Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Gory Details

Saturday night, Isaac and I went out to the backyard to play on the newly souped up zipline. I had been complaining the old one was too slow. Not thrilling enough. The new one flew like greased lightning. I couldn't wait. I watched Isaac zoom on it then it was my turn. We have a footloop for safety but I was afraid I'd not be able to get my foot out in time and bash into a tree a la George of the Jungle. So I opted to merely hold on to the big knots. After all, my 10 year old son could do it. The old lady can too, right? Wrong, very wrong.

I held on, left the launch pad, lost my grip and plummetted about 9 feet, landing on my back. My first thought and Isaac's first question were whether or not I'd hurt my neck and back since I have permanent damage in both from car accidents. Those felt fine. I just could not move my arm.

Isaac handled himself so well I could not be prouder. He kept composure even after seeing my arm, which Mr. Lime descrbed as 's-shaped.' Isaac called for Daddy and waited with me until he came. Mr. Lime gasped when he saw my arm and told me immediately it was broken. I knew that meant it was bad.

Ambulance was called. All the EMTs gasped at my arm. They decided the local hospital was inadequate for my injuries so a Med-Evac helicopter was called. Oh, yeah, they carried me out on a backboard since the gurney couldn't handle the terrain. It was fairly excruciating. I squeezed the tar out of Diana's hand the whole way. She kept calmly talking me thru it, 'Squeeze harder Mom. It's ok. We're almost there.' While they secured me and my dangling arm I saw Isaac crying and called him over. Diana said he should hold my hand. He did. I told him I was proud of how he helped and that I'd be ok. Then he nodded and gave me the 3 quick hand squeezes that are our secret code for 'I love you.' Mr. Lime told me he'd get Calypso home from the event she was at and meet me at the hospital I was being airlifted to.

I remember being loaded into the helicopter. Those things are TINY inside. The crew drugged me up good. At the hospital I had all my clothes pulled off and ya know...I was glad I had on clean underwear! I was bummed out when they cut off my favorite tie dye shirt. Ok, crazy I know. But I was bummed. I told them not to throw it away. I sort of wondered why they felt the need to ask permission to cut off my bra since the rest of me was already nekkid. Is it just me? Yes, we must maintain perky, pushed up, lace covered breasts even in emergencies. Sheesh cut it off already.

I waited a few hours for surgery in a blur of pain and drugs like I have never felt before. In the wee hours of the morning I had my arm reassembled. Dislocation (by about 6 inches) of the elbow. Dislocation of the radial head, compound radial fracture all put back together. Oh, and every tendon and ligament torn or shredded. The surgeon told me he was sort of amazed by the scope of the injuries.

Three days and many drugs later I came home from the hospital. I'm told I will have a very long and painful rehab and it is uncertain whether or not I will regain full function. Well, dang there goes my hope of being a famous guitarist. Is that a heavy sigh of relief I hear...why yes, it is! Hehehehe

Ok, so long and painful road or not I have an awful lot to be thankful for.
1. It was only my hand and arm, not my neck and back.
2. I'm right-handed and my left was injured.
3. I still HAVE the hand and arm.
4. It was me and not Mr. Lime or one of my kids or one of their friends who got hurt.
5. I have amazing kids who can handle a crisis.
6. Mr. Lime is certified in advanced first aid and knew how to deal with me going into shock before EMTs came and kept himself and the kids calm.
7. Even if I don't get full function back life will go on. I had an uncle who was an amputee and he did more with one hand than many people do with 2. He was the toughest man I ever knew. I have a good example in him.

So that's the story. I'm still on all sorts of pain meds so if my posts seem odd at times or if I leave a strange comment at your place or don't get around as often to all of you, please understand, I'm still reading. Just not typing as much. All sorts of one-handed typist jokes could be made. Heheehe. Thanks so much for all the well wishes already. You all keep me smiling!

45 comments:

Jodes said...

WOW!!! The zip line still sounds fun. Will you try it again? Will the kids? Hang in there, no pun intended. I cried at the part with your son and squeezing your hand. You have a great family.

Jodes said...

