Last Monday night, I had just finished picking strawberries and set them safely on the raised bed. I went to sit down in my garden chair, but instead of double checking I was lined up properly and sitting on the seat, I sat down on the arm and it broke, collapsing the chair. The sharp edges of the chair arm cut into my arm as I hit the pavement. It was horrifically painful. It cut two large gouges into my arm, which would be one without out the one inch break between them. Altogether, it is 6.5 inches from the start of one to the tip of the other.
Hitting the concrete was awful. I jarred everything in my hips and pelvis, the area where the discs are deviated, my upper back and my shoulders. I had to sit there stunned for few minutes. I hadn't brought my phone out with me to get help, and my husband was taking a nap, so I knew I had to get up by myself. Fortunately the raised bed was right there, I just had to figure out how to get onto my knees from my butt with one working arm and crawl three feet, again with only one functioning arm.
Somehow I managed and then forced myself to use both arms to pull my body up. By the time I was done, the pains in my shoulder, elbow (which hit the concrete) and wrist were excrucitating. I managed to slowly walk into the house and as far as my daughter's room and asked her to check my arm. She did and immediately said she needed to get my husband. I said no, he was sleeping, and she argued with me for a minute before deciding to get him anyway.
DH came in, took one look at it and said I needed to go to the hospital. I really didn't want to, because my whole body hurt and I was barely able to walk and the wheelchairs at the hospital are not well padded at all. DH cleaned up my arm, got all the blood off and held a pad on it until it was just seeping and then tried washing it out again, because there was still dirt in it. It started bleeding again and the dirt was still there. Finally he took a photo of my arm on his phone and showed it to me and I agreed to go to the hospital.
For a Tuesday night it was packed. By the time we got there my elbow had gone numb. Once we got into triage my wrist was numb, and by the time we got called back to the acute care area my fingers were numb and the cut on my arm was bleeding through the bandage and got on my sundress. I waited quite a while until they brought a little x-ray machine in to do my elbow and wrist. I had no idea they had those. It kind of reminded me of the x-rays on an arm my dentist uses, only this had a bottom plate for resting your arm on.
I laid back down on my side with a pillow under my arm and by the time a P.A. came in, I had bled all over the pillow. He checked out the x-rays and thankfully, there were no aparent breaks. He asked if anywhere else hurt and I said my shoulder so he poked around up there and rotated it around and found an incredibly painful spot so ordered a shoulder x-ray, too. Then he inspected the cuts and said they didn't need stitches, but it did need some deeper cleaning out, so ordered some numbing gel put on, which helped a lot.
Then he asked me if I took anything for pain and I said no because if they were going to give me something I didn't want to interfere with that. So he gave me 800mg of Ibuprofen and 1000mg of Tylenol. It helped a little, but not much. I was hoping for something a little stronger that would take me through the night, but at least I had hydrocodone at home. I just knew it was going to be a long time until we got home. He then rotated my elbow around until I heard a pop and then the numbness started to fade. So something had been knocked out of alignment and was pinching on a nerve.
So then we waited for me to be taken to the big x-ray machine. They took me there on the bed I was on and everytime we went through a door with a raised threshold it hurt so bad. It just jarred everything. By then my back was getting really sore and so were my hips. X-ray took a while and then I was taken back to my room. By then it was midnight and the nurse came in and washed out my wound. It wasn't too bad because of the numbing gel. She managed to get the dirt out. Then she put on more numbing gel and bandaged it up.
The P.A. came back in shortly and said he didn't see any breaks in my shoulder or collar bone, although I don't know why he would, it was my elbow and wrist that hit the ground. But he still wanted us to wait for radiology to do a complete reading and it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. Hah! At that point I was so exhausted I just wanted to go home and I had had a mask on for 4 hours. While I had used my inhaler before coming into the hospital, it can only do so much when I have a mask on. So I went to the private bathroom that was for acute care patients only, took off my mask, used my inhaler, and breathed in cool fresh air for about five minutes. By then the inhaler was working, so I put my mask back on and went back to my room.
When it was about 1:00, we still hadn't heard from radiology. I wanted to go home and take a real painkiller and go to bed. DH went out and asked how much longer it would be. They called down to radiology who said they'd look at it right away. At 1:30, I finally said I was ready to go, I'd take the P.A.'s word for it that nothing was broken. I didn't care if I had to sign out against medical advice.
