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Thursday, November 12, 2015

In the orthopedic office


Just a week ago I broke my arm. I fell smack on the point of my shoulder. The humerus broke at a place called the surgical neck. No separation, no cast. Hooray! I was in the hospital two days, because the pain could not be controlled (and I’m one tough old lady!). The made sure I could walk and climb stairs, had someone to take care of me at home, knew my patient rights, could manage clothes…..they never made sure the sling was on properly!

I still was a ball of misery when Beth brought me home, where she had a front button gown waiting to replace the ankle length flannel that tripped me up and sent me down, and which must be cut off. Linda called. The weaver of beautiful rugs and former psychiatric nurse. You don’t get anything over on her!

“Don’t even think about a bra!” she thundered. As if I could move enough to even get it on and comfortable.  But I did not like as much loose anatomy as mine rubbing around. “Go to the Dollar Store; get men’s’ muscle shirts, three to a pack. Just step in, get it pulled up, tuck it up under the boobs!” Easier said, but my personal assistants got it done.

I had a shower Sunday evening, and my personal assistants constructed my attire:

Grey sweats (pride goeth before the fall of the woman who owns no pants without zippers!)
Men’s muscle shirt from the dollar store.
A turtleneck from my closet.
The yellow plaid night shirt Beth made appear overnight from Woolrich.
The sling.
My front zip hoodie around my shoulders.



“I look like a Wallmart person,” I lamented.

“No, no visible thong,” my sister replied.

I had to report to the orthopedic doctor Tuesday afternoon. Save clean underwear, my costume was unchanged. Oh, well.

The doctor’s assistant was a most dour thirty something. She was all business, no smile. After the preliminary computer work, she handed me a gown.

“That won’t happen,” I said.
“But the doctor…”
“It won’t happen. I am not going through the pain of un and redressing for anyone.”
“How did you get dressed this morning?”
“I haven’t been “dressed” since Sunday. No gown!”
“You’ll have to take that up with the doctor,” she sniffed, and left.

Half a magazine later, the doctor came in. “Here, let me adjust that sling properly!”

The pain in my shoulder diminished by half!

Back in a week for new x-rays. One week gone, seven to go!


40 comments:

  1. Unbelievable that they didn't show you how to adjust the sling.

    I laughed at your response to the nurse. That is what I like about getting older, you don;t argue with people about somethings. Years ago you may have said "I don;t want to change." Now you just say "That is not going to happen!" No room for discussion...I love it!

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  2. Good for you for speaking up for yourself. I have never understood why more people don't. I refuse to put those gowns on with the front open. If it inconveniences the doctor to lift the gown, so be it! Glad you got the sling adjusted!!

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  3. Good to know about men's muscle shirts. That is a secret that really must be shared with the larger world. I am so happy you didn't play their silly game, and that the sling was adjusted properly. Cheers.

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  4. You are such a stalwart Joanne - taking it on the chin and putting up with it. Well done. Hope those seven weeks go quickly.

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  5. That's where I broke my arm! They put me in a sling too small for almost two weeks (my size were on back order). I wore sweats bottoms,then any baggy do up the front shirt...I even wore PJ jackets..flannel ones were so darn comfy. Sleeping in a sitting up position (but with legs raised) I managed to get some good (much needed) painfree sleep. Be taken care of,no argument.
    Jane x

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  6. It's a medical miracle!. Aren't you glad that someone finally discovered a new wonder method? Adjust the sling to alleviate pain. Who woulda thunk?

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  7. Just catching up in blog land. Joanne so sorry to hear of all that you're having to go through. At least some respite from having your sling adjusted. Take care and get better soon xx

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  8. I'm very sorry to hear they couldn't get the sling on properly for you. I really hope you heal up quickly. One thing I see you haven't lost is your sense of humour. Hugs.xx

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  9. Hari OM
    It is alarmingly common for slings to be inappropriately arranged - which suggests a big failing in the training schedule somewhere!!! Glad that doc was on the ball... and that he didn't worry about your attire... YAM xx

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  10. How I love you standing up to the nurse. And even more how I love that your sling is now properly adjusted.

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  11. I'm glad you stood up to dour-face, where's a John Gray when you need one? At least the doctor was on the ball.

    Let yourself be taken care of, as hard as it is, so you don't have to deal with this even longer. Sending very gentle hugs.

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  12. What's with some nurses, glad you told her no. I broke my arm as a kid and it was not fun, can't imagine how you're feeling, though I'll bet they gave you better pain medication, I got aspirins.

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  13. I feel for you. Hang in there. You are one tough broad.

