Sunday, April 24, 2022

Broken Wrist Woes and Gratitude

 It has been a strange week. That is an understatement. A week ago it was Easter. It feels like a million years have passed since then.

On Wednesday, I got in the car and headed north. I knew I had a 10 hour drive in front of me, and for the first hour I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make this drive. But I really wanted to see friends and go on a retreat and get back to the mountains, and so I kept going.

On Thursday, my hand was the first thing that people noticed because my fingers were purple and swollen. I thought I was just in the bruised face of my sprained wrist, but several of my retreat friends are nurses and former PE teachers, and they recognize a break when they see it.  One of my retreat friends lives locally, and she told me about a great orthopedic urgent care that's in the same block as the camp entrance. I went over to have my wrist X-rayed at long last. My purple fingers concerned me too.

I was still hopeful it would just be a strain, a sprain, and that I would have spent money on X-rays for nothing. Why am I spending money on X-rays?  My former employer changed insurances, but didn't tell me, and as a person on COBRA, when they change insurance, I change insurance--long story short, I'm still waiting on insurance cards. Insert heavy sigh here.

Unfortunately, it is a break, and a break that may require surgery, a metal plate, and pins.  The doctor told me I have some time--no need to go racing back to South Florida. So they splinted my wrist and sent me on my way.  The next day, Friday, I did make an appointment with the South Florida orthopedic hand specialist, and I've been enjoying the Create in Me retreat.

It's been interesting to hear how many people have experience with broken wrists. I met two people during retreat week who broke their wrists in the same way that I did, a simple fall. My mother wrote me an email reminding me of her experience with a broken wrist; she too needed surgery, pins, and a plate. I had been feeling bad about not going to get an X-ray sooner. But I likely would have had to wait on surgery anyway--often there is waiting time because of swelling, and my wrist has been very swollen.

I am still feeling no pain. I realize I'm very lucky. I've been enjoying this retreat even though I can't do a lot of the activities. I've been experimenting with my left hand, and I've been remembering an art book that recommended working with our non-dominant hands.  I've had a few moments where I felt panicky, both about my own wrist and about the larger precariousness, how one minute we're fine and then one little trip over a sidewalk crack--which sometimes results in skinned knees, but can result in broken bones or worse. I'm thinking of Octavia Butler, gone too soon when she slipped and fell.

I'll write more about the retreat later. I am trying to get ahead with both grading and seminary work, since I do have an appointment with a hand surgeon on Thursday, and I don't want to get too far behind. We are at the end of the semester for both my teaching and my seminary student work. When this semester started back in January, I worried about the new Omicron variant, and I worried that my job might keep me from being successful with my classes.  A broken wrist was not on my radar screen of things to worry about. I am aware that I often worry about possible negative developments only to be blindsided by something else. Breaking that habit of worrying about the future may take more years than I have left.

Again I realize I am very lucky. I am grateful for the voice recognition that I have with my version of Word, for example.  I am grateful to be able to be at this retreat, broken wrist and all.


1 comment:

Beth said...

So sorry to hear this! Take good care of yourself, and I hope it heals quickly after the surgery. Ach! The unexpected things life throws at us!