The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Sunday, May 4, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Broken bone an eye-opening, painful challenge

Somewhere deep within my wrist is titanium hardware. My fingers are swollen and iodine stained.

For three weeks I wore a splint, but now I'm sporting a hot pink cast thanks to Oscar, my cast technician.

He was incredibly patient even after I repeatedly got woozy and almost keeled over. A glass of Kool-Aid helped, but then I looked at my Frankenstein scar and almost fainted again.

I'm not Victorian. It just hurt like heck — and that was before I uncurled my elbow.

One little slip on the ice rink debilitated me for three weeks. Now I'm picking up the pieces.

I had to relearn how to bathe. Dressing is a marathon. Everyday activities are slow and painful. I run out of energy by lunch.

Grocery shopping is really difficult, so I've become inventive. Milk deliveries from Smith Brothers Farms and a produce box from Klesick Family Farm help a lot. I highly recommend both.

But even with ingredients, cooking is a challenge. The first time I made frozen pizza with one hand I melted a plastic cutting board onto a cookie sheet trying to slide the pizza off.

The easiest meal in the world had become unmanageable.

Now that I have a cast, I have started driving around the neighborhood. But the decision to get behind the wheel is questionable.

I told my husband, “I won't drive at night or go on the freeway, and I'll park really far away from anyone.”

He told me, “This sounds like a conversation we're going to have again in 60 years.”

Maybe so. I struggle when backing out the car, and I drive very slowly. I channel my inner 95-year-old.

I've even taken to wearing a sweater poncho because it's the easiest thing to put on. I look a little bit like the bird woman from “Merry Poppins,” and I don't care.

Comfort trumps everything when you are in pain.

About the pain … I had no idea that broken bones would hurt so much. I'm off my prescription meds now and making do with Tylenol, but it's still tough.

Sometimes the pain is so bad it wakes me up in the middle of the night. I lie there and think, “My God! I'm 35 and in good health, and yet a broken wrist has wiped me out. How horrible it must be to be elderly and break a hip.”

That's been the biggest realization of all. I think when people my age hear about older relatives having serious falls, we are genuinely sad for them. But really, we have no idea the major trauma they endure.

Now I know better. Recovering from a broken bone is horrendous. Please tell your grandchildren I said so.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

Story tags » Parenting

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