It was Saturday morning, my long run day. Vince was out of town on a two week work trip. I was all ready to go out for an 8 mile run and I had the kids loaded up in the car so I could drop them off at my mother-in-law’s for breakfast while I ran. I realized I had forgotten my headphones and was hurrying back into the house to grab them when out of nowhere I slipped in my garage. My feet literally went out from under me and I came crashing down hard, taking several things with me along the way. My body’s natural reaction was to put out my hand to break my fall, and in doing so I broke both bones in my left arm near my wrist. Not only did the bones break, but they were also displaced, which means the bones broke into two or more pieces and moved so that the broken pieces were no longer lined up. It was the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life and immediately I could see that the bones in my arm were protruding in places they should not be. I hobbled back to the car, told my kids I was not going running and proceeded to faint. When I came to, I called my in-laws and told them I fell and that I needed them to come over. My mother-in-law said I was white as a ghost when they got there. She took my kids while my father-in-law took me to a quick care.
It was about an hour from when I fell until I saw the doctor at the quick care, and that was honestly the longest hour in my life. Numerous times I thought I was going to pass out again from the pain. When the doctor came into the exam room to see me, she took one look at my arm and said I would have to go to the hospital. Fortunately, she gave me a nice dose of Tylenol with Codine in the meantime. They went ahead and did x-rays and sent us on our way.
The quick care is affiliated with the hospital they sent me to, so I was able to bypass the ER and go straight to the trauma center. They were also able to send over the x-rays, which saved time as well. Dr. Qwak was one of three doctors that treated me there. And as a little side note, either I’m getting older or doctors these days are getting younger because all three couldn’t have been past 30. Anyway, they were all very nice and didn’t mind giving me a bit of a ribbing for injuring myself so badly while I was trying to do something healthy, like running, They (tongue and cheek) warned me of the dangers of exercise.
After examining my arm, they decided that they would try to reset the displaced bones as best they could until I could be seen by an orthopedic surgeon on Monday. To do this, they would have to put me under. A decent dose of morphine and I was out like a light. The last thing I remember telling them was that I had two babies at home that needed their mother, so to please be careful with me.
When I woke up, it really had felt like I was still going under. So much so that I asked them if they were going to reset my bones yet and they all had a good chuckle and told me they were finished. And sure enough, my arm was all bandaged up and as soon as I was able to walk, I could be discharged. They left me with instructions to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon on Monday to discuss further treatment and potential surgery, depending on how well they were able to realign my bones.
The rest of the day was mostly a blur. My mother-in-law kept the kids all day while I went home and slept off the morphine. She brought the kids back home later and got them all ready for bed and I laid down with them and we all slept for about 11 hours straight. Before I went to bed, I did receive some good news. My husband, who was supposed to be gone for another week, got the okay to come home early, so he would be home the next day.
I was never so happy to have him home that next day. You really don’t realize how much you need both hands, not only to do everyday tasks, but to take care of two small children too.
Today, 3 days after the accident, I was able to get in to see a surgeon to determine what the next course of action would be in my healing process. After doing some more x-rays and examining my injury, the doctor determined that the doctors at UMC Hospital did a pretty good job of setting my break and he could probably finish setting it without surgery. That was great news. However, the bad news quickly followed. They did not have the capabilities to put me under while they set the break. The only thing they could do was shoot some Novocain into my arm to numb it. They told me sometimes it works great and sometimes it does nothing. Great.
The shot of Novocain hurt like a mother. They shot it in a few different places and then had to massage it to try to get it down to the bones. Then we had to wait for ten minutes for it to do its magic. I was a mess. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tense in my life. It was at this point I was really wishing I would have brought my husband along for support. When the ten minutes was up, the doctor told me that I was probably going to hate him when he was finished, and he was not kidding. If I could have punched him in the face I would have. Imagine having a broken arm and someone comes up and pulls on it really hard, squeezes it and then snaps it back into place…multiple times…all while being conscious. I’m not going to lie. I probably scared a few patients with my screams and I about kicked the doctor in the face because my body’s reaction was to kick my legs during this whole procedure. Oh and the Novocain? Yeah that didn’t do a damn thing.
When it was all over, they put me in the most enormous, awkward cast I’ve ever seen in my life. It goes from my hand to my shoulder. At least I got to pick the color. Purple for Halloween.
From here I will have weekly x-rays to make sure it’s healing properly and in a few weeks I will get a smaller cast. My doctor says I should be out of it by Thanksgiving, but until then, no running and no lifting anything with my left arm.
I was so upset when this all happened, and that quickly turned to anger. I can deal with a pain in the ass cast. I can deal with working and typing with one hand. I can manage to take care of my kids (although I do need quite a bit of help with them). But the thing I am most angry about is that I can’t exercise and I can’t run the half marathon. Over the last six months I had finally for the first time since Annalie was born, gotten into a really good fitness groove. I felt so good. I was working out 5 times a week and I had finally figured out how to fit it into my daily life. Sure there were nights I was doing my Body Pump DVD workout at 10pm, but I didn’t care. I was finally doing it again. And I was so excited about this race. It would have been my first race and I was kicking ass in my training. When I signed up for it, I had one goal…to run the entire thing. I would have been happy with 10 minute miles, but I averaged 9:17/mile on my last long run. I was doing things I never thought I could do. And it all came crashing down with my stupid fall.
I hope that when this is all over I will catch my groove again. I know it’s going to be hard though. It’s like when you’re out running and you get that runner’s high and you’re feeling so good and then something happens, like your shoe comes untied or you hit a red light on a busy street, and you have to stop. And once you stop, starting up again is hard and you’ve lost that good feeling. That’s how I feel right now. I’ve lost my groove. Will I ever run a half marathon? I hope so. But at this point, I just don’t know.