Things I’m Loving

While I’ve remained generally upbeat on the blog about my injury, sometimes I get frustrated. The fall itself traumatized my body. Being under anaesthesia and operated on for five hours requires a lot of recovery. The pain is constant. The injury occurred near a nerve in my left arm, so even moving the fingers in the casted arm is excruciating. I’m slow. Real slow. Doing things with one arm is an ordeal. Moving around requires a lot of energy and I get exhausted a million times faster.

On top of all of this, I’m also having troubles sleeping at night. Sleeping with the weight of a giant cast on my body is ridiculously uncomfortable. For some reason the pain gets worse when it’s just me, the screws in my elbow, and the darkness of night.

After a few days of upward recovery, I woke up today feeling like I’d slid back. Moving around got hard again. The pain was back in full force (it comes in waves). And I really started to feel frustrated about my current situation.

But being the inherent optimist that I am, I can’t help but see the things that make life okay. Sure my days feel hard at times, but there are also a lot of things that make it better. I stole the “Things I’m Loving” idea from Jenna, except consider this your post-op version ;)

1. Blogging

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It surprisingly takes me the same amount of time to blog with one hand than it did with two. I’m either very proficient at one-handed typing, or the pain meds make it so I don’t get distracted as easily :P My days are pretty empty of anything productive right now, so putting energy into my blog is one of the things keeping me sane. Plus, it requires a lot of concentration, taking my thoughts away from the pain in my arm. A few people have suggested vlogs. But trust me, typing with one hand is a lot less painful than going on camera.

2. Diet Coke

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I’m not sure when I became a pop drinker, because I never used to be, but I love this stuff now. I usually limit it because I don’t think it’s a good thing to have everyday. But being stuck in bed is enough reason for me to allow myself to drink it.

3. Icing my fingers

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I only learned this trick yesterday and it’s already made my life better. The fingers on my casted hand are crunched together and swollen. It kills. They put the cast on when I was out after surgery. I’m getting re-casted tomorrow and hope it’s better then!

4. Pillows

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Under normal circumstances, I would tease my sister for owning such a ludicrous number of pillows. I never knew it required so many to prop myself and my 500 lb cast up. Oy. Having my cast hang out on it’s own is not an option. I’m always fussing with it.

5. Bubble Baths

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This is probably TMI but has been a big part of the experience for me. I’ve been sponge-bathing myself with my right hand since last Thursday. A person can only get so clean with just one hand (especially the arm that hand is on!). Today my sister drew me a shallow bubble bath and I was able to get a good scrubbing in. Along with a good hair wash from her. I feel like a new woman.

6. No makeup

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I still get a bit of a start every time I look in the mirror, but it’s been nice not to give a damn if my mascara is running. Although I’ve still got some gnarly dark circles under my eyes. By the way, we were cleaning the Maybelline waterproof mascara off my face for four days until it was finally all off.

7. Tylenol

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I know there are conflicting opinions out there over pain meds. I have absolutely no conflict with them and I’m taking advantage of it. I’ve drastically slashed my dosage of percocet and Tylenol is what’s really helping me get through.

8. Dawson’s Creek

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Just finished Season 1 before writing this post. I’ve become oddly attached to it. Especially on mornings like this one where I put it on at 5am to get me through the latest wave of pain. I haven’t watched it since high school so it’s fun seeing it 10 years later with a new perspective!

9. Small victories

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Celebrating the small victories makes me feel accomplished instead of like a lump on a log. This morning I broke two eggs with one hand and didn’t break the yolk! Getting them out of the pan however was a different story. Another small victory for another day I guess…

10. These…

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Thornton’s mini caramel shortbreads from Ellie. She sent me a big package of Scottish goodies (including haggis chips!) before I left for Ottawa. Thank goodness I brought most of them with me because they’ve been a real treat to snack on throughout this whole ordeal. The above are my favourite. A layer of soft buttery shortbread, sweet gooey caramel, and fudgy dark chocolate. And the perfect three-bite size!

Tomorrow is a bit of a big day. Apart from getting a new cast, I’ll also learn if they want to operate again to fix one of the screws. I’m praying it won’t be necessary. I can’t begin to wrap my head around another weekend surgery right now. Wish me luck!

UPDATE: Just got back from the hospital. The screws look fine so they won’t need to operate this week! Also got a much lighter fibreglass splint and stylish new sling. Something else to add to the list ;)

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Posted on February 17, 2011, in Injury and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. I’m glad you are doing better! Good luck with your news. I’ll be preying for you to not have another surgery! :)

  2. It’s hard to sit by while our body is trying to heal, and have to tolerate living through the pain. I truly hope it gets much better soon! Way to keep focusing on what is positive and what you’re loving in life. This will help keep you mentally sane and healthy:)

  3. Christina (aka Mom)

    Please get off the pop. I will cash in one of my RRSP’s if necessary for rehab. Don’t worry about the pain killers. NO MORE POP.

