Blogging about life and raising our five kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, March 17, 2008

Naked In My Robe

C'mon. You've all done it. Throw a robe on to make a trash run, or to grab something out of your car. I, for one, will never again be caught naked in my robe. Surely if I'd been fully clothed I wouldn't be typing this entry one handed!

Let us take a walk back in time to...say...Wednesday, March 12th. At 9:00 a.m. I was just sending Angela out the door when Dean called, "Don't send Angela out the door alone! There is a huge patch of ice and she's going to fall." So, I slipped just my toes into my tennis shoes, and started Angela out the door...with me naked in my robe. You know, the kind you have to re-tie every 8 seconds? We have this horrible patch of ice right on the front step that is quite large and is head injury waiting to happen. Angela has very poor balance. I held her up and skated her across the ice sheet, then watched to make sure she made it down the rest of the driveway ok.

Quick, before the bus came...because I was naked in my robe...I turned to go back into the house. I approached the ice carefully, but as you all know, once the fall begins, you're S.O.L. I could see that my head was aimed straight for the cement step, and my immediate instantaneous thought was, "ooohh Don't hit your head! You'll be out here awhile..naked in your robe!" It must have been in that second that I stuck my arm out to...I don't know, push away from the step maybe?

The next thing I knew, 3 body parts hit the ice at once. My left hip (it's a lovely shade of green now) my left cheek (cracked one tooth that now needs to be repaired) and my left hand/wrist/elbow-all-at-once as I heard a horrible C-R-A-C-K sound. The pain told me what happened. I screamed "oh my GOD I broke my ARM!!! Oh my GOD!!! Oh God Oh God!" and then I looked up at my arm (and my hand that was where it shouldn't have been)....and passed out. I'm sure it was only for a few seconds. What woke me up was the feeling of wanting to vomit. That and the cold ice against my now-bare front side.

I tried to just breathe. From where I was laying I could see Angela standing at the bus. Good..she's safe...she didn't hear me screaming. Breathe...the pain was like nothing I'd ever felt before. Breathe...

Getting up and off the ice. My naked front side had made the ice melty and slippery. Well, I'm not exactly sure how I did it, except I do remember trying to get hold of the posts on the deck railing. I was tangled in my robe, and my knees and good hand were slipping on the ice. Makes for a great visual, doesn't it? I managed to get into the house, but by then the world was spinning badly. I found my cell phone but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to open the darned thing. When I finally did I couldn't remember Dean's number. Oh yeah...speed dial.

(your difficulty reading this is the same trouble Dean had understanding me screaming in the phone.)

Dean: Hello?
Me: OHMYGODIBROKEMYARMGETHOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dean: What? Who is this? Leah? What's wrong? What happened?
Me: GETHOMEIBROKEMYARMOHMYGODITHURTSGETHOME!!!!!
Dean: You broke your arm? Honey, I'm THREE HOURS AWAY! I can't get home. Is the neighbor home?

I heard "cant get home" and "neighbor" and hung up the phone. I remembered that speed dial thing and found my neighbor's cell phone on it.

Cindy: Hello?
Me: CANYOUTAKEMETOTHEHOSPITALIBROKEMYARM
Cindy: Huh? Who is this?
Me: Leah... can...youtakeme...tothe....hospitalI.....brokemyarm
Cindy: Oh..oh..I'll be right there! Right THERE!

I got off the phone and realized all 3 big dogs are running around outside, and the neighbor isn't exactly fond of dogs. The puppy was dancing around my feet trying to trip me. I hollered for them all to come in, and got them downstairs into their kennels, carrying the wiggling puppy who hasn't yet mastered stairs in my good arm.

I climbed back upstairs and went to the front window to see Angela just stepping onto the bus, and my neighor Cindy down there as well. That's when I looked down and realized somewhere along the way I'd lost my robe. Now I was just naked, with my hand hanging at a sickening angle. I headed for the bedroom and grabbed my "comfy clothes" which would be jeans and a sweatshirt. Obviously I wasn't thinking too clearly, huh? I managed to button the jeans with one hand (making any OT proud, I'm sure!) and figured out how to get the now tricky sweatshirt on. While hollering "ow...ow...ow" I pushed my broken arm through the sleeve, then pulled the rest over my head. The thought of the pain when I did this still makes me nauseous.

I looked for my shoes, but realized one was still laying out on the ice. I slipped my toes into one shoe and tiptoed outside. There sat my shoe, in the middle of the patch of ice...well out of reach. Grabbing a nearby shovel I dragged the shoe to the safety of the cement and stuck my toes in.

About this time Cindy arrived at the top of the drive with her van, but I couldn't get to her because I had to cross that darned ice, and I told her don't even try it or there won't be anyone to get us to the hospital! Somehow she coaxed me over the death patch, and got me hoisted into her huge 15 passenger van, then asked, "Which hospital should we go to?"

We arrived at one of the area hospitals, got my arm in a sling and some drugs into my system, only to be told it would be a 4-5 hour wait before I'd be seen!!! Cindy had a light bulb moment, "One of my kids had hand surgery at this orthopedic center a couple years ago, and I remember seeing an "acute care center" sign in the building. I wonder if they do stuff like this?" A couple phone calls later (quick, before I was too loopy to sign anything) we were on our way. At least the drugs were kicking in so I wasn't in excruciating pain anymore!

This place is amazing! It's called "Tria Orthopedic Center" It's been there a couple years but since this is the only area of specialty Angela has never needed, I didn't even know it existed!

To give you and idea of the type of care a person gets there, when we pulled in front of the doors, the concierge came to get me from the van! I was wheeled up to the intake area, and within just a few minutes was taken to X-ray. I have horrible memories from when I was 15 and broke my elbow and the techs forcing my arm into a position it didn't want to go. This tech was so very gentle, and instead of making me turn my arm all over the place, she slanted the table and made the necessary adjustments that way. I was then brought back out to Cindy, and almost immediately brought back to an exam room.

A couple minutes later the Dr. stuck his head in. "Oh..oops..wrong room. I'll be seeing you next. But, just to let you know, you have a really bad break and are going to be needing surgery." Then he disappeared.

GASP

He was back just a minute later and pulled up my xray. I had 3 breaks, a small one on the end of the ulna (the small bone on the outside of your arm) and two breaks on the end of the radious (the larger one on the inside of your arm) and would need a plate or two and some screws installed to put it back together. He asked when I had last eaten and was very excited to hear I hadn't eaten since the night before. It was now 11:00 (I broke my arm at 9:00) and they could get me in for a 1:00 surgery. Had I eaten I would've had to wait until the next morning!

But Dean wasn't there yet, and I really wanted him there before I went in for surgery! He ended up arriving at 12:40. Cindy said a quick prayer for me before leaving us, and we were so very thankful she was able and willing to help me that morning! Without her knowlege of Tria I probably would have gone up to 2 days before having surgery.

Eventually we were brought back and I was seated in a surgical chair. I had an IV placed, and was given some more drugs, and met with the surgeon. (and Dean got to see the xray for the first time. He turned white.) Then the anesthesiologist came in to give me a nerve block in arm. They did this by putting my arm up over my head sticking a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g needle into my arm pit. I felt electrical shock-like sensations zipping through my arm, and Dean said, "Oh cool!" as my fingers jumped around. That's the last memory I have prior to surgery. Dean later told me that after the electrical zingers in my fingers they took a bigger needle and shot stuff right into the bones of my arm. BLECH! Glad I don't remember that!

The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room, my head hanging on my chest, and wiping the drool off my chin. I asked for Dean and he appeared from some far away fog. We sure didn't sit there very long! I know I was in surgery for about an hour and a half, and we were home by 5:30!

That night was all about heavy drugs and lots of sleep. Well, really the next two days were. By Saturday I was off everything but Tylenol, which of course I had to overdo a bit, putting me back on drugs for Sunday. If you called during those first couple of days, it's likely I don't remember it, and cannot be held responsible for any promises of "I'll call you back"!

4 comments:

JennyH said...

How horrible!! I'll be waiting for the rest of the story. Most everything I type is one handed due to a baby in the other one! You'll get used to that part. I hope for a speedy recovery!

Kelley said...

Oh Leah, I hope you recover fast! I hope everyone is doing a good job taking care of momma.I can't even imagine how that must of been. Take care of yourself and I hope you've heard from Tyler.

Dawn said...

jelanismom here and you had me in tears reading your phonecalls to your hubby and Cindy,...well I feel badly for you of course...but you have a way with words and I was sorta amused, sorry...I mean it was almost too crazy to be real...and I really can't wait till you post the rest! I hope you're feeling much better soon ...Dawn

Lisa said...

oh my gosh, Leah! Finally, I get around to reading your blog and now I might barf! If I had half the craziness in my life that you do, I think I might get on that bike and drive off into the sunset...you are an amazing person! See you soon...Lisa