Thursday, March 4, 2010

Best of luck or best of planning.... I just posted a novel about my broken collarbone and upcoming surgery. We (hubby and I ) took a repeat vacation to the same resort where I "broke" myself and had a fantastic time this time. We even got to see Alex (our favorite). So we get back late Sunday and back to the grind on Monday. My hubby comes home and says, guess what - I will be going on OK/KS on 3/14 for up to a week. Ummmm....after a quick math I point out that is 5 days after my surgery but it should be fine....except his parents are leaving to go out of town on 3/13 for a week. So I took at the situation again and figure this is OK. It will be several days after surgery - should not be completely daffy by then and the kids do tend to have radar to know when Mommy is not feeling so hot. Plus, my neighbor across the street is home a bit now and I have several folks I work with that are giving me permission to call if I need something and hubby is at work, ect.

Today we get official word that hubby will be leaving for sure on Sunday (3/14) and should be back on that Friday (3/19) at the latest (famous last words, right?). Oddly enough, the biggest thought that I have is that is all of spring break so either he is way lucky to miss out on the influx of extra people in town here or they have the best planning ever.....or maybe a little of both :-)

OK... from the top now...

I decided to make a blog as there seems to be quite a few folks who have interest in my gracefulness or maybe those who like to know, hey, what can happen next. Regardless I am grateful for all thoughts and those who have taken the time to let me know you have been/will be remembering me in your prayers/positive thought, ect.

For those of you new to the story, let me share this - towards the end of October (on a Friday) last year, I qualified to go on a trip with my company to Cancun. Awesome! Passports expedited, packed, ready to go - get there no problem. We arrive and first thing is room service (this was an all inclusive place) but we did not have the book to order. After 3 calls, we (the hubby and I) decided to wonder on up to the front area and see if they had one they could give us.

Well, like all good girls, I like shiny - especially if it is 90+ degrees and the shiny is water. Everything is painted in beautiful muted tones at the resort and the pool is a beautiful blue...we step down to see where the pool entrance was which was open in that area. Upon turning around, I am looking at the view...and totally missed the neutral painted step back up...and went almost heels over head.

I ended up landing on my head, left shoulder, and pretty much left side. The first thing I asked when I tried to pop up is how bad is my head bleeding. Upon further review, I had a nasty concrete rash on my shoulder, knee and ankle....and that is when I realized I could not move my left arm. We make it back to our room and hubby tries to clean my wounds as best he can when I come to the revelation that I think I broke my collarbone. I knew someone in HS that broke their collarbone and this FELT the way he described it...

Now, I have always been rather graceful (ask any of my childhood friends and my 6th grade Social Studies teacher who called me "Twinkletoes"), but with under 3 hours on the ground in Cancun...this was ridiculous even for me. (And the next question was, how much had you had to drink...I can tell you NONE...we were 2 hours away from our opening Happy Hour event!)

So we call the front desk, told them what had happened and what do we do....they tell us they are sending someone up - Security?!?! Kind of confused and after 2 of them came up, they called the resort doctor. He came in, checked the scrapes and looked at my collarbone and said, yeah, that's broken. He calls an Emergency Clinic in Playa del Carmen (which is actually the closest city) and they bring a wheelchair and off we go.

They have a driver from the resort (Alex) who drives us there and they end up letting him stay with us while I x-ray which confirmed that I had a fracture of the middle of my collarbone. Now, I have broken other bones so when I saw this x-ray it looked like it was WAY out of place but was assured that it really was in good alignment. So, without any pain meds, I get it reduced and a figure 8 brace applied. The ER Dr was great and he showed me how to throw my shoulder back to keep it in like and "maintain". If he told me "maintain" once, he told me that 30 times. He also said that it did not look to be something that would require surgery. And Alex, he sat in the waiting room while I fussed while they "adjusted" my bones back (I came out and he said - wow, I heard you while they were doing that with his eyes wide). He was such a help since we needed a translator for a lot of what we were doing. He then went with my hubby to get the prescriptions (2 painkillers, in spanish that we tried to google and find out more about them when we got back to the room) and took us back to the resort.