They must have heard that because two minutes later as I'm getting into the wheelchair to leave, the P.A. shows back up again with the news that radiology agreed. He then asked if I knew when my last tetanus shot was. I told him I thought it was five years ago, but I'd call my doctor and ask. Then we got to go home. By then the bandages they had given me had popped off a few time. I was later to learn that the location of the injury made it impossible to keep bandages on because if I moved my arm one way they popped off that side and moved it another way it would pop off the other side.
For the first night we used some vet wrap to hold some guaze in place. I had some unopened ones from when we had animals. It's the same as what they have for people only cheaper and with more pretty colors. Even that managed to wad up overnight and leave part of the wound uncovered so I had a pink stain on my blanket. We struggled with that for another day and then I just left it uncovered. It took a total of 4 days to stop seeping.
The first day I spent in bed on my side with my arm propped up and on hydrocodone. By the second day I could move around a little and my arm was starting to get some range of motion back, but the cut pulled hard if I moved it too much. I was able to get through that day on Ibuprofen and Tylenol and just take hydrocodone at night. Last night was the first night I didn't take any, just Ibuprofen and Tylenol and today I have not taken any, but probably will tonight. All of my joints still ache, but not like before.
I've been a lot more mobile since Thursday on. I feel like my arm is almost back to normal with range of motion. I can't raise it above my head with the scab still pulling so hard. I've been keeping it moisturized to try to prevent that, but it may take another week or so before I can fully raise my arm up.
Meanwhile I found out on Wednesday that my last tetanus shot was in August of 2012, so I needed one, but they didn't have any openings for a nurse appointment, so I would need to go to urgent care. At that point I decided, screw that. I can't sit like that again for 2 more hours to get a shot. I still had two months left from my last shot and it was plastic and dirt, not rusty metal. Probably a dumb choice, but I was done.
A couple minutes later the person I talked to called back and said, check some pharmacies, most of them give tetanus shots. So I called the one in the closest grocery store where I got my Covid vaccines and they had them, so I was able to go down and get one once my husband was done with work. I couldn't drive yet. So we got that taken care of. Then I let the doctor's office know that I'd done it so they could put it in their records.
So where does the walking infinity sign come in, you might ask? That's the shape of the purple bruising around my wounds. It's a very pretty purple. Or looked at another way, it looks like Mr. Peanut got gutted, which is a little closer to how I felt. At least I can drive now. Still ache all over, but every day it hurts less and I'm able to garden, just no heavy duty.
Thursday I went out and picked another collander full of strawberries. Can't say that there wasn't a little bit of a PTSD moment when looking at the remains of the chair, but this time I took both my phone and my husband out with me and all was well.
Friday I was okay enough for DH to go out for spot prawns. He caught his limit. There were a total of six other guys on the boat, who all got their limits, but 3 of them were single, so when they got back to the guy's house who owns the boat, they only wanted to take enough for their dinners last night, so gave the extras to DH. And since the boat guy had been out every day since the season opened, he gave his entire catch to DH. So he come home with a lot of spot prawns. If you've never had them they are the sweetest shrimp and they require nothing, no cocktail sauce, no clarified butter, no scampi sauce. We had some for dinner and cooked up enough to snack on for a couple of days and the rest went into the freezer.
Saturday I was able to pick another round, this time with my phone and my oldest sister who came over. So I've picked 13 pounds of berries last week and half a pound the week before. After this massive heat wave, there will probably be some ready tomorrow. I need my son to go out and water, though, because I still can't lift a hose high enough and those beds haven't had drip hose put in yet.
I also need to cut off the garlic scapes on the Music garlic and process them for the freezer. I'll freeze them in tbsp size servings and put in a ziploc and then I can use that in place of garlic until the garlic I grew is ready, pulled, and properly dried.
Other items I have harvested so far is a head of lettuce and a bunch of green onions. The garden went in late, but it is starting to produce. I am looking forward the first snow pea. They are about two inches long right now, so a couple more days to go.
I was able to go grocery shopping with my husband today after he got off work. I used the ride on cart, though. I was really happy to get out of the store under $250 and that means I have enough money leftover to take advantage of a chuck roast sale. I need to can some for the winter. It's $2.99/lb and it didn't list a limit, just that it was a digitial coupon. Without the coupon it is still $3.99/lb. So tomorrow DS and I will go to the store that has that. Tomorrow is supposed to be below 70 after several days in the high 80's, so that would be a good day to can meat, since it takes so long.
Anyway, that was my week. Hopefully this week will be anticlimactic. Even without what happened to me, last week was a doozy.