What happened? Did you break your hand?
By JANET STOICA
I had no idea what was happening as I flew through the air on my way down onto the floor. It was the fastest of milliseconds as my head bounced off the floor (thank goodness for a nice thick carpet to cushion my recoiling tete). Then, to add insult to injury, the ladder upon which I had stood moments before crashed down on top of me. It was a comedy, right? At first, I laughed to myself about my unfortunate and truly ridiculous situation but then, the pain came racing in to laugh back at me. There was no way I could even un-crumple myself as I lay there on the attic floor in shock. I thought “I should’ve taken my cellphone with me like I’d planned in case I needed it for an emergency.” Then, I groaned, cried, and yelped with pain. Just awful. I’d never broken any bones before and wondered if I was going to experience my first such event at my now mature age.
After chastising myself and trying to analyze what had just happened, I managed to sit up and scoot over to one of my grandmother’s antique chairs that lived in the attic. The high-back chair was stately and beautiful and made with some sort of seat styling that looked like it would collapse as soon as I put any pressure on it with my elbow to help me stand up. However, that 100-year-old chair kept its testament to the strength and durability of things made well from days gone by. I was able to rise and un-shine myself to walk gingerly towards the attic stairs and to make my way down to my own living quarters. Things seemed just fine. Didn’t feel as if I had any broken bones, just broken pride.
Within 15 minutes I saw and felt that I was sorely mistaken to think that I had escaped my acrobatic maneuver unscathed. The back of my left leg was sore and turning a lovely shade of purple as was my left hand and wrist. My hand was shading purple on both the top and on my palm. Ice packs to the rescue. They helped to numb the pain. Tylenol seemed to help a little too. I retired early that night but woke at midnight to excruciating pain in my left hand and wrist. I rolled from one side of the bed to the other thinking the pain was temporary. It was not.
Early the next morning I decided to drive myself to the local ER but then a friend volunteered. As we all know, whether you go to the ER for a hang-nail or a heart attack, you will be there for a good part of your day and I was. My head was CAT-scanned, even though I saw not one cat in the radiology department, and my hand was x-rayed, very painfully I might add. “Here, hold your hand like you’re making the letter C,” said the technician. “Easy for you to say,” I muttered to myself trying to keep my fingers fanned out per his request. After watching daytime TV for several hours back in my ER cubicle, something that I rarely do and now I know why more than ever, I began to receive dribs and drabs of info from the ER doctor regarding my wrist and hand’s x-ray results. “Well you don’t have anything broken in your wrist or hand,” he said, “we’re still waiting on the CAT-scan results.” (Dang those cats, I thought.)
More time passed and then the nurse came into my room with a splint, an ace bandage, and an arm sling. “We’re going to fix your hand and arm up right now,” she said, “then once you get your CAT-scan readings, you’ll be good to go.” The brace immediately brought a little relief to my hand as it became stabilized. “Your head and neck scans are fine,” the ER doctor said as he briefly popped into my ER room and then breezed right out. I phoned my friend who arrived to drive me home.
I visited my primary care doctor a week after my accident as my hand was still swollen like a blown-up surgical glove. She gave me instructions to ice my hand all weekend and to keep it in an upright position as much as possible while still wearing my brace. I was to phone her on Monday to advise her if my hand swelling and pain had decreased. When Monday arrived, I phoned my doctor’s office with the message that my hand was still swollen, my pain was still horrific, and none of my knuckles were visible.
I now await my radiology appointment for a CAT-scan of my hand and wrist. What news will I receive? To be continued……..
Contact Janet: [email protected]