From Where I Sit – Five Simple Mistakes

Having even a left arm in a cast is both frustrating and annoying. Anxious to leave the emergency department after six hours, I didn’t ask about cast care, nor did anyone offer any. Mistake number one.

Because I had been icing my wrist during the hours I waited at the ER, the pain was manageable. I didn’t ask for pain meds and none were offered. If You’re counting, this would be mistake deux.

That became painfully apparent?literally?when I returned to the condo and went to bed. Despite the pillow-propping and a bed all to myself, I couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep. I hadn’t packed painkillers and had no way to buy any.

By 4:30 am I was up. I knew that two of my peeps were en route to save me, and to minimize the inconvenience and time wasted I decided to pre-pack as much as I could. By 5:30 I was done. I had my three (!) rolling cases of papers, files, books, laptop, and supplies all packed. I had emptied the cupboards and fridge and repacked my cooler. My clothing was waiting in its suitcase.

A pain pill and exhaustion led to a sound and refreshing sleep back in my own bed. But guilt got me up and at ?em. Note to self: don’t do all that unpacking and then six loads of laundry. (Mistake number three.) Ditto for the couple of hours of weeding I did the next day. My left arm didn’t do a thing but hang at my side, and pain was the result. Mistake number four.

By now I had started to get the picture. My body had suffered a trauma and needed rest, not catch-up work around the house. Typing was not easy or quick, but last week’s ?From Where I Sit? needed to be done. A couple of emails to friends had to be finished too, but everything else had to wait.

Except personal hygiene. A plastic veterinary glove for preg checking cows (don’t ask) that reaches my shoulder kept my cast dry during shampooing. Using a hair dryer and brush or hooking up a bra was impossible.

I don’t know how someone living alone would manage in the long term. Attempts at everyday activities like washing hands, opening jars, applying deodorant, handwashing dishes, driving, and officiating at a wedding either needed to be modified or abandoned altogether.

Internet research into cast care and scaphoid fractures answered most of my questions. With only 10 days in the cast, mine didn’t have time to get stinky or make my arm itchy. For the record, Roy, sliding a metal ruler under the cast to scratch is a no-no. Several years ago he broke his thumb and managed to continue long haul trucking and farming! He must be a better man than me.

My wrist is now in a tensor awaiting a radiologist’s reading of the new x-rays. Naive little me expected pain-free movement and a return to normal. That would be mistake number five, from where I sit.