Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013

4 Months Since I Broke My Elbow
October 1, 2013

In some ways the last four months have gone by in a blur.  In other ways they have been dragging.  Four months ago this evening, I was working in the yard, using the electric edger to trim the backyard, knowing that when I had my Cochlear Implant surgery 10 days later, I would probably not be able to do the yard work for a few weeks.  Some how, I got tangled up in the extension cord and down I went onto the tip of my left elbow, fracturing a couple of bones. 

On June 3, I had surgery to repair the breaks, after waiting an extra day so the doctor could have on hand, an artificial cap for one of the bones in case he was unable to repair mine.  In surgery, he decided mine could be saved and we had both agreed that would be the best solution.  My arm was put in a hard splint for two weeks.  On June 10, with my arm in the cast-like splint, I had the Cochlear Implant surgery in Houston. 

For the elbow, I was in the hospital from the evening of June 1, until the middle of June 4.  For the implant surgery where they drilled a hole in my head and threaded a wire in there and implanted a base for it under the scalp, I was in the hospital from the morning of June 10 until the afternoon of June 10.  Amazing.  I do recall when the orthopedic surgeon described to me the day before the surgery, what he would be doing, that I commented, "That sounds like major surgery."  His head jerked up and he looked at me surprised and said, "It is." 

We headed home from Houston the next day after the implant was done, picking our daughter-in-law, Vickey, up at the airport in Houston where she had flown to come home and help take care of me for about 8 days.  It turned out, I didn't need her help concerning the implant surgery, but did need her help dealing with the broken elbow.  After we took Vickey to the airport to return to Albuquerque, we went to the orthopedic surgeon's office and he removed the splint and staples. 

Two weeks after Vickey went home, we returned to Houston for the activation of the Cochlear Implant.  We had sessions on two days with the audiologist and were so excited with the good results of the activation.  I could hear!  I could understand speech!  We also saw the surgeon on this trip to Houston. 

About this time my husband Ron was dealing with a couple of skin cancers.  Then a couple of weeks later our former foreign exchange student arrived with his wife and 3 children for a few days.  A couple of days after they left our youngest son, Stephen, and his girlfriend arrived for a week long visit.  These visits were precious and a lot of good times were packed into the visits.  While our son Stephen was here I started 3 weeks of Physical Therapy.  In the middle of that was another trip to Houston to see the audiologist.

At the end of the Physical Therapy, the orthopedic surgeon decided that it would be best to do additional surgery to replace the cap on that bone he tried to save back in June.  It was out of place and the hardware put in to hold it was broken and working out.  We agreed that the hardware on the other bone had served its purpose and that it would come out at the time of the second surgery.  That being the case, he wanted to give it three more weeks of healing before the new surgery would be done.

Just before the last of the physical therapy sessions, we had an unexpected rush trip to Houston to check with the surgeon about a concern I had that turned out to be nothing.  Then Ron had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon to deal with leg problems he was having from a break twenty years ago. 

On September 9 I had the second elbow surgery and was able to come home the same day the surgery was done.  The hard splint came off after two days and after a week I had the staples removed and started physical therapy.  On the 18th Ron had surgery to remove the hardware from his previous surgery and to work on a nerve in his foot.  The night of his surgery we had a trip to the emergency room for complications following that surgery, related to the anesthesia and pain medications.  He was out of work for about 8 days. 

I am in the third week of this round of Physical Therapy.  We are both back at work but not up to full strength.  During these last four months, (actually through all of 2013) we have tried to keep our small business afloat.  God has provided and we have come through this time with only a few surgical scars to show for the summer of 2013.   God has met many of our needs through our family and friends.  There have been a few rough days, especially when I first started going back to the office in mid-June.  Those were exhausting days.  This past week, going to PT early in the mornings and then going to the office to run it alone while Ron recovered, was exhausting and I was only a couple of weeks past my surgery. 

The last two days may have been the most difficult emotionally.  I am tired of not being able to hear on the phone; of not being able to talk to my children.  Each of them have had things going on that I want to talk to them about.  I want to hear them tell me what is going on in their lives.  We do some texting and some chatting on Facebook, but it is just not the same.  I spent a lot of time today on line and in Sprint stores trying to select a new cell phone to use with a cable I can order from Cochlear.  My cell phone needs to be replaced anyway, but I need to get the right kind to use this cable.  The cable is made for this purpose, but the size of the connector is not right for the cell phones, so an adaptor would be needed.  That is when the frustration finally got to me.  I just had reached my limit.  Of course I also noticed it was 3:00 and I had not had lunch and that added to the problem, but it was just a rough day. 

In the overall scheme of things, this is not major.  As I said at one point this summer when Stephen and his girlfriend were here, "2013 has not been a good year for us."  She sweetly said, "You can hear."  True.  God has answered Rachel's prayer that God would let her grandmother hear.  (As long as she doesn't call me on the phone.)  A lot of good things have happened.  We just are not through it all yet.  The road ahead sometimes looks long and rough, but we have come a long way.  I am sure tomorrow will be a brighter day - how could it not be as we go early in the morning to celebrate our oldest grand daughter's 10th birthday.  God is good and will continue to meet our needs.  Thank you all for the encouragements and interest in what is going on in our lives.  He continues to send the birds to brighten my days, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment