Permanent Scars

Toddler holding a flower to comfort an injured person

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Art of the Arm by DJ Lynn

It’s my first follow up appointment.  I am almost 4 weeks post-op from my disastrous second surgery.  The X rays showed that the hardware is still intact on the new break. The doctor seemed particularly pleased about that. I guess considering the situation that was quite an achievement. Is my sarcasm showing? Well, it should.

My follow up instructions for the next month are not move my arm much at all and to remain in the splint except to take showers. It doesn’t hurt much except at the tip of the elbow. Nerve damage? That scares me. It itches and there is still swelling. I unwrap the arm to take a shower, lay it on a pillow and let it get air. The blisters look better and I gently rub the arm with aloe gel and then with Cetaphil lotion. I need a mirror to see the back of my arm and it’s pretty hideous. Some of the scabbing is coming off but there’s a lot more left and I’m not supposed to bother the area or let the shower spray hit the back of my arm directly.

My emotional state is not good. I’m so angry that I’m back into this situation and worse than I was before that I can think of little else. I admit I’ve had quite a few dark days unlike I’ve ever had before. Yet I realize – it’s just an arm and it seems to be healing, at least so far and I’m healthy in every other way, as far as I know. I guess I’m supposed to be happy or something … blessed? grateful? Yeah, my attitude sucks today.

Then there are days when the fear gets the best of me. I don’t want to leave the house. I don’t want to get in the car to even to go to the grocery store. I’m afraid someone will run into me with a grocery cart. I’m afraid of walking outside – that I might somehow just spontaneously fall down. I don’t wear shoes around the house because I feel more secure in bare feet. I still sleep with the light on and fall asleep to the television because it feels like company. I cry a lot and there are days I’m just not sure I want to go through this – wondering if my arm is going to function at all or if the metal is going to breakaway soon or someday in the future when I go to pick up a book, or if I will fall for no reason and metal will come spilling out the back of my arm. Will I ever wear heels again or am I to remain forever in sneakers cautiously analyzing every step I take?

I can’t put earrings in – I guess that’s not such a big deal but I love earrings and jewelry and I can’t manage the clasps with one hand. I can’t cut my own bangs or even touch my head to style my hair, so I need to leave my hair short forever, and not sure I will ever figure out how to put contacts in with one hand.

So that’s that. This is my life now. My arm will never be normal. It will never look normal and it will never function normal again.

Oh well, it’s just an arm. I keep repeating that but it’s not making me feel better.

I might feel better – productive at least – if I had some new work to do. I’ve worked from home for many years, but I still don’t have any new client work because of the pandemic and things are still mostly closed and I’m burning through my savings account  . . .

What I really want to do right now is to go sit on a beach somewhere, and there isn’t a beach around here for 1000 miles.

OMRON Complete™ Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor + EKG