Daily Archives: April 5, 2011

Them Healing Vibes

Hellohello!

So, first a little arm update for those of you keeping track. Okay, and also for my own documentation purposes ;) I’ve been tweeting bits and pieces but it’s nice to get the whole story out all at once. I had two important appointments today!

For any newcomers, I fell skating just over seven weeks ago and shattered my elbow, requiring reconstructive surgery. You can read all about it here, here and here.

I met with my new surgeon here in Moncton today. I’ve been very curious about what he’d have to say about the “unique” surgery my ortho did in Ottawa.

To really understand, you need to look at the radial head, the location of my fracture. This is a picture of the elbow joint seen from the back of the arm.

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I shattered the part of my elbow that’s called the radial head, the little bulbous piece at the end of the radius bone in your forearm. My original x-ray showed floating bone fragments. Because those fragments were no longer receiving blood, they had to operate immediately to save them.

A two hour surgery turned into a five hour one. They had to remove my elbow and try their best to reassemble the pieces on the back table using glue and three screws.

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My original surgeon was keen on saving the bone if he could, despite the fact there wasn’t much there left to work with. It was really more of an “experiment” on his part. My bi-weekly follow-ups since have just been to x-ray my arm and see if the reconstruction has fallen apart.

What was interesting about my appointment with my new surgeon today is that he said he wouldn’t have tried to save my original bone. He’d either have removed the radial head and left it like that, or replaced it with a prosthesis.

The thing about the prosthesis for a radial head is that it’s metal and causes long-term pain. Every professional I’ve spoken to says this is a last resort solution.

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My new surgeon said he probably would have just removed the radial head and left it like that. Apparently you can live without one, just with limited mobility. Had that been done, I could have started physiotherapy a week after my accident rather than delaying it four weeks by being immobile in a cast.

Clearly, saving my bone is the best option. But it seems in my case it was a bit of a long stretch. The chances of it “taking” are very slim and has probably quadrupled my recovery time.

If it does stick together, then I will need to get screws removed in 6-12 months.

If my reconstruction falls apart, then I will need to consider either removing the radial head, or putting in a prosthesis.

Whatever happens, I will 100% need another surgery. Something I hatehatehate. It will also delay the recovery process and put me back in terms of any mobility progress.

With all this said, I also had my second important appointment today. With my new physiotherapist! My wonderful family doctor got me into physiotherapy at the hospital, which is covered by Canada’s Medicare. It’s saving me thousands of dollars. As a personal trainer, I didn’t have an insurance package.

As y’all know, I’m working on flexion/extension of the arm and rotating my wrist. The flexion/extension part is slooooowly coming along and mostly hindered by the tense muscles in my left arm. More concerning is my rotation, or lack thereof.

Forearm_pronation_labeled

I was casted with my hand pronated because that’s where my radial head is the most stable. That’s the bottom part of above image. As you can see in the red circles, the radial head is responsible for wrist rotation. When you twist your wrist, it’s that radial head that spins back and forth against the top part of your elbow joint. That spinning “ball” is what’s in pieces and crammed full of screws right now. And that’s why I want to cry every time someone tries to rotate my wrist.

Anyways, I really like my new physio. Really important as I’ll now be seeing her three times a week. I’m working with a small window of time here to get mobility back. I need to have someone who can help me push through the pain if I have any hope of getting some form of regular mobility back.

Oh, and she also has a whirlpool water tank for relaxing and moving my arm in. I love it.

All in all, no one today had good things to say about my progress or the state of my injury. I’m still at the point where it’s all a waiting game. I already know it will take 2-3 years to be somewhat “normal” again. What that “normal” is, I don’t know yet.

All I can do is send constant healing vibes to that little radial head of mine and do my physio exercises like it’s my J-O-B (okay, technically I’m unemployed so it kinda is my job).

Well, all that and of course, bake. It’s therapeutic dontcha now?

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I’ve never made cinnamon rolls because they involve 1) yeast, and 2) rolling. They sounded hard! I finally bit the bullet yesterday and conquered this baking fear.

Not without any mini-disasters though. The yeast didn’t work, so I had to make another dough with active yeast and mix it with the non-active one. It was stressful.

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Thankfully, it was all worth it as they turned out absolutely delicious. I’m already thinking of all the tweaks I can do to make them even better next time.

I used The Pioneer Woman’s original cinnamon roll recipe. With a few changes I’m happy to say I got them down to 171 calories each. Next time I think I will add more sugar to the filling. But per request, here are the changes I made:

(makes 34 rolls)

  • 1 quart Whole Milk 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil 3/4 cup omega-3 oil
  • 1 cup Sugar 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups 6 cups (Plus 1 Cup 1/2 cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt 1 teaspoon
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups Sugar 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup brown sugar + 1 package Jell-o sugar-free butterscotch pudding mix
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • _____
  • MAPLE FROSTING:
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt

Also healing, are having these two kitties around:

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The dog may still be scared of me, but these two are all about the cuddles :)

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

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