Monday, June 28, 2010

What Really Happened

I'd like to preface this post with some info, and a warning. Some of you know that I have several medical conditions. This post contains some gory details about medical things. Read at your own risk.
Also, a lot of people ask me what happened, and I give a vague answer, because it's much easier. This however, is not a vague answer. This is the ugly truth.

Reading blogs last week, I came across an interesting question. If you could live one year of your life over again, knowing everything you know now, and at the end, you'd be returned to your current life, but not a single thing will have changed as a result of you “going back”, which year would you pick? Personally, I have no idea. It seems to me the intent of the question might be, “Which year of your life was so great you'd like to do it again?” since you can't change anything. Because the other question is pathetically easy for me. If I could go back in time and just change on little thing, what would I change? I wouldn't try to scoot back my bar stool to make room for another person. Because that little move changed my life forever.

YellowBoy was just six months old. You may recall hearing me lament about his first year of life: he didn't sleep. Seriously. Maybe 10-15 minutes in a row, but not really napping, and of course not sleeping through the night. I was a basket case. So The Engineer lovingly said that I should go out once a week, just for fun, with the girls. Since sleep-deprivation hadn't completely fried my brain, of course I took the opportunity. Mostly I'd go to dinner with my closest friend at the time (who is a whole book by herself, we are no longer in contact AT ALL, and it's a very, very good thing.)

This particular night we'd gone to a bar and grill for their trivia night, and their special on wings. I love wings. These wings still had the drummette and that other part that I don't know the name of still attached. Basically two for the price of one. And on special, half of that price. I mean, you had me at trivia, but this too? Impossible to pass up. The two of us arrived fairly early in the evening to get one of the coveted spots at a high table with stools. Trivia is only played in the bar area. It's that kind where you have your console and type in your answers and compete against others in the bar, but you don't know if it's the table beside you or the one across the room because everyone is using usernames. At that time, mine was Smurfi. Don't laugh. It was great. I sounded like some fluffy dimwit, and then I'd smoke 'em at the end. No, not competitive at all. Grin.

So there we were. Munching on wings, drinking beer, kicking a#$ at trivia, when another person arrived. Someone rather on the fringe of our circle of friends, if you will. But he'd managed to find a chair, so I tried to scoot mine over to make room. Yeah, nice of me, right? Um, such a wrong choice. Not being the most coordinated person on the planet (you read about my gymnastics, right?) instead of scooting my chair OVER, I fell OFF. It's far down, and to make sure I didn't miss the floor, I reached out my hand. My right hand. And broke the smithereens out of it. Not being a stranger to broken bones, I knew right away from the indescribable pain and the immediate nausea.

Realizing I'd need some help, I stood up and laid my wrist on the table with a hearty, “I think I broke my wrist.” Then I looked at it for the first time, and fainted. Coming to, I found myself with my head in the lap of that late-comer (apparently a much nicer person than we'd thought.) Paramedics were on their way. I was in medical shock, blood pressure dropping fast, fading in and out of consciousness. “How much did she drink?” “Did anyone see this?” “Did someone push her?” Opinions and voices echoes all around me. (2 beers, not that I could form the words. No one pushed me. Of course they saw it!)

Off to the hospital I went. Yeah, drugs, a cast, and then home. I felt unbelievable dizzy and sleepy and out of it. Just wanted to lay down. When I next came to, I heard, “We're prepping you for surgery.” SURGERY? Why not just a cast? I freaked. They had the trauma surgeon come talk to me. “Honey, (grrr I thought, still having enough brain to be offended at his condescension), I do this for a living and this is absolutely the worst wrist I've ever seen.” (Is this supposed to make me less freaked out? Cuz it's not working) “I'm going to either stabilize the break with external hardware that will go through your skin and down into your bone, but it's much less invasive. Or, when I get in there, if it's really bad, which I do think it is, then we'll do internal repair. Plates and screws, probably eight screws.” I'm weeping. They drug me some more, and take me to surgery.

The next 24 hours were a nightmare. Of course I'd gotten the internal stabilization. And the pain was the worst I've ever felt. I wanted to just die. It's now ten years later, six surgeries later, my wrist is fused, and I have complex regional pain syndrome and have to see a pain specialist. I could regale you with stories of insurance hassles, trying to find pain relief, and how much my life changed in those few moments. But I've had your attention for a long time today, so I'll end for now. Be careful out there! Stick to the regular chairs.

12 comments:

Brian Miller said...

oh heck. a few months ago my mom fell down teh stairs at our house. i knew right away by looking at it that it was broke and had to do first aid until the ambulance came...ugh. i also fell up a flight of stairs on my college visit at the end of HS, tore al the ligaments/tendons, whatever they are...ugh. all that to say you have me wincing for you...

Viki said...

I've been lucky, knock on wood, I've never broken anything. It must be terrible to be in pain all the time.

5thsister said...

Oh Tina! I am so sorry to hear about this. You poor dear. My daughter broke both her wrists in a scooter accident a few years back but you make that look like a stubbed toe! Is there a good pain clinic located near you? Lord have mercy!

Aging Mommy said...

I broke my collarbone as a kid and it never healed properly - breaking bones is a serious issue and leaves you with long term issues, but a break like you experienced is serious serious stuff!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Wow I am so sorry this happened to you. It seems like a simple accident but it really messed you up. I hope you are getting some relief for the pain.

*Michigan Momma* said...

Ouch (understatement, I know)!

I had heard the "bar stool" story before, but never in this much *detail*. Um, thanks....;)

Can't imagine ~ I don't *do* pain very well...

steveroni said...

Tina...I just KNEW Brian was different. He falls UP stairs, while most of us fall...where? I forgot! They tell me I fell on my head--whatever THAT is. And broke three steps...whatever THEY are...........Hmmmmmmmm.

OMG girl, you have really "seen the light", or maybe been a part OF it? Oh the pain. And the rehab? Prayers for your recovery are NOW!

I never fell off a bar stool--I was the bartender, and fell PLENTY. Oh I fell off my chair while playing violin in a symphony orchestra in front of 3,000 people. My pride suffered irretrievable injuries that evening!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

That sounds absolutely horrible, Tina. Absolutely and completely horrible. I know there is likely to be a part 2, but with just this much, I know why that is the one thing you would like to change in your life.

Jenny said...

Tina, oh man. Oh man. Chronic pain is the worst. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I have to go read the link now. (You have me sucked in and I'm supposed to be reading A-T's!)

Jenny said...

O Tina. What a horrible thing. I've never heard of this. Have you tried acupuncture? You probably have tried everything. This must be so difficult for you.

I'm sorry this happened to you and sorry it is the break that never ends.

Hugs from AZ,
Jenny

criticalcrass said...

wow. that's some really bad luck. all because you were trying to be nice. so sorry, m'dear.

Jeneral Insanity said...

OUCH!

You go for the wings, but stay for the excitement. Sounds like my kind of place!

I've been very lucky to never have broken any bones. Lord knows in my younger days I should have! I'm so sorry that you shattered it so badly and are still having issues with it to this day. I have tendinitis in both my wrists. That gets bad enough! I can't even imagine the type of pain that could cause. I hope you find something that works well for you to manage the pain!