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  14. I've never gone along with all this gown nonsense...good for you with standing up for yourself.

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  15. I'm not going to comment on your/our age... BUT... these days we just don't hesitate to speak up and say what's on our minds. Took me years... but looks like you've mastered this. YES!

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  16. I'm not sure what men's muscle shirts are. Are they those white, ribbed undershirts? Anyway, you've made me want some. I hope you're feeling better.

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    1. The very same--like our father's wore and called undershirts.

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  17. Glad that sling got adjusted properly and that you didn't need surgery as a result of the break. Hoping the next 7 weeks go by quickly! I can imagine this put a damper on a lot of your plans/schedule.

    betty

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  18. I hope you've gotten the pain under control. How long will it take to mend?

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  19. I'm surprised the sling wasn't checked before you left the hospital. You suffered unnecessarily.
    How did you and your helpers manage to get a turtleneck on you?
    I wouldn't like the idea of going bra-less either, good tip about the men's muscle shirts. Are they what we call singlets?

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  20. Too many tales of simple things not being caught before a patient leaves. People too busy? People not trained properly? People becoming too complacent and forgetting they are dealing with actual human beings, and not just a series of problems? So sorry you suffered needlessly. Hope you are coping much better now. -Jenn

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  21. Aren't those called wife beater shirts? That nurse picked on the wrong lady. Now that the sling is fixed, the next seven weeks will go by quicker. Good meds will help.

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  22. I am glad you still have a wonderful sense of humor.

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  23. Ohhhh, Ouch! Soooo inconvenient, what a pain!!! I love the night shirt -- think I would be tempted to wear it all day. As for that nurse, well you took care of her just fine. Best wishes for a very speedy pain free recovery...

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  24. just now getting caught up with my blogs! I am sorry to hear about your injuries. You should pose for a picture of your new dress style and put it on your blog! ha ha Get better soon!!!!!

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  25. Sounds good to me I dress like that all the time now.
    Sorry to hear you are in pain hope it all mens soon well in seven weeks, that's a long time, make sure they all look after you.
    Merle..............

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  26. I don't know if it is the season or what but folks seem to be ending up in the hospital all around me -- even me who made a night of it with an emergency stay. I feel better now but still am taking it easy in my pursuits. I do hope that soon you will be able to give your Walmart's clothes a rest -- but I don't know what to suggest as far as clothing for a bad shoulder -- perhaps a poncho. . Rest-rest-rest. --- barbara

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  27. falling - scary to think about. My siblings have had their falls and resulting damage - not good. Wishing you the best in quick recoveries. Oh thanks for the good laugh about the visible thong. Does it hurt to laugh? I hope not.

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  28. I see your spine was not injured in the fall :)

    Except, having said that (and meaning your ability to stick up for yourself), now I wonder how your actual spine is? You were already having issues; did this make things worse?

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  29. I think we may be on the same recovery schedule. I managed a stage 2 hamstring tear last Wednesday. guess I'll go check my wardrobe for ankle length anything. don't need adding a broken bone to my misery. I'm glad the doctor adjusted your sling.

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    Replies
    1. Linda wrote in a get well card that her Irish cotton ankle length gown is on top of the Goodwill pile,

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  30. Your sister, with that thong comment, is a SCREAM.

    I'm so sorry for all the pain you've been in--and DAMN, but adjusting the sling earlier would've been...well, you know.

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  31. Your sister, with that thong comment, is a SCREAM.

    I'm so sorry for all the pain you've been in--and DAMN, but adjusting the sling earlier would've been...well, you know.

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  32. But I did keep the shortie nightshirt and will put in mail on Monday. You can't trip on that!!

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  33. You should never have been allowed to leave the hospital without being fitted with a sling properly! What were they thinking??? Keep healing.
    The thong comment was awesome.

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  34. ooh how painful. I do hope you repair quickly xx

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  35. Oh, it's painful to even hear the story! Sending Healing Energies your way! At least you kept a brilliant sense of humor... I'm still Smiling in fact, even tho' most of your Story was unfortunate, you injected enough Humor into your Misery that it was Touching in a Serious and a Humorous way! At this Season of Life both The Man and I try not to risk falls... we just completed a big Move and Life Change and it has been difficult to leave some things on the floor til we can coax a much Younger person up the Ladder of Death to hang them or put them up high for us. *smiles* Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  36. I'm impressed that you stood up to the nurse. How sad that your sling put you through all the pain. I hope it's smooth sailing from now on.

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  37. Oh, poor you. Take care of yourself. Wear what you want - it doesn't matter : but whatever you do keep writing.

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