The novelty and the humour has worn off. All the Chuck Norris jokes were funny at first. However, my feelings on the matter have changed since speaking to my employer and experiencing a weekend filled with frustration followed by helplessness.
On Friday morning, I visited the fracture clinic at the hospital to get a proper cast and to hear the prognosis. The doctor that I spoke to at Urgent Care the night before said I could get back to work immediately on modified duties. When I asked her if I could drag brush with my right arm, she replied with a casual “sure.” The orthopedist tending to my arm at the fracture clinic most certainly did not agree. Analysis of my X-Ray shows two fractures that have connected, leaving a chunk of bone basically on the verge of popping out of place. He said I was lucky that I did not require surgery at this time, but if I am not extremely careful then there is a potential to dislodge the chunk of bone. That would require putting my arm back together with metal and pins and all kinds of cool stuff. As much as I am totally down with becoming progressively more bionic over time, I’m sure the surgery would leave me looking nowhere near the image I’ve created in my mind. Hence, I am following the doctor’s orders and immobilizing my arm.
Unfortunately I cannot return to work for a minimum of two weeks. April 8th is my follow-up appointment, at which point we will discuss how I can proceed with work. My cast will likely have to remain on for six weeks. Although everyone at work has shown concern for me, and told me not to worry about my future at the company, I can’t help but be wracked with guilt about the whole thing. Go figure. Isn’t it just like me to be the one with a broken bone but be more concerned about how it’s an inconvenience to others? That being said, I sure haven’t overlooked the inconvenience this is for me too.
With a cast, and subsequent arm immobilization, comes such a loss of independence. Sure, there’s the whole matter of not being able to work, nor bathe myself, nor wash dishes, nor prepare food, nor drive. Those are the major inconveniences I must accept. But there are so many minor nuisances with which I must contend. Things like being unable to tie-up my hair when it’s in my face. Or open a water bottle. Or button up my pants (though that was a challenge even before the injury.) Even writing this blog entry right now is difficult because I have to type one-handed. It’s easy to cede control of the major tasks that I can no longer do on my own. I am not too proud to have help with washing my hair, for example. The minor nuisances, however, culminate into this over-arching sense of helplessness.
Let’s put an end to the pity party and focus on the positive. As it turns out, knitting is actually good therapy for healing my arm! The nurse that applied my cast instructed me to keep my arm upright as much as possible, and to wiggle my fingers for five minutes every hour. That should help keep swelling down and ensure my muscles are getting a bit of use. Stick some needles and yarn into that posture and it sounds like knitting to me! The nurse agreed that knitting would be a perfectly acceptable activity. This fiberglass cast offers much more dexterity than the temporary plaster cast I had on Thursday night. Knitting is not exactly easy, but it’s feasible. I did manage to knit up a thin infinity scarf using some leftover handspun I had lying around. It was just an experiment to see if I could actually hold a needle and maintain gauge, but I’m actually really pleased with the result. It is blocking at the moment, but as soon as it’s dry I will post photos and list it on Etsy.
I’m rather nervous about the upcoming week. I am not the kind of person who does well with “resting.” I need to be busy at all times or I will go crazy. Things are beyond my control now. I need to accept that. All I can do is be patient and let my body heal. Life goes on.