Skip to main content

A Shattered Reality

I broke my elbow then I got COVID. “Shattered” is actually the verb the orthopedic surgeon used about what I did to my elbow. A shattered elbow and a shattered reality—it’s why I’ve been MIA for a while. The damage required surgery, a plate, and eight screws. When you add this to my two fake hips, I’m full of screws. Next time I go through airport security, I’ll set off a 5-alarm racket. Not a terrorist, just someone totally screwed.

I don’t like to think about screws hidden inside in my flesh, but the virus is no better. The sneaky little bugger, skulking around, waiting to pounce and cause longterm damage. But, for the time being, I’m getting better. Truth tell, looking at that double line on the COVID at-home test was a surreal moment. What I’d been using all my energy to avoid for two years had happened. How did I feel about that? How does it change what has become a second-nature assessment of risk? I’m still processing this new shattered reality. Also still sleeping. Three hour naps a day are considered normal. For now.

The good news: after I went to the Urgent Care to confirm the diagnosis and see what my next step should be, the Louisiana Health Department contacted me via text. They offered help for whatever I needed–questions answered, free masks, RX delivery, all kinds of things. I was much impressed.

Unfortunately, the arrival of the virus paused my physical therapy on the elbow. Of course, I’ve dutifully done my exercises at home…when I’ve been awake. I have to say, this elbow experience has confirmed what I already knew: physical therapy is one of the world’s greatest inventions. Little bitty exercises quickly produce the most amazing results. For example, I’m easily typing this blog post with two hands. (Who knew, but a broken elbow affects all functions between your shoulder and the tip of your index finger.)

Last comment on this odd journey. Weird me, I’ve enjoyed mastering new skills. I learned to tie my shoe with one hand, put on my bra with one arm, sweep the courtyard with the broom tucked under my arm. Each time, of course, I presented myself to my husband with a “Look what I did!” grin. I also learned how many things you use two hands for but don’t realize it (stopping the toilet paper roll from spinning to extinction, for example.) Somethings, you simply can’t do one-handed—I haven’t worn my contacts 7 weeks.

I hope y’all are doing okay. And that I’ll keep improving. And my ability to be “social” will return full force. Take care.

How’s it been with you this spring?

First time dressed up since COVID and a broken elbow shattered my reality
First time I’ve been dressed up since a broken elbow shattered my reality

broken elbow, COVID after booster, fatigue with COVID, how to cope with a broken elbow

Comments (17)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *