Wednesday, September 8, 2010 a place I have no memory of

           The report is that my broken wrist is a doozy.  I have an "Acute undisplaced comminuted fracture of the distal radius, extending into the radiocarpal joint, with dorsal angulation but no significant displacement".   So say the Radiologist.  It will be necessary for me to have to be put out to have it reset.  This scares me as I have never been put out with anesthesia.

  The nurse helped me along with my Love to the gurney out in the hall.  I lay down, had a pillow placed under my head and began to shiver.  The nurse asked me to breath more fully and explained she would be putting my IV line in now. I closed my eyes and just tried to calm down but this was all so unsettling to me.  I could feel my Love's hand stroking my hair.  While she put the line in she said she would give me some pain medicine.  Thank goodness was all I could think, give me some drugs.  What was my pain level?  I told her about a six.  Maybe this would calm my shivers.  Am I in shock?

     I hear the nurse's voice asking how long has it been since I ate or drank to my Love and I.  Several hours by now we said.  I hear a man's voice, another nurse, who says the Dr. will not be available till near 10:00.  Since they will have to put me out for a brief time it is just as well that the Dr. will be coming late as it allows my body to deal with the little I did eat and drink.  I am grateful I didn't have much as I might have had to wait longer!  What time is it?  How many hours can one be left in the ER? So much waiting.  I know those with more serious health issues are seen first.  I am not in that group.

     The female nurse says she is going to give me the pain medicine which is Dilaudid. Or that is what my Love and I thought she said.  She said she would push it slow and to let her know if I start feeling any relief.  I have never had this medication so I don't know what to expect.  Up to this point I have been shaking, shivering and chattering of teeth almost violently.  The nurse had thought it was more from pain but I believe I was just scared.  Even the warm blankets didn't help.  I felt in a short matter of minutes the relaxing of my body. Like someone had poured warm liquid in my body that went all the way from my head to my toes.  I felt heavy, so very heavy and my eyes just gave up trying to open.  I heard the nurse ask me how did I feel.  I attempted to talk but it was an effort.  I could hear the nurse and my Love talk I just didn't care to be in the present myself.  Just drift to wherever.  The annoying shivers and chattering teeth had faded away.  

     It was an odd awakening when I noticed I was having trouble swallowing.  I tried but I was having to do it in slow motion.  I tried to open my eyes and reach for my Love grasping his hand.  Trying to tell him I couldn't swallow and needing to swallow was not easy.  I felt myself panic hoping that he would understand what I meant.  He flagged a nurse to tell her that I was having some trouble with my swallowing.  I kept attempting to though I felt like the ability was stopped.  Finally after several more swallows I felt like the medication was lightening up.  In fact I didn't really feel like it had helped that much with the pain. He kept asking if I was able to swallow.  

     Time just kept ticking away with no end, to getting this over and moving on to healing.  The ache in my wrist had started to come back.  I told the nurse it was hurting again.  She said she would see about some more pain medication.  The male nurse came over and said we were moving me to the casting room.  Progress!  I was rolled into the first room I had been in, brief as it was.  We were told Dr. S. was here and he would be seeing me shortly.  My Love tried to stay near me but he needed to be out of the way because now everyone had a task to do.  My IV was being worked, I had the thingys for my heart hooked up.  I counted four medical workers in there before the Dr. even came in.  I wondered why so many would be in here for a broken wrist.

     Dr. S. came in with a whisk of let's get to work.  He came and introduced himself to us and explained what had happened to my wrist in my fall.  I of course had fallen hard, well that was clear from the x-ray.  He explained  that I had two options.   He could cast me up but because it was such a crushing on the bone it might not set up well and would likely have me in a cast for two months.  Also the potential for arthritis later on would be more likely as well.  The other option was to have surgery to put a plate and pins in which would heal much better and faster.  Also the chance for arthritis would be less.  The decision was clear for me.  Surgery.  So for now he would have to set my wrist and then splint it.  I was to make an appointment on Monday to come see him.  For now he would put me into dream land and then I could go home.  My Love would need to leave the room for now.

     I am asked to count backwards from twenty.  I do and make it all the way.  Hhhmmmm I am thinking to myself.  Aren't I suppose to be out?  He asks me to count backwards once again and I make it to 15 and then I am gone.  So what do I remember?  Warmth in my hand, wrist and up to my elbow.  Warmth and I know I am moaning.  I hear myself moaning and I am thinking I have woken up during the process before he is done.  I hear Dr. S. talking to me but I don't recall what he said.  Once I come to clarity of mind I felt a weight on my arm and saw that it was in a sling.  He says everything went well. (Don't they all have to say that?)  The removal of the heart thingy, and taking out my IV is done.  I still felt odd in my mind.  Not all there.  Dr. S. had given prescriptions to be filled for me which my Love had done while I was under.  At last we can leave.

      Home to bed....11:00 when we leave the hospital...11:30 and I am tucked in by my Love in our bed.  Our bed that is so high that it is quite hard to get onto with only one arm.  He asks me if I need anything to wake him up.  How will I sleep?  I can't sleep on my side as I normally do.  Pillows, I need another pillow for support.  The sling I am in I am suppose to keep on as well as to elevate my arm to help with the swelling.  I was given Vicodin and I pray it will put me out and soon.  My Love goes to give me the drugs with a cup of water.  I am feeling so helpless and it reminds me of when I had my bulging disk ten years ago.  What a day.  What a nightmare of a day.





Ms. Moon said...

Ellen. Oh, honey. You are writing about all of this with such clarity and emotion- hard to do, just as it is hard to be the one feeling and observing at the same time.
Here is the pain. Now what must be done with it?
I wish I could be there to help you somehow.
I'm thinking of you. I am.

Sara Louise said...

Nightmare indeed! Happy your back home with your Love (he does seem wonderful) and healing :-)

Ellen said...

You would think me such a baby but really I am a baby with health issues. I am double thinking when we go hiking after the cast is off to get a hiking stick. Maybe that would have helped.


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