Ready or Not #284: Are You Prepared to Fall

I broke my arm.  I know – stupid.  How did I break my arm you ask?  In the most ungraceful, awkward way possible – I did a face plant on my front entrance tile floor.  I don’t know why, but at first it didn’t hurt but I did however hear a loud ‘pop’.  Soon after my arm/shoulder area did start to hurt and so I went to the doctors and when the x-ray came back he said, “Hmmm, that’s interesting.  You don’t see that very often.”  Oh brother.

I broke the very top part of my upper arm bone (the humerus – I didn’t think it was very humorous).  It is broken in such a manner that it acts very much like a torn rotator cuff and I can only use my arm from my elbow to my hand.  That means that I can still type and do my job at work, but not much else. (Sigh)

The break can’t be casted (and no, you can’t sign my shoulder) and to wear a sling is just a bother.  The doctor really didn’t want me to wear a sling either because he didn’t want my muscles to freeze up.  What a bother!  I don’t have time for this.  Does anybody?

Being one armed (technically 1 ½ armed) has been such a challenge, but oddly enough I have thought about how I would need to adapt if I were to ever have a broken bone.  My biggest fear was breaking my hip because it would limit my ability to rush about. (When I broke my arm, my son asked me if I was ‘practicing’ to break my hip – I didn’t think he was very funny.)  But I have found that although I can rush about with a broken arm, I just can’t do too much when I get there.  Like I said, “What a bother!”

Fortunately, I had my hair cut the day before it happened and that has made it much easier to blow dry and style my hair one-armed.  I can type, but it is tiring to try to hand write (go figure).  Cooking has posed some challenges, but when you are hungry enough you can overcome them.

The one thing that I have found that is kind of funny is that my left hand (I broke my right arm and of course I am right handed) is very clumsy and awkward.  It operates quite efficiently when working in tandem with my right hand, but when left on its own it doesn’t know what to do or how to act.  The first day when I went to apply lotion to my face I felt like I was slapping myself silly.  I nearly wiped my nose off my face!  I’m learning to take things more slowly and especially more carefully.

As to other delicate human physiological needs, I did prepare for that too.  The minute that I knew that I was going to be one-arm-down I started taking Metamucil.  This is a piece of knowledge that I had squirreled away into my preparedness information database (my brain) for future use – in case of a broken arm.

Metamucil is a high fiber product made with psyllium fiber.  The benefit of using it when you are unable to complete bathroom duties as normal is that one of the side-effects of using Metamucil is that it delivers the end product in a nice neat little encased package.  Not messy; easy clean-up – easier for you and for that special loving person that might need to help you from time to time.  Enough said.

All I can say about this broken arm thing is to be careful.  It is a lot easier to be careful and not break your bone in the first place rather than having to be careful and be partially incapacitated after breaking a bone.  Not to mention feeling ungraceful and awkward.


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