Saturday, February 6, 2016


Three weeks ago I had surgery to replace the radial head in my left elbow.  This is the arm I originally broke almost 3 years ago.  In July, I tripped and fell coming out of my tent, breaking the radial head in the same arm.  It was not healing at all, thus the replacement.  This was the easiest of the three surgeries on the arm, as they did a nerve block, making it possible to use lighter anesthesia.  That has made the recovery much easier, as the anesthesia has been very hard on me in the past.  I had two pain pills, and didn't like the way they made me feel.  I cut back for a couple of weeks, but within 3 weeks was pretty much back to full speed. 

Daughter stayed with me for the first week.  The first 24 hours I couldn't move the arm at all because of the nerve block.  Of course, two women from the church were here the first night-- they didn't consider Daughter a responsible adult.  Daughter was helpful.  I had made and frozen meals ahead of time, so she didn't have to do too much.  The arm was in a sling and had a splint for the first five days.  The doctor suggested leaving the splint on for a week, but it was heavy and I couldn't type with it on, so I took it off, which she had said was okay.  The incision has healed well, and I'm working on range of motion.  The surgeon thinks I may not need PT.  That's my hope.  She was pleased with how much range of motion I had on my first recheck. 

The last x-rays on my original forearm fracture show that the radius is finally healing.  There is no longer a gap.  I'm thrilled.  I'm looking forward to being able to work in my yard without restrictions this spring and summer.  The doctor suggested I avoid falling.  I think that is good advice. 

As thrilled as I am with my physical healing, I'm more pleased with my emotional and spiritual healing.  I finally faced all my emotions regarding almost three years without the full use of my left arm.  I acknowledged all the things I had lost, and my anger about the entire situation.  I had been avoiding those emotions, which had taken a great deal of work, and led to depression.  Now that I've faced them, my energy is returning and I'm dealing with the things I had been avoiding.   I've been doing some deep cleaning  and organizing around the house, and that feels good.  It has been neglected for too long. 

Daughter continues to struggle.  She hasn't seen Psychiatrist since summer.  Her last two scheduled appointments were cancelled.  I have requested a new psychiatrist for her.   She is supposed to receive psychiatric services 1-2 times a quarter, so if the state were to come in and look at her file, the agency would be in big trouble.  Right now, her PTSD is being triggered by things going on at the house.  There are several staff members who have no boundaries, and they tell her things they shouldn't.  They go to her for advice.  One told her this week that she is leaving this weekend, then asked her if she'd miss her.  Then she asked Daughter to make a  list of everything the staff member had done wrong. 

I've had her at the house more, but given she's not stable that's not always good.  She's been getting into food, and we've had lots of conversations about why she can't live independently, and why she can't go out and just get a job.  She is no longer cleaning at my house on Tuesdays, and she has a difficult time handling the jobs I give her when she's here.  I remind her that the reason I give her jobs here is so she can develop the skills to get a job in the community. 

She is such a mixed bag-- she has so much insight about some things, and there are other things she just doesn't get.  For example, I told her recently that she was looking for easy answers, and sometimes there aren't easy answers.  She said, "Well, isn't everyone looking for easy answers?  Listen to the politicians."  I thought that was pretty insightful. 

I'm hoping the staff member who told Daughter she was moving out this weekend really is.  I hope the new staff member will be an improvement.  Daughter struggles with the change, and not only is she dealing with a potential staff change at the house, she has a new case manager and will be meeting a new psychiatrist at the end of March.  I keep reminding her that she's getting better at handling change all the time.

1 comment:

Marge said...

So glad to hear your elbow is healing! That is great news! Hope it continues to heal, and that you continue to work through the emotional side of things. Sounds like things are looking up!