"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pre-Injury State Key to Senior's Post-Fall Function

Good morning, everyone! First an update on my arm fracture............I fell two weeks ago today, and considering that short period of time, I think I am doing quite well.  I wear a light ace bandage on the arm, more or less to warn people that I have an injury.  My scar is a doozy, over 7 inches in length.  The stitches come out tomorrow.  Functionally, my fingers seem to be doing pretty well, I can make a light fist, and I am able to carry light objects. I am typing this post at a desktop computer, and although my typing is slower and less accurate than usual, I am working on getting back that important function.  There is considerable concern about my thumb, I can move it back and forth at the base joint, but have no other movement (or feeling) in it----yet. I start physical therapy either later this week or early next, and I can't wait. I can take care of my grooming, some light household chores (I am getting in a housekeeper for a few weeks to keep my pain in check), I'm driving, and I am back to mostly a normal schedule.  Dr. Carr has made a few upward adjustments in my hormones to promote healing.  Stress and pain will make you burn through your hormones faster, and I can tell my progesterone level is struggling:  few very mild hot flashes, and my focus is less than optimal.  I'm confident as my recovery progresses that I will be back on top of my game soon.

Now, the caveat when I share this article with you from MedPageToday.com------I do not, at 55 years old, consider myself to be a geriatric case! Far from it, in fact, I was at the gym working out when I fell (doing a weight workout, which promotes bone health).  In fact, I was pretty impressed that with only a little assistance from the EMT (who was very nice looking, by the way) I was able to get from my sitting position on the floor with a broken arm, up to my knees and then I popped right up on my feet!  All those leg machines I have been doing during workouts obviously helped more than I realized.

For a few days, however, I really did lose my independence, and it quite honestly scared the hell out of me.  My mother, who had severe osteoporosis and spinal stenosis, fell about two years before she died and she was an invalid for those last two years of her life.  I took care of her full time, and it was a nightmare for both of us.  My independence and mobility are almost an obsession with me.  My mom was not in great health before the fall; for a couple of years she really worked at losing weight and went to the pool with me at least three days a week, and it helped her energy level and mobility immensely, but then she got away from it and went downhill pretty rapidly.

Bottom line is that those of us in our middle age years need to pay attention to keeping healthy (hormone optimization, diet, regular bone stressing exercise, challenging our brains) so that we have a better outcome when we do face health challenges in our later years.  I can't wait to get back to the gym, not because exercising is my favourite activity, but because I don't want to lose the muscle strength/mass I have gained by my regular workouts.  I have a very messed up back also from a long ago car accident, and core strength is absolutely crucial to my mobility.

Hope everyone is enjoying these waning weeks of summer.  It has been a rainy, cool summer here in the Southeast, and honestly, for a lot of reasons this is a summer I would rather forget-----I'm looking forward to Fall and some fun "girls days out" with my friends.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Oh, Good Grief!

Hello. Eeyore here, I am posting because my human (Andrea) is, uh, broken.  She has a good excuse as to why she hasn't been blogging.  

She was finishing her workout at Gold's Gym last Tuesday, and while she was walking to the next machine, she tripped, stuck her right arm out to break the fall, and landed hard on the concrete floor.  She broke her right arm (radius bone) and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance.  Besides being in a lot of pain, she was scared to death and more than just a little embarrassed.  Let's just say she has never been known for her gracefulness.

Four hours in the ER (but she said it wasn't all bad, she and my girlfriend Karen cannot stop talking about the utter hotness of Josh, the nurse who made and put on Andrea's splint).  The break occurred just below an existing plate in the arm from her car accident years ago, which likely contributed to the break (she is very conscious of and works hard on her bone strength, which is why she was at the gym!).  The ER referred her to a hand specialist surgeon, she saw him on Wednesday and he told her she would need surgery to put in a new, longer plate. 

Surgery (outpatient) took about two hours on Friday, and although she wasn't in a lot of pain immediately afterward, when the nerve block wore off in the middle of the night Friday, it was a total nightmare.  I won't go into details, it's very hard for me to talk about.

The pain slowly subsided during the day Saturday, and by Saturday night she was able to get up, strap on her pain pump, get her sling back on, and get to the bathroom and back.  Big accomplishment.  Sunday was a much better day. Today she is even better, and her pain level is so much better.  She can now shower, wash her hair and get dressed without help.  She is going back to the doctor Wednesday, and about a week after that has her stitches removed.

No knitting or crafting for her for a while.  Thank goodness she likes to read!  As you can see by the picture above, I am staying right on top of things (literally), and providing moral support.  Her friends, especially Miss Karen (my Red) and Katie have been taking amazing care of her.  She is one deeply blessed human to have such great support. 

I will continue to be her spokesdonkey until she is able to resume blogging..  Be sweet and have a great week!