  4. Good luck tomorrow! Wishing you a very speedy recovery!

  5. I think you are coping amazingly well given the circumstances. To think of the little things I take for granted each day…it just really keeps things in perspective, ya know?
    Anyways, I wish you all the best of luck tomorrow. I’ll be thinking about you!

  6. I hope things go well tomorrow.

    I love your list and I don’t think anyone will blame you if you get a little down- that is some craziness that just happened to you!

  7. ohhh Dawson’s Creek! Love it…I’ll probably rewatch that as soon as I’m done rewatching every season of Felicity.

    Stay positive and get well :)

  8. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow!

    Bubble baths are so lovely. I can’t imagine sponge baths with only one free arm.

    I’m a big advocate of pain meds when you need them! I think it’s a smart move in your case. And Dawson’s Creek is awesome too! :)

  9. Your one-handed posts are more composed and articulate than 90 percent of the e-mails I receive from “professionals” in the publishing business every day. Good lord. Maybe they need painkillers to cut down on distractions (or maybe I do so I don’t get annoyed by them.)
    At any rate, my fingers AND toes are crossed for your tomorrow. Just remember that no matter what happens, you can pull through–one-handed and hopped on Diet Coke, but still…just a speed bump.

  10. Seriously–I have Season 2 on DVD! What’s your address and I can mail it to you!

    • Gah! I forgot that you’d offered! Because of the pain brain I keep reading things then forgetting about them. Don’t worry about it though, my sister already rented season 2 for me :)

  11. you are in my thoughts and prayers, susan!!! best wishes for tomorrow

    “Moving around requires a lot of energy and I get exhausted a million times faster.”–yes!
    you feel like an old person. and have new empathy for the elderly and sick people after having surgery and G.A. God knows, i hate it as we’ve talked about.

    And pain IS worse at night, in the dark, when alone. It just is. 2a-5a are some of the darkest hours. It begins to lift w/ the sunrise, a bit, I have found.

    Hang in there my dear. You are doing so well. If you ever need ANYTHING, i am here for you!

  12. So good to hear that you’re doing all right.

    I am sending your elbow good vibes!!

    ps. Way to go on the one-handed typing and meal prep! I definitely would be a bumbling mess if I only had the use of one hand. You’re a champ!

  13. Dawson’s Creek is dah bomb. Last summer my roommate and I watched seasons 3 thru 5 together, and unfortunately had to each finish season 6 on our own. It was great. Loved every moment of it.

  14. Great list, sounds like you’re doing well! GOOD LUCK tomorrow! I’ll be thinking about you :)

    xo

  15. I wish I lived closer so I could come over and enjoy some DC squared with you (get it? Dawson’s Creek and Diet Coke?! okay, not so funny).

  16. I’m sorry for taking a bit to comment. You are BRAVE, BRAVE, BRAVE and so appreciate you keeping us up to date on how you are. I think your eggs on toast look fab and I’d gobble them up in a second! Your blog is so amazing and comforting even when you are in a rough place – you still make it positive and reassuring. Thinking of you and hoping that you do not have to get another surgery. Hoping you can have a nice weekend of rest, fried eggs on toast and bubble baths! I’m really sorry this happened, but you, in your amazing ways, keep it so positive.

  17. oh, I used to love Dawson’s Creek! I miss Pacey :)

  18. I have honestly never watched Dawson’s Creek…might have to check it out.

  19. Soda definitely is one of those things I like (a lot!) when I am laid up. And caramel shortbread, of course (that stuff is so freaking good- SO happy you like them!)

    I found the same thing with blogging when I first got injured and was home so much more- more time to think and reflect and step back a little. The connections to the outside world meant so much to me, and it also helped me to stay upbeat remaining part of a community filled with so much I was interested in :D (what did we do before the internet?!!!!!!!!!!)

    Hope all goes well today- sending good vibes across the ocean (faster than the mail gets there!) and just let me know whenever is good to call for our “eh?”/”aye!” date.

  20. Hi Susan, just read about your injury yesterday. My goodness girl. I’m sorry to hear of this, thankfully you will be ok in the end, I can only imagine how difficult your recovery is going but loved todays post. Despare will get you no where good, but optimism can only do good things for you. Keep your chin up. I’m thinking about you.

  21. PILLOWS! i sleep with about 7 pillows, just to myself :) I love them obsessed with them!!! they make my sleep! if I have bad pillows everything is thrown off!!!

    thinking of you, girl! xoxo

  22. ah, so glad for you and good news! and hopefully the fibreglass cast will make a huge difference – I remember when I changed casts on my ankle it was AWESOME – a huge change in weight and bulk!

    so happy you got a nice bath! I would be taking several a day :)

    XXO hang in there!

  23. I don’t even know you and I just ache for you. You really are being a trooper and mantaining a wonderful attitude!

  24. Oh Dawson’s! I moved to Spain this past year and have been working my way through 90′s TV. Keeps me sane… and closer to home. I started with Felicity. Love. And I am currently working my way through Dawson’s. Currently on season 3!

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