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Healing up, slow and steady


For reasons I likely can’t remember, I decided to only work on one project during my week of spring break. That meant that when I came back to school on Tuesday, I was buried in work. There were invoices to send. I worked four hours with colleagues writing a proposal for funding that would provide some excellent opportunities to our students. Plus, I was running around trying to figure out where a check went.

I got on campus at 7:30 a.m. I didn’t leave until a little after 5 p.m. Then I realized the rest of my week looked just as hectic (according to my antiquated day planner),  with appointments all week. Today that meant a 9:30 a.m. appointment to renew my driver’s license follow by some work at home, then a 1 p.m. appointment with the eye doctor to check out my contacts.

The DMV appointment went quick, if only because I had an appointment. I got in and out, even after they sent me the form with my name wrong (totally missing the hyphen, incredibly necessary for it to be there since my license is the one piece of identification I care about it being right on).

The eye appointment didn’t go as well. I lost one of my contacts last week after I rubbed my eye too hard. It disappeared somewhere in the produce department at Safeway. I wasn’t even going to try and find it. And I couldn’t see well enough out of that eye to bother looking. Know what’s fun? Driving home (less than a mile) with your left eye closed because your right eye is the only one you can see out of.

Tomorrow, I have a day full of work rewriting CSS and adding accessibility features to a website. On Friday, I go back to the sports medicine doctor to see how my arm is doing.

I’m a little iffy on how to really characterize it.

I’m still in pain. But it’s not that bad. The biggest thing is mobility. I’m still having some issues moving the left arm completely.

This is my right arm:


This photo is the best I can do, but you’ll notice a couple things right off. My arm can extend straight. My wrist is aligned with the arm. I can fully extend, essentially 180 degrees.

This is my good arm. This is the arm I’ve been relying on for everything lately. I can’t lift myself up without it. At the Oakland Half Marathon my husband had to pull me up off the ground with this arm because I still couldn’t bare too much weight on my left arm. I’m calling this my “strong arm” lately.

Then there’s my T-Rex style left arm:


That’s not a huge dust bunny down there. That’s Cassie. She’s taken up Beau’s love of photo bombing my blog shots.

Notice a couple things here different? My wrist is slightly askew. I can’t align it properly with the rest of my arm without getting a bit of shooting pain up my inner wrist. My elbow is also more bent than on my right arm. It still feels vastly uncomfortable to bend it. It also feels uncomfortable to try to force it into a straight position.

I’ve been trying to get it more mobile than it was three weeks ago when I initially went in to see the doctor. He mentioned ordering physical therapy the last time I was in. I’m hoping to avoid that. I think it’s past the threshold set by the doctor initially. Then, I could barely bring it out in front of me. That’s part of the reason I went to see the doctor. I knew something was wrong.

The biggest problem is still the elbow-area, where the radial head is located. I still can’t put a lot of pressure on it. I’m also having some issues with lifting or moving things, even small items.


I figured a visual would be better for an explanation of what type of pain I’m dealing with.

The red lines indicate the areas where I’m still getting shooting pain, which is essentially up my entire radius bone on both sides. The pain comes when I usually try to grab something or forget that my radial head is broken. The pain is just enough to shock me, but it doesn’t stick around. I’d like to think it’s just a reminder to me that I broke a bone and I need to slow down.

The blue rectangle shows my wrist area where I still have some general weakness. Essentially since I haven’t been using this arm all that much, everything I do with it feels foreign and just kind of wrong. I found my list of exercises from when I strained a thumb tendon shooting video that I’m using to increase the strength in that area. It still hurts, though. My grip isn’t very strong. If I’m carrying something, usually small, I hold it close to me because I’m unsure of myself.

The yellow circle is the worst and most uncomfortable of all of the pain, it indicates the area where the pain comes out once pressure is applied to the area, even slight pressure. It’s really hard not to put your arm down on a table or use it to support yourself when doing activities. Have I mentioned how hard it is to put on my running shoes with limited mobility? That elbow area is where I usually get the pain associated with that. Anytime I put pressure or increase pressure on that bone through activity, it hurts.

That’s the type of pain that actually sticks around for a bit. I’ve actually cancelled runs because the pain has become so bad I’ve taken to take an Ibuprofen, which is what I’m using for breakthrough pain.

What I’m not showing is my general mobility. My arm feels very stiff. I was warned around this. My doctor said normally when medical professionals treat these injuries, they put the arm in a sling for a couple weeks, then take it out so the patient can begin regular movement again. I’ve really struggled with that area.

Three weeks ago, I couldn’t lift my arm above my head. Even putting on a T-shirt was difficult. I couldn’t style my hair. I actually held off on dying my hair (I’m so gray without it, it’s ridiculous), for a couple weeks so my husband didn’t have to figure out how to help me. It’s not that bad now. In fact, I can lift my arm over my head, but it’s not a fluid motion.

So I’m getting better. It’s healing. But it’s happening fairly slow. I have an X-ray with my doctor’s visit on Friday. Then I’ll see just how my arm is doing.


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