Dem Bones

The date of my first blog was not November 1916. That was the date of my very first and very boring blog. I hope this 2017 version is less didactic. Earlier I was trying hard to be wise!

Last Sunday, I wrote about my bones as far as my twenties. Somehow, I managed to avoid accidents and fractures until my fifties. I used to type on one of those sloping, backless chairs designed for healthy spines and good posture. One Sunday, I finished a letter to Mum and pushed the chair back. It caught on the rug and stopped moving. I continued moving and shot into the bookcase. As I hit, I heard my right wrist snap.

My husband wasn’t home so I called my sister to take me to emergency. She was busy with her weekend schedule and not pleased at being interrupted. She deposited me at the hospital and since I had no idea how long I’d be there, I said I’d get a taxi home. Much, much, much later, my arm from elbow to fingers was encased in plaster. It was my second cast. After the first had been applied, the surgeon had been unhappy with the result. I ended up in surgery for the bones to be realigned and recast.

Since it was my right arm, it was difficult to perform basic hygiene activities, dress and teach my classes at the local community college. Writing on the blackboard with my left hand was very entertaining. It was near the end of the semester and I pointed out that assigning exam marks might be problematic. I couldn’t make figures with curved lines so my students would be assigned 1, 11, 17. and 71. They voted unanimously for an automatic 71.

When I was given a fibre glass cast, the technician felt Christmassy. She didn’t have red available so she gave me a bright pink cast decorated with a green bow. Attending fracture clinics was always a nightmare. You waited to be called for an x-ray then you waited again for the consultation with your orthopedic surgeon. Because the room was too small, broken legs were awarded seats while broken arms leaned against the walls.

I’d experienced a burning pain while my arm was in the cast and after it was removed, we found that nerve damage had bent three of my fingers. I attended a hand therapy clinic at the hospital for six weeks. My fingers were placed in plaster which was then removed at the following visit. I was also treated with hot wax and did various exercises. The middle finger straightened but the next two still remain crooked.

As I was writing this, I realised I’d quite forgotten about the surgery to realign my wrist bones. In retrospect I was lucky as the next time I broke a bone in my wrist, the process was much more memorable. More next week in this bony saga.