Saturday, June 4, 2011
Bicycles and Broken Arms
I have to say people all over town seem to know I broke my arm. They read my thank you letter in the paper. On April 27th I went for a short ride on Tom’s bike, one mile, and was turning around to head home when the next thing I knew I was on the ground. I felt rather dazed, as I have no idea what exactly happened. One minute I was up, the next I was down. I know I was turning around to head back home when it happened and as best I can tell I went off the path and into sand and gravel. Tom thinks I hit the front brake to hard, but I was using the back break, not the front. I really do not know what happened.
Two very nice young ladies stopped to help me one on a bike and one in a car. They were wonderful. The one on the bike checked out the bike and made sure it was not damaged, while the other check me out to make sure I was okay, she happened to be a nursing student. At first I thought I will just get back on the bike and ride back home, but I was a little shook up, so said I would walk the bike home. They kept asking if I was okay and the one asked me several times if I was sure I did not want a ride home. I ended up taking her up on the offer. I was sore, but did not think anything was broken and neither did she, though she did point out that she was not a doctor and that I might want to get checked out by a doctor if I felt like I was really injured.
I loaded the bike in the trunk of her car and my arm did hurt, but I really did not think I had broken anything at that point; after all I could use my arm and lifted the bike. She drove me the mile home and helped me get the bike out of the trunk. I thanked her and put the bike in the garage and went inside to shower off the dirt and the blood from where I had scraped my face.
It was when I went to wash my hair that I realized how bad my arm hurt to move. I rinsed off, got dressed and texted Tom, who was still at school due to art club, that I was taking myself to the ER as I thought I might have broken y arm. In reality I thought I probably just sprained it or dislocated something. It did not look very swollen and was not turning black and blue.
The doctor at the ER was surprised I had driven myself, though once I was there and they gave me Vicodin for the pain I called Tom and told him he needed to get ride out to drive me home. They sent me to x-ray where they made me turn my arm every which way and it was painful. The doctor came back in and told me that I had broken my radial bone just below the head and they were going to splint it and give me a consult to orthopedic specialist. Tom drove me home after I was splinted and put in a sling.
After a little over a month, of no cast as they do not want my arm to stiffen up and a couple weeks of exercises from occupational therapy, it is improving slowly. It still hurts and there are some things I cannot do, like lift things or use my rotary cutter, it is improving. I have more exercises and will follow up with the doctor and occupational therapy when we return from our trip next month, until then I am to continue with the wrist splint and use the sling in crowds, and to rest it when it is aching, and most importantly continue my exercises and in two weeks add in the new ones they gave me. When I return we will start working on strengthening my arm, and hopefully they will let me use a rotary cutter so I can cut fabric to continue my quilting. The one good thing is I can type now, because using the hunt and peck method was not a very fast way to type.
I am back on the back of the tandem, but will avoid riding a bike by myself for a while, just to be on the safe side and besides I am not sure I could work the disc breaks without it hurting. I need a good old-fashioned pedal brake bike.
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