Expect the Unexpected

busted wrist It’s been almost exactly a week now since an eventful family celebration culminated in tragedy: My husband snapped his radius at the Whispering Straits PGA golf course as we took a breather from his niece’s wedding celebration.

It’s one of those experiences that’s scary while it’s happening and silly in the retelling: He was walking about 10 feet in front of me, as I picked my way through shadowed lawn in high heels. We were aiming for a graveled path that shone in the light of the full moon, when Joe walked into some taller grass that ended up concealing a bunker. He completely disappeared from sight, and the next thing I hear is shouted curses. I tried to light his way back up with the light of my cell phone, but couldn’t tell where or why he had disappeared, so didn’t trust myself to get any closer. When he finally scrambled out of the hazard, the first words out of his mouth were “I broke my wrist. Let’s get home to take care of it.”

Of course, he’s a doctor of Oriental Medicine, so I knew he had liniments that would help… but figured it would be a better idea to have an orthopedic doctor look at it and fix it. As a delaying tactic, I told him I’d get some ice from the event staff. They took the decision out of our hands by calling their first responder and an ambulance.

As it turned out, the Sheboygan Aurora hospital they took him to proudly proclaimed that they had just completed their third year as a top-100 hospital. And, unusually enough, had FIVE orthopedic surgeons on staff, so would be able to operate first thing in the morning. For the several shots of painkiller they gave him, though, Joe still spent the night in such unbearable pain he really didn’t get much sleep.

Meantime, I had had to drive my mother-in-law and brother-in-law home, and get home to take care of our doggies. I spent a lot of the night thereafter on the phone with Joe to try to distract him from the pain, and then drove back up to be with him once he was out of surgery–which, according to the surgeon was very straightforward, and just involved re-placing the bone in its correct alignment, and inserting two screws that could be accessed externally. They then wrapped the whole thing in a splint, and told us to schedule a follow-up visit in two weeks to get the screws out and put the arm in a cast.

We finally got home about 3:30 in the afternoon, after the nurses had confirmed that he could undertake a specific series of bodily functions and discharged us to go looking for a pharmacy where we could pick up a supply of Vicodin to get him through the initial pain of healing the trauma.

All of this has meant we’ve both been operating on a pretty serious sleep deficit all week–and Joe spent half the week in a drugged haze… still in pain. Luckily for us, we have other options, and I bless the Chinese herbal formulas that allowed him to stop taking narcotics on Wednesday. A week into the adventure, and he’s able to find comfortable positions for his arm on a regular and reliable basis, and we actually took a short walk together this afternoon.

So my reading time has been pretty strictly curtailed this week–and will likely remain at a lower level for a few weeks as I spend my free time making sure Joe’s needs are met while he’s down an arm… Though I suspect a little escapism will be necessary as time goes on.


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