Injury Update

Wow. I am completely blown away by the response to my accident post. Confession: I didn’t delete any of the comment notification e-mails and I still read through them from time to time when I need a pick-me-up. I wish I could respond to every single one of them. But one-handed typing is a slow process. Just know that your support and well wishes mean SO much to me, and I can’t believe I have so many amazing people on my side.

If you’re catching up, I sustained a serious injury skating on Friday. The details are in this post. Right now I’m recovering from surgery in Ottawa and limited to the use of only one arm.

This post is a bit of a follow-up one to update you on my progress. It’s in point form again because that is still how my brain is working at this point. Mostly just updates and random things since being released from hospital. Not all future posts will be like this, don’t worry :P

  • Went in for a CT scan today and met with my surgeon. Looks like the elbow joint is in the right place after the reconstructive surgery. Just a little extra space where scar tissue will grow. That will probably lead to a “cranky elbow” for the rest of my life.
  • One of the screws may be out of place. I’ll know by Friday if they want to go back in and fix it.

the elbow joint

  • The doc said my radial head (seen above, connected to the forearm) was crushed when I hit it. Actually “mush” was the term he used. That’s what the screws are in. There is very little cartilage there left to heal, but the surgeon is hoping my young body will be able to do it and hold on to the screws. If not, they will have to go in and replace it with  piece of prosthetic. I’ll be following up with my surgeon every week and will know in about a month if it’s healing enough to leave it alone.
  • Me and my three screws are now “Susan and the Three Amigos”
  • I’m staying at my sister’s in Ottawa until at least Saturday. We’re taking it one follow-up appointment at a time!
  • Pain management is a tricky issue. The pain is too intense to go without painkillers, and pain can actually hinder the healing process. Right after the surgery I was taking the maximum allowed dosage of percocet. Without it, it’s excruciating. BUT, I think it is getting better with each day, and I’m slowly weaning myself off the drugs.
  • From the moment this happened I said “I don’t care if I’m limited to one hand for months – I just don’t want to be in this kind of pain.” Pain scares me more than anything else surrounding this ordeal. I just don’t want to be in pain.
  • I have suspicions that my family thinks I’m going to get hooked on painkillers.
  • The effects of the anaesthesia lasted for two days. It made me so nauseous that I couldn’t walk. I had to get wheeled out of the hospital.
  • I washed my hair today for the first time in five days.


  • My sister Sara has been a godsend. I was without the use of both my arms in the hospital because of where they put the IV. She did everything from put chapstick on me to holding the phone up to my ear. She’s helped me to the washroom, has been preparing all my meals, and keeping on top of the logistics when my brain just can’t handle it. She’s an amazing caregiver. Expect a guest post from her soon ;)
  • It will probably be a year or so until I can do any form of light upper-body weight lifting. Even then, it may just be something I always struggle with. I will miss my budding yoga practice the most. The thought of doing wheel pose now makes me cringe.
  • I’m oddly not that upset that my fitness routine or career won’t be the same. I’d planned on becoming a fitness instructor in the coming months. Right now the idea of going back for more surgery is more frightening than not being able to stick with my “old plan.” Everything else just seems so small when put up against the big picture.
  • My sister keeps trying to feed me junk food and I have to explain to her that I’m a sedentary person right now.

Elgin Street Diner poutine in Ottawa. Crispy shoestring fries, mushroom gravy and squeaky cheese curds. Still the best poutine ever.

  • My hunger signals are way out of whack. I have to time my snacks with my pain meds, otherwise I forget and experience a significant drop in energy. My energy, mood, and ability to deal with pain are hugely improved when there are calories in my body.
  • The anaesthesia made everything taste really  salty. I find myself craving really simple, bland foods. Like peanut butter sandwiches, fried eggs, bagels, and mild tasting fruit.
  • Dawson’s Creek is awesome for recovery. Both mindless and distracting. Joey is more likeable the second time around, but I’m still Team Pacey.

  • Reading has been difficult as I still have a slight inability to retain information.
  • I’m getting pretty good at this one-handed typing thing ;)
  • If you’ve been wondering about blog content now that I have limited cooking and activity skills, you’re not alone. But I do think recovering from an injury will give me some welcomed perspective. And perhaps it will give me the chance to blog about some things that would have otherwise been replaced with yet another cookie recipe. We shall see!


  • I’ve been up walking around today, feeling more and more like myself. Getting back on my feet has been more difficult than anticipated. Movements are very slow, my body is still in shock.
  • My mom pointed out that since I fell backwards on the ice, I could have landed on my head. My elbow was just “taking one for the team.”
  • I love you all. My arm may be in pieces but my heart feels very full <3

Posted on February 15, 2011, in Injury and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. I am sooo sorry to hear about your injury. I am even more pissed that those two people did not help you at all.
    Take care of yourself and I look forward to a post from you, your sister or anyone else!

  2. I hope you continue to heal quickly and that the pain diminishes. Nice perspective in looking at this opportunity to learn something new and blog about something different:) Way to stay positive!

  3. Thank you for the update! I’ve been thinking about you, but knowing that you have Dawson’s Creek (oh, and an amazing family…) makes me feel better! :)

  4. Hooray for sisters! You all are so cute.

    Re: the cartilage issue…have you talked to your doc about a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement? Disclaimer: I have NO idea if this works for humans, but, uh, our cat had cartilage issues with his hip and these supplements worked wonders. Might be worth a Google!

    • I will ask my doctor on Friday! I plan to focus a lot on proper nutrition to enhance my recovery and healing. Not against any natural supplements that will help!

  5. i would totally be watching the “i don’t wanna wait” series too. you should do felicity next. hoping for a speedy recovery!!!

