Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Accidents Will Happen

Accidents happen everyday, so the old saying goes. And I am a living testimony to the fact that they do and that there is a clumsy gene that can be passed from generation to generation. There's a whole bunch of us clumsy folks in our family tree.

On January 24 I slipped on black ice on our driveway as I was attempting to get into the car. Whoosh, bam, bang...and what the heck just happened!!! Before I knew it, I was laid out on the drive, staring down at my right leg that had become contorted into a position I couldn't have imagined assuming if I had tried. The wind was knocked out of me, I was dizzy and faint, and the pain in my right hip was reminiscent of pain that only comes with a fracture. HOLY COW! A HIP FRACTURE! Now, I am a SENIOR, but not ancient...and never really thought this would happen (the fracture....not getting old). I cried out to my husband, Don, who I can only imagine was stunned and thinking "oh my goodness, what just happened here!!!" He came running to me and stooped down asking what he should do. Me, in all of my mind-boggling brilliance said something like "I don't know. Just let me sit here in the ice and snow and get numb for a minute." I honestly didn't know what to do next, but the cold of the snow and ice felt good on my hip and did, in fact, numb it just a bit. After a little while I asked him to help me into the car, which he did with great hesitation amid his suggestions at calling for an ambulance. 

I shall save you all from the whining and moaning and under my breath swearing that ensued and get down to brass tacks. He drove me to St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, which for us is just as close as Colorado Springs. And must say, it must have been by divine appointment because I have never received such fine care in all my days. And believe me, with all my bone and joint problems, I've received LOTS OF TREATMENT.

I did feel sorry for the xray folks at the hospital because they received the brunt of my crying and screaming (yes, screaming) and whining as they positioned and repositioned me for different views of the hip. I clearing recall repeatedly crying out in pain then following it with "I'm sorry for being such a baby." There was a student there that day from a local radiology school. I would almost bet if she lived through that experience with me as her patient...well, she will receive an extra star in her crown when she meets her Maker one day. Bless her we Southerners say. To the xray folks I extend my profound apologies for screaming and crying and...well, you get the picture. 

I was in the hospital for over a week. From the surgeon, Eric Carlson, M.D., to the nurses, nurses' aides, OT and PT...I humbly thank them all for the outstanding care I received. The folks from the administrative side who visited me regarding insurance, etc. were kind and considerate and mindful of the situation. Everyone was amazing. (And the drugs were outstanding!)

I have to laugh. Whenever the nurses listened to my breathing they always said it was nice to listen to clear lungs. Also they were also amazed at someone my age who had a hip fracture. With that in mind, let me say this: ladies, we are all at risk for osteoporosis. Lots of risk factors: lack of calcium, too much caffeine, not enough exercise, bad diet, certain medications for different things such as autoimmune problems. Please take good care to do whatever necessary to avoid osteoporosis. I have severe osteoporosis because of the meds I've had to take for RA all these years. I urge you to do whatever you must do to avoid what I am living right now...the aftermath and recovery of a severely fractured right hip.

Bless my heart!

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