Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Don't Even Lift A Spoon"
June 18, 2013

This has in several ways been a rather discouraging day.  In other ways it was good.  And I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God is still in control and will keep taking care of me (us).

Last night I had a rather sleepless night.  I slept from 12:00 till 1:00 and then from 5:00 till 8:00.  That is a little less than normal for me.  My arm was bothering me some - not terribly, but enough to keep me from being comfortable.  The 5:00 - 8:00 sleeping was in the recliner. 

Vickey did some grocery shopping for us this morning and then helped me bake some chocolate chip cookies for her to take home to our son Bob.  She finished her packing and Ron closed the office about noon to come home so we could take her to the airport in Harlingen.  Her flight was at 2:00 and we dropped her off just before 1:00 and then we headed to the orthopedic surgeon's office.

Since the surgery on my broken elbow, 15 days ago, my left arm has been in what they called a splint and that was in a sling.  The splint was hard and pretty much like a cast as far as I was concerned, but maybe a little more comfortable.  This afternoon we saw Dr. Olson to find out what the next step would be.

Dr. Christopher Olson is a very pleasant man, and seemed generally pleased when he cut the splint away and checked out the healing progress on my arm.  After he removed the splint, he checked the staples for healing and for any sign of infection.  Healing seemed fine and there was no sign of infection.  So far, so good.

Next he wanted to check for range of motion.  I was able to bend and extend the elbow pretty well, with not too much pain if I did it slowly.  It felt good to have the splint off.  He continued to see what I could comfortably do and seemed very pleased. 
At this point I better give the warning I did last week about photos of my incision.  They are coming next, so this is a warning to the squeamish.

As you can tell from these photos, I do bruise easily.  Dr. Olson had told me in the hospital that he had used about 30 staples.  In the photo I count about 25.  Ron thought he counted 27 as Jessica removed them.  Anyhow...a bunch.  And a significantly ugly scar!  Oh, well...

Dr. Olson brought in his very capable nurse Jessica and then he left the room while he gave Jessica with the task of removing those 25 - 30 staples.  She had a gentle touch and did an excellent job.   I had asked Dr. Olson if he was going down the hall to put on his ear plugs.  He said it wouldn't hurt.  And I told him, "That's what they all say."  He was right.  It was not painful.

He came back to check the incision once the staples were out and sent me down the hall for some x-rays, with a nice young man whose name I did not get, but will next time.  Yes,there will be a next time and probably more after that.  I go back a month from today.

After the x-rays were developed, Dr. Olson returned with them on his lap top.  I had told him I wanted to see them.  Ron had also thought to tell Dr. Olson that I was concerned about my wrist and they x-rayed it, too.  It is not broken but suffered from being jammed in the original fall and being aggravated during surgery to put bones back in place that I had messed up and dislocated.

The x-rays showed what a mess I made of things when I fell!  Shattered instead of "broke" might better explain what I did.  After showing the x-rays to us, he began to talk about what I may and may not do over the next month before I see him again.  Oh my!  This really puts a cramp in my very independent ways!  I am to bend the arm as is comfortable.  No forcing.  No one else (husband, physical therapist, etc.) is to try to move it.  Only me.  I am to only do what I can comfortably do with the muscles in that arm (no help from the other arm).

I am not to use the left arm to push, pull, use for leverage in getting up and down, or ANY lifting.  He said, "Don't even lift a spoon!"  My mouth fell open and I said,  "Not even a spoon???  I'm glad it is my left arm so I can still eat." 

So, you see why I am a little discouraged.  My summer calendar is packed!  Now, Ron's calendar is going to be packed.  He may learn to cook, yet.  Ron's brother, sister-in-law, and favorite (also only, but she will always be his favorite) aunt arrive Monday.  I think they will stay with his Mom, but normally I would at least invite them over for a meal.    We still very much want them to come over, but I won't be cooking.  Not this time unless KFC does the cooking.

Also on that calendar, we go back to Houston in a couple of weeks.  Our former exchange student from Denmark and his family are coming soon (much to our delight).  Stephen and Kristina are coming for a week after that and we are looking forward to their visit.  At least Stephen can cook!  These are all family (including our exchange student who became a son) and will all understand, and easy meals will work well and probably allow for more visiting.  We look forward to each of these and any others who can come.  It will just be different.

At home I can leave the arm out of the sling, but away from home I am to wear it as a reminder to others and to me that I am not healed.  It hurts.  The wrist is as uncomfortable if not more so than the elbow.  I need to figure what I can and can't do at the office.  I need to go in tomorrow to do a few things.  we remembered on the way home that driving was not discussed, but we both know I cannot safely drive. 

So...Please pray for me to be careful in order to heal correctly and fully.  Pray as we adjust to a different way of doing things.  Pray for Ron to be up to the task. 

We were so blessed that Vickey could be here this last week to help.  She was an excellent caregiver.  God met our needs through her loving care.  But she has returned to her paying job in Albuquerque and to her husband who misses her VERY much!  Thanks, Bob for sharing.  We really needed her sweet help.


  1. I share your frustration. It's hard at times to wonder just how much the old body can take! And having to depend on others to do things you were used to doing just adds to the frustration. I'm flying back to Lubbock tomorrow--more infection. Pray for me and I'll pray for you! We gotta get well!

    1. Tiny, so sorry it is another setback. Yes, you and I are not used to being the ones needing attention. You have my prayers.

      I need input on one-handed sewing. Will start experimenting soon.

    2. Sorry! I've just about perfected one-eyed sewing! Brought a suitcase full of fabric and rulers so I'll have something work on. Going to stay in Lubbock til this thing settles down.

    3. We need to form a team, Tiny. Sorry you have to stay, but sounds like the best plan possible. Let me know what the doctor says and what wonderful project you have to keep you busy.

  2. Severe infection or something! Three eye drops every two hours plus two more twice a day. Karen is watching the cultures they took. No growth today but since I was already using an antibiotic drop, the results may not ever show. Want to scream with me? Sure wish I could come help you. I really feel useless!

    1. Funny, "Useless" is the word I used over and over in today's blog. You and I are so used to doing for others, this is the pits! Praying for healing and peace. If I could hear, we could have a nice long chat. Love you, Friend.