Saturday, September 20, 2014

Following Mom's Advice Can Land You in the ER

With a lot of changes happening here in my life, I've been trying to focus on some aspects of my life that I would like to be better at, and really making an effort to progress in them. Writing here on the blog is one of them. However I often run into Writers Block when it comes to the blog so when I had a moment in the past week where I thought to myself "This is one of those moments that the Yarn Harlot would write about".

My life has been pretty hectic, with grad school, two jobs, a new husband, and all the daily dilemmas, I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed. Unfortunately, when the stress piles up my body has recently decided to react very badly. As I sought relief my mum gave me advice she has always given me, "Exercise."

Only this time mum was a little more specific in her advice, "Sweat. Really sweat. Like dripping off you, people slipping on it cause it's puddled up on the floor." Gross. I hate sweat. I hate sweating. I know I should exercise and would do it more if it didn't involve sweating.  Well, I was getting desperate for some relief from feeling so sick, really really desperate.

My husband cycles. I have a bike, and I'd been meaning to start cycling but had not had enough motivation to do so. As I came to the conclusion to follow my mum's advice and sweat, really sweat, I though I might start cycling. I set a date and set a goal for how far I would bike, according to the 'start cycling' article I read online.

I got up early-ish. Did some yoga and then set out for the Greenway with my bike. It's a great bike, a vintage Panasonic in pink.

It rattles, but it does ride pretty nicely, and I love it anyway. I started out with my little program running on my phone to track my ride. I had read that a beginner ride would be 5-8 miles long, so I decided to do at least 5 miles. I've run this particular Greenway several times, once in a race, so I had a good idea of where I needed to go to reach my 5 mile goal, and was confident I could do it on my bike.

Well, a little over halfway through this first training ride ever, I had what we called a duster on the ranch. This duster was quite the duster. I crashed.

I remember as it was happening thinking to myself, "You've gone over 3 miles, you can't give up now. Just jump back on the bike, like you would a horse, and finish the ride." I jumped up, took note of the scrape on my leg and palm of my hand. After that, I noted that my wrist might be broken. After rolling it around, and moving all of my fingers, I decided that although a little scraped up, I was fine and could finish my ride.

Another rider, I'm not sure if he actually saw me crash, or just heard it (I'd like to think he didn't actually see it) asked if I was okay, to which I replied I was fine and jumped on my bike. It took me a minute to realize the chain was off, but that was an easy fix. As I continued on my ride, I noticed a stinging on my shoulder and pulled my shirt up to find a huge, bleeding scrape on my shoulder. Ok, no problem. Just some scrapes and a really pretty bruise on my thigh.

It wasn't until a few hours later when I started to realize that my arm hurt. REALLY hurt. I couldn't straighten it, or fully bend it. After much debate and consulting with some friends and family, I decided to visit the ER after doing dishes brought me to tears. (From pain, not because it was dishes.)

Me: I think my arm is broken. 
ER Nurse: Were you wearing a helmet?

Me: I think I broke my arm. 
ER Doctor: Were you wearing a helmet?

While I appreciate that people are advocating for wearing helmets (Which I do wear ALWAYS), I had a hard time understanding the connection between my arm hurting and whether I was wearing a helmet or not.

All said, the ER decided that there was too much swelling and fluid in my elbow to determine if it was broken. They gave me an ace bandage, a painkiller prescription , and instructions to ice and rest it. The nurse told me, "If it hurts to do it, don't do it." I went on my merry way, and after some minor difficulty was able to schedule a follow up appointment with the sports med folks at the student health center.

After getting follow up x-rays, the doctor walked into the room and announced, "Your arm is broken, it's really cool."

She then showed me my x-ray. Basically, the bone got dented. Technically broken, but not broken enough to need surgery or even a cast. So I'm 0 for 3, 3 broken bones and still no casts.
The bone at the top? It's supposed to be straight across, not have that dip/dent in it... 

PS: One kindergartener was disappointed that I didn't get to have my hot pink cast.

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