Welcome back my friend! It’s been a while since we’ve connected. And hello to any new friends that stop by.
So let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room… At least the elephant for me… I clearly blew it with the July blogging challenge. I did pretty well for about a week. And then we had company, visitors from out of town…. And summer continued to happen… I’m hoping for better blogging with the November #Cheerpeppers Challenge. Wish me luck.
So back to the topic at hand. Anniversaries have been on my mind, and not the good kind!
Last week was the one year anniversary of my big fall. Because of my disability, my knee gave out and I went down hard on a tile floor. I broke my left arm and had a hairline crack in my left knee.
For anyone else, this would have sidelined them for a couple of days until they could get adjusted to limping and not using their arm. But, again, because of my disability… It sidelined me for three months!
Over the last several weeks, I have found myself reliving the details of those first two weeks. I can’t even count the number of flashbacks that I have had of the fall itself. And I have relived the frustration of not being able to get the emergency room staff to understand the magnitude of the impact this had on my ability to function. They kept telling me that I was fine to go home and schedule a meeting with a surgeon to have my arm surgically corrected. I kept trying to tell them that I walk with crutches. If I can’t use my left arm, I can’t walk. And we were staying at our cottage which was not wheelchair accessible. They just kept telling me that I was fine to go home. It was like they were completely incapable of understanding that I was disabled. It wasn’t until I asked them to help me use the restroom… And it took three nurses to help me because I couldn’t put much weight on my left leg and I couldn’t use my left arm… Then they realized that this was a bigger deal than they had thought. At that point, they decided to admit me into the hospital, where I stayed for a solid week.
I was admitted on a Wednesday. I had surgery that Friday where they implanted an 8 inch rod in my arm and about a dozen screws to keep everything together. I’ve seen the x-rays… They’re quite disturbing!
Following the hospital stay, I thankfully took my friend Calleen‘s advice and went to a rehab center for a week to rebuild my strength and to learn how to transfer safely. I will always be immensely grateful to her for going out on a limb and telling me that going home right after surgery was a horrible idea. It would be much too difficult for me and for my husband… And she was absolutely right. Thanks to her… My husband had time to get the house ready and to rent equipment that would help with our new normal. It also gave the rehab center time to set up in-home care and physical therapy. I didn’t even know some of that was available to me!
Once I came home, my husband and I led a very quiet life for three months while I healed.
All of the above certainly took its toll. I feel like I’m a little slower and a little more clumsy. But I’m back on my crutches and still walking… And for that, I’m grateful!
But I realize that, just because the outcome has been positive, doesn’t mean that there isn’t trauma to deal with. There certainly is. And it’s bigger and broader than I would have imagined!
I feel like the core issue is the need to deal with the immense vulnerability that comes with these kinds of injuries and surgeries and rehabilitation…
Most people who know me know that I have the ability to turn into a barracuda when necessary. If I am advocating for myself or a friend/family member, not much stands in my way and I am not afraid to say anything! But even though I have these skills, I still felt terrifyingly vulnerable in the hospital and the rehab center. When your basic functioning is in the hands of other people, it’s daunting! Going to the bathroom, showering, eating… Complete strangers have control over every aspect of your life… Let that sink in…
I certainly gained valuable insight into what people face when they transition into assisted living or nursing homes.
I’ve also come to believe that emotional healing isn’t a linear process. It’s more like a spiral. And hopefully, each pass through the issue allows us to release a bit more stored trauma and elevate and integrate a bit more. My friend Nancy helped me to realize that I’ve been doing this for the last couple of weeks and I can tell you it’s a lot of hard work!
So I’m writing about all of this as part of my own healing journey a year later. And I’m writing about it to encourage your healing journey as well. Whatever you’re dealing with, give yourself the time and space to feel what comes up and to release that which is no longer needed.
And if you have a loved one in a care facility, give them some extra love and support. Their days are harder than you may realize.
Sending love and light and I’m always glad you’re here 💜
You can read more coffee shares here