Turning a negative into a positive

Well, life is all about learning. On Sunday afternoon February 10, 2019, my husband and I decided to take a walk downtown to buy 2 cans of white beans for a new soup recipe I wanted to try. It was a cold crisp partly cloudy afternoon, a lovely day for a long walk. We kept at a fast pace, walking 16-minute miles. After we purchased the beans at smart and final we started our walk home. Deciding to make a loop we walked back through a different neighborhood. It has been years since I walked up this particular street. As always, when I’m out on a walk, I enjoy looking at people’s gardens and homes.  I had really been looking to my left at a cute single-story house. As I looked at the home I was commenting to my husband that I knew someone that would really like this one that had a two car garage and driveway space for extra vehicles. 

The road we were walking on had recently been repaved so I was not looking down at the ground in front of me. My right foot caught on one of those reflective dots which are usually placed in the middle of the road. This one was right on the edge of the road where I was walking. Since we were walking at such a fast clip, when my foot caught, I had so much forward momentum that despite trying to recover by taking a few steps forward, the downward momentum was too strong and I fell to my right side. Of, course I tried to roll but my right arm got in the way. From the excruciating pain, I knew something was wrong with my arm. Grabbing my right elbow with my left hand I knew instantly I had a partial dislocation of the elbow. This is the second time in my life I have dislocated this elbow. I had my husband help me to sit up, and I grabbed my wrist and yanked downward trying to pop my elbow back in place. From the continuing pain and the shape of the elbow, I could feel through my down jacket, I could tell I had not yet gotten it back in place. Knowing I would get relief if I could pop it back in, I yanked downward harder to get it back in place. This time it felt better, the pain decreased some and I was able to flex my arm a little bit. Shortly, I was able to get up again and finish our walk home while supporting my elbow against my body with my other hand. 

Osteoporosis is a complication of untreated celiac disease. I was not diagnosed with Celiac until age 49. However, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and low bone density in my 20s. I had my first total hip replacement at age 29. And as a result of living so long with undiagnosed celiac disease, I have had more bone fractures then I can remember. For a while, I think I averaged at least one fracture a year. 

Since I am so familiar with bone fractures I don’t rush to an ER or to urgent care to be seen right away. I know what test to perform and how to check my arm to know if I need to be seen immediately or can wait a day. I started the maximum dose of Motrin, iced my arm, pulled out my old sling, splinted my arm and propped it up on a pillow.  

My husband Scott got to cook the new Tuscan soup recipe. It was delicious. Later in the evening when I headed to bed I told my husband to go ahead and go to work on Monday. I would assess the situation in the morning. 

Monday morning after removing my homemade splint and looking at my elbow, I knew it just didn’t look quite right. And besides the pulled muscles and ligaments, I was still feeling that tale tale sign that this might be more than just a partial dislocation. So 24 hours from the incident, I decided I should go have it checked. I held out faith that it would just be a sore swollen arm, that I would have to be careful with it for 3 to 5 days. Well, I guessed this one wrong. I have a hairline fracture on the radius just below the elbow joint.

I started this writing, saying that life is about learning. I try to find the positive out of the negative. The positive from this story is that I have learned in a very short amount of time how to do voice dictation with my computer. This was completely written by speaking to my computer.