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)

  • You poor dear! You’ve been through a nightmare. An apocalyptic disaster movie, except reality. Ugh. And wasn’t it last year that your husband went through his health issues? Sending big hugs to you. Praying for your renewed health, too!

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      Thank you for remembering about my husband–it was 2020, right as COVID first hit. So maybe these are bookends?!? Thank you for all your good thoughts. Now (7:31 pm) I’m off to bed 🙂

  • I ntempted to say that we always knew you were “screwy,” but I know at least.2 other young women from Mississippi who also might be labeled screwy. But both of are models of eloquence and rationality like you.
    I am.glad you are on the mend and look forward to more posts from you.

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      I should have known you’d get a pun! I, too, hope to be more socially loquacious in the near future. 🙂

  • Gogi it has been a stinky year. Cannot wait for my knee replacement in June!! I have been miserable. Sorry to hear of your breaking apart. I, too, have a left hip replacement in 2013. It hurts again. Argh. And Covid??? Jeese. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Xo Julia

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      It’s been a surprise, that’s for sure. I didn’t know about the knee replacement. I’m glad you’re on the schedule to get it fixed. My hips are doing fine (I almost hate to say that “out loud”). Thank you for the well-wishes. I appear to need them! 🙂

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      Oh, yes. I much enjoyed it. You know, Tom and I had a house at Pickwick for several years. But in Alabama on the river channel. He says to tell you hi too!

  • So sorry Ellen. You didn’t say how you broke it but glad you’re on the mend now. Wonder if Joseph Hawed thinks I’m Mississippi screwy? Happy healing 😘

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      It’s so boring–I slipped on the wooden floor and fell. Who would’ve thought such a thing could that much damage? But it did. We’ll have to let Joe say if he thinks you join me in being Mississippi screwy 🙂 Thanks for the healing thoughts.

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      TY! I’m clocking my naps–20 minutes yesterday but back to 3 hours today. Apparently it’s an up-and-down road 🙂

  • Oh no!! I miss you on FB so I can keep up with y’all. So sorry, but you are apparently on the upswing of Covid and the shattering experience. I take it y’all are in Nola recuperating. Hope to see you and Tom back on the beach soon!! Love and healing prayers!

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      Yes, it’s been quite the spring. We’re in NOLA. Felt good enough to walk the block yesterday and walked by your old house. <3 Hoping for another good day today.

  • I’m sorry for the rough road but glad to hear you are so much better. Keep resting and adapting as you need to so you don’t set yourself back.

    I second your PT comments. I’ve had years’ worth of elbow problems, though not from a break. Yes, all those little motions of our fingers connect up to the elbow and you don’t quite appreciate it until something like this calls it to your attention.

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