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 ;)
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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…
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 ;)