    • I’ve never watched all of Felicity and was thinking about doing that one next too! Late 90’s dramas seem to register best with my pain brain right now :P

  6. “My sister Sara has been a godsend.” See? Maybe my question about your sister being a nun was actually a premonition…or not ;)

    Lame, but hang in there, kiddo! Pacey will never steer you wrong and you have a large international cheering section ready to listen to you rant, rave or babble on under the influence of heavy painkillers. At least you have an excuse…I could name a few people who do this anyway with no legitimate reason. :)

    At any rate, it’s a new Balancing Act. Chin up!

  7. Thanks for the update Susan! Don’t be afraid to give in to the poutine every once in a while. I’ve been told the mushroom gravy has healing powers ;)

  8. If you need someone to take in all the poutine for you I could make a trip to Ottawa . . . alternatively I could just wait for you to come home and make you MORE poutine when you get here . . . or the requested grilled cheese and cabbage rolls


  9. general anethesia AND pain meds to me are worse than anything..the groggy, brainfog, the secondary symptoms like nausea they bring on…i shudder. I hate them.

    I love that you are finding relief from the pain w/ the meds tho…whatever works girl.

    Your strength is amazing. And you commented on my blog today…i was BLOWN away! Thank you but save your energy on your recovery :)

    You not being that torn up about your fitness career but more about your budding yoga practice….oh this brings me to (hallmark) tears on so many are beautiful inside and out.

    And your sister is Saint Sister of the Year :)


  10. I’m so impressed that you are blogging at all! Seriously. You are so awesome. Still sending healing thoughts your way. I’m glad you seem to be in good spirits. That makes me happy!

    I am convinced that I need to try poutine now. YUM!

  11. Get well soon! Best of luck! We know you’re strong!

  12. Sounds like you are doing well on the road to recovery. Hope you continue to do so and get well soon! And you should def take FULL advantage of all the junk food that you can eat. Might as well, right? :)

  13. I’m so impressed by your great attitude, I would be far more in the dumps then you. Take care and I so wish I had a sister whenever you talk about yours. How about My So-Called Life? Maybe that would attractive to your pain brain;)

  14. Wishing you a speedy recovery!
    As for more mindless tv…I also recommend Felicity! And were you ever a Buffy fan? Cuz that’s some epic drama. :-)

  15. At the very least the painkillers could make for some really awesome blog posts!!

    Susan girlie, you are taking this like a trooper. Keep up the good thoughts and the Pacey loving and I’m sure you’ll heal at superhuman speeds.

  16. I love your great attitude about such a crappy situation. Keep up the positive thinking! I hope you heal quickly and I look forward to reading about your recovery!

  17. Might be a good time to start an original Beverly Hills 90210 marathon! :)

    I know it’s cliche but I do believe things happen for a reason, perhaps this was just telling you that something awesome is around the corner for you? Do you know when you’ll be back in T.O.? I’m heading to Ottawa tomorrow! I’m not sure what our plans are but if you’ll still be around let me know and I can hunt you down for a visit!

    • A visit would be awesome! My sister is centrally located and easy to get to. I’ll be here until Saturday at the very earliest. Let me know if you’ve got a spare hour or two to stop by – I can point you toward the world’s best poutine place around the corner ;)

  18. Aww, your sister is amazing! I am crossing my fingers for you that you don’t need to go to surgery again! And poutine is an amazing recovery food, don’t worry about being sedentary for at least a week or two ;)

    Feel better so you can come back to TO soon so we can go on our walks :)

    Take care!! xoxo

  19. Oh man, Elgin Street Poutine FTW!

    Anyways, nice to see you’re on the mend. That’s one hell of an injury though.

    I remember when I had surgery last spring I was off for a few days from the anaesthesia too.. it’s avery strange feeling!

    Anyways, props to your sister for being such a great caretaker.

  20. That really is kind of your elbow to take one for the team :) Kind of scary to think about the alternative of it NOT taking one for the team.
    I love your attitude regarding it all!
    Good luck with the next follow-up…

  21. Hopefully further surgery won’t be required! It’s so awesome that you have such a great sister to take care of you! I think your positive attitude through this is awesome and hopefully will help speed your recovery!

  22. I’m just getting caught up on all of this and I’m SO sorry to hear about it!

    I feel your pain about not being able to train after an accident. It sucks, especially in our field, but keeping a positive attitude is key.

    I lived in Ottawa for 3 and only skated on the Canal once because I had a little kid take me out and I fell and busted my knee, but nothing more than a bad bruise.

    I’ve had Elgin St poutine SO many times (it’s amazing), but never sober, ha ha. If your sister REALLY loved you, she’d head over to Hull/Gatineau to get you some REAL poutine.

    Heal up quickly!

  23. That’s so sweet of your sis to take care of you! Well wishes being sent your way :)

  24. I really hope that your elbow heals nicely, and that you won’t have to get another surgery. Keeping fingers crossed for you!
    Btw, if you need tv-shows to keep you occupied, gossip girl, greek, grey’s anatomy and private practice, those are great for relaxing and not thinking. Bones and Castle are a bit more intelligent, but really really amazing shows.
    Take care of yourself dear

  25. It really sounds like your attitude is in t he right place–and as far as healing and recovering from injuries, that’s the most important things.

    I had two screws in my heel that were meant to stay in forever. Well, eventually, they started coming out of place and I had to get them taken out. I got to keep the screws. Definiteyl pretty cool.

    Hey–I’ve got Felicity Season 1 and Dawson’s Creek season 2 if you want to borrow?!

  26. Miss you susan! Take care sweet pea! xoxo

  27. Wow, this has been my first visit to your blog, and what a post to start on! I wish you the speediest of recoveries, I’m sure you’ll be back to best in no time! (And in the meantime, there’s always Dawson’s Creek!)

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