I ended up spending 90% of the time in bed and when I did leave the room, most of the time it was in a wheelchair (could not decided if they did not want me walking at all since I tripped all by myself already or if they may be worried that the painkillers may make me more graceful). My hubby was such a trooper - he stayed with me and cut my food, helped me to the bathroom, washed my hair, shaved my legs, ect.....and ended up deciding that he wanted to stay in and watch over me instead of going out and sight seeing even though I asked him to do so. The resort Dr and Alex checked on us a couple of times while we were still there.

So after 2 more days, off in a plane back to the US on early Monday morning (not the best time EVER in case you would wonder). I remember going through customs and all that mess but it really was like a fog. On Monday afternoon, I start trying to get into a Orthopedic Surgeon. After my MIL started checking around while I was still in Mexico for recommendations, I found a winner to call in and made an appt for Wednesday. So I actually go to work on Tuesday - and drive - and probably other things I should not have been doing.

On Wednesday after that appt and x-ray, things seemed to be looking good. I learn that the reason that it looked like an overlap was for a couple of reasons - one is that the the collarbone is not a "straight" bone - it is more of an "S" shape. That is why the break did look like it was overlapping from a straight-on would anyway. And I did a good job - when I broke it, it was broken in 2 jagged points (think like steak knives facing each other that would make a square) and the tip of one had broken off in the back. On the surface, other than swelling, I did not have the protrusion or crazy knot. By that time, I was using the arm for little things, like the gesturing I do when I talk but only from the elbow. The Dr was impressed that I was doing that already...he also was impressed how I had done on the painkillers - he told me the US equivalents and said he would prescribe me something that would help me out with the constant pain.

There were a couple of times during the first couple of weeks I called and told them that if I did not have broken collarbone, I would swear I was having a heart attach with the chest pain, radiating pain down my left arm, sweats, ect. And swelling - wow - it was really bad with the figure 8 brace. In order to keep the bone where it needed to be, it would have to be so tight that when I was up, it would cut off bloodflow and nerves causing some big time swelling and numbness.

Radiographiclly, things continued to look good for a while (2 months) but I continued to have referred pain (up my shoulder, neck, straight through to the back side of my shoulder). I could do a little more each time (raise my arm up higher, forward more, ect) Then they x-rays started showing while I had good tissue forming around the break, it just is not turning into bone. And that is where we are now....they ends of the fracture have healed and rounded off so they close together but end up being a pivot point....I feel like things get caught between them and it keeps me from being able to lift anything or carry things.

About 3 weeks ago, I ended up with 2 "hits" to the fracture area and go in on an emergency appointment because it was so painful I was concerned that something really got knocked out of place. We did another x-ray and the Dr came in shaking his head....we gave it a good try but the bones have healed but not together. Despite the good cartilage that had been forming and the waiting for it to start calcifying, it had rounded out the pointed fracture ends and was not going to join together. Bummer!

He sends me to get a CT scan to see what all we are looking at and we then scheduled surgery for next Tuesday (3/9). It is going to be at the new Baylor Orthopedic and Spine Hospital which is cool - new hospital, limited clients (no "sick" patients), pretty small so it will not be too overwhelming to be there.

I had my pre-op yesterday and found out that there had been a few "changes" to what I was expecting. One is that is that my surgery had been bumped back to 9:45 - which means I have to be there 7:45 - which is a score because I would have had to be there at 5:15 before. The other is that they received orders that I will be inpatient instead of outpatient. I was a little flustered about that first (but now understood why my out of pocket had been so high) but after thinking about it more, I am really glad. They can keep me on IV antibiotics and pain meds and will be able to just to monitor me more in case something odd happens.

So that pretty much catches up with the latest....I have been searching and searching to find out more about what happens to you with a surgery like this and have I been crazy with some of the things I have run into during this - I found forums and blogs from folks that are sporty people (bike, horseback riding, football, ect) and I am NOT one that falls in that category.....I'm a 30 something mom to 2 and wife who works part time. I also found lots of medical journal reports, studies, ect about fractures, surgery, ect but not very many at all that was from the patient view as a current thing (some were stories from years ago or just very high level stuff) so, in case there are others like me, I wanted to start a blog.

I bet I will also not just talk about this in the future since I think this was kind of fun so far but we will see....