain? #sixdegreesofselfie|
I did agree with friends and family that if my arm still would not straighten by the weekend I would go to the doctor. While I think straightening my arm is important, I still cannot figure out for what purposes I need to be able to do so. Sure my professional gymnastics career is now out, but other than that, will a crooked arm impede my future?
Friday finally arrived, and I sadly trudged to an immediate care center to get my arm checked out. I will spare the details, but I cried and swore a fair amount during my x-rays. This did confirm that it was a good thing that I went to the doctor; I'm not a crier, but ouch. I went home with a diagnosis of a bad sprain and a suggested small fracture on my elbow. The technician outfitted me in an ace bandage and sling which he attested made me look tough and cool.
|You should see the other guy...|
So I took it easy and followed up with the doctor come Wednesday. I should note here that I am actually not a terrible patient, but I do need clear parameters on what I can and cannot do.
For example, if a doctor tells me, "You can move your arm a little," I hear that as, "Rhythmic gymnastics and frisbee are okay."
If a doctor says, "Wear your sling as often as possible," I hear that to mean, "Your sling looks great on the doorknob, but you should maybe wear it sometimes."
I don't do "gray" when it comes to doctor directions. Give me black and white. Give me directives. Tell me what to do.
Wednesday's call took away the gray. While I stared at my sling sitting on my dining room table, the technician told me, "You should be wearing your sling pretty much 24/7 and not moving your elbow." Clearly, I had intended to put it back on...
"...Oh, so stretching my arm and elbow, not a good idea?" It's not like I was stretching my arm or anything...
"Nope. You have a fractured elbow. It needs to be still."
"Mhmm...so I should go back to the doctor then soon?" You mean, I can't will my arm back to normal?
"Yes, you'll likely need physical therapy, and the doctor will need to check your arm out."
I drank wine in bed and felt a little sad the next day.
Okay, okay, I see what you're saying.
I need to be a big kid and go back to the doctor.
(The quotes from my mom above also reminded me not to be such a baby and make an appointment.)
So I went back to the doctor today. The weather is beautiful which means I finally was able to make this sling look a little cool (ignore my dirty hair).
We're hitting the 3-week mark, and I still can't straighten my arm.
I think it's a cool character trait. The crooked arm girl.
I relayed my story to the doctor (and a brief medical history)--she laughed as I hoped she would, and when I finished she said, "So what I'm gathering from your story is that your assessment of pain is extremely inaccurate."
I admitted, that yes, perhaps my understanding of pain is somewhat skewed. I can always rationalize my pain. One arm hurts? Well it could be two--or both my arms AND my legs.
Also, on a scale of 1-10, when cancer was a 3, nothing ever is that bad.
So, on Wednesday, I head to an orthopedic surgeon, and well, I just hope I really don't need surgery. I made a comment a couple weekends ago about how I sometimes have a "dark gloomy cloud" effect on life. While I try 99% of the time to be sunshine-y, that damn cloud sometimes follows me!
However, dear gloomy cloud, challenge accepted. I know I'm not good at admitting I'm in pain or being patient with myself when I'm sick or hurt. I also know I suck at asking for help, so, challenge accepted. Although, really if we could bypass anything involving needles, that would be great.
So, do what you wanna do lovely little cloud; I'm going to spray some windex on my arm and drink half a bottle of brandy.
P.S. I started drawing too. (You can click on them to see them bigger--if you really want to see my artistic non-skills.)