Oh yeah, the owner of my company has a 14 yr old son who had his leg amputated from cancer a few months ago. He is doing very well, but has a long road ahead. You are very very lucky, good luck with rehab.

MyUtopia said...

I am very sorry to hear about yur accident, but am very glad to hear that you are going to be okay! Good luck with rehab! My dad finished his a couple of moths ago. He jumped off a big rock in the mountains and broke his leg and ankle in several places. He ended up liking his physical therapy! You have a great attititude about the whole thing and that will help you in the coming months. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your recovery!

Sheri said...

Special deerledge healing vibes to you! wow - Michelle - you certainly know how to make an entrance!! No trapeze for you for a while anyway.

Seamus said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your accident - that is a lot of damage for a 9 foot fall! Healing thoughts coming your way and remember that attitude plays a major part in recovery!
So....does that end your zipline career too? ;)

Blueprincesa said...

You are so strong and funny! No wonder your family loves you so much.

barefoot_mistress said...

Holy cow, Lime...you really know how to rip it up dont you?
You ought to be so proud of your kids, they did so well.....
Youre doing pretty good as a one handed typist though!
Feel better soon!

barefoot_mistress said...

OK why do they have to cut off the bra couldnt they just have slipped a hand under there and undone it? I mean ok you had a broken arm but...still!
I have spent way too much time wondering what I'd do if a medic tried to cut off my favorite shirt or pants! LOL
Glad you wore clean panties:P

Logophile said...

I made the mistake of telling Mr.Logo about this. He thinks it is my mission in life to permanently mangle or kill myself so now you are going to be used as ammo against me, I could tell from the look on his face. There goes any hope I had of a zip line being installed around here!
Take care of yourself, sweetie, and I know the very long recovery thing, been there, done that, feel free to whine to me anytime. I guarentee lots of understanding!

snavy said...

I love that even with what you went through and all the pain - you found things to be thankful for. You really are amazing.

Also, I am thinking my parents are reconsidering the zipline...

Take it easy and feel free to leave drug induced comments whenever - lol!

snavy said...

I love that even with what you went through and all the pain - you found things to be thankful for. You really are amazing.

Also, I am thinking my parents are reconsidering the zipline...

Take it easy and feel free to leave drug induced comments whenever - lol!

Breazy said...

Awwww bless your heart or in this case , your arm ! You are so blessed with bright, caring children ! I am still praying for ya Lime ! HUGS!

Phain said...

Oh good God Lime!!! That sounds so amazingly painful... Glad to hear you had on clean underpanties though ;) If you need a good laugh - come read about my first official night in South Fla. w/ Fame. And ((((hugs))) feel better!!

Gary said...

When I think about all the times something like this could have happened to me, I really feel like I have dodged a lot of bullets. You're going to be ok, though, because you have a really strong spirit. Just be sure you get the very best medical care. You deserve it.

dusty said...

oh Michelle, I am so very sorry to hear about your accident cher'..but you have a great outlook,bless you for that.I am not so lucky these days..being very depressed but you have given me a lil hope that I should try to look at the bright side of it all..thanks, your a gem :)

miss_lissa said...

Good Lord Michelle!!!
You are a crazy girl indeed. Now, are ya thinkin the tree might not of been so bad after all? lol
Hopefully you do get full use of your hand back. Lemme tell ya it does take some getting used to. As a girl, I did a stellar bike move and broke my left arm. I had to have surgery and months of therapy. I was told I'd never have proper use of my arm but I play piano, type & can do many things. I do have some troubles but.. hey, I have my arm so can't complain too bad!!
So... sending you good vibes and get better soon.
That is so cool that you also do the 3 pumps "I love you" bit. Thats my thang with my beans as well! :D
You're lil man- wow, I was amazed by his bravery. From all the mommas here who had to draw a breath in because they were touched by his lil heart.. give him a kiss from all of us.
& Diana too, what a good girl to not say a peep when you were squeezing her hand like that!
Now, enjoy the drugs while you've got em, get some rest and leave cryptic messages on peoples blogs to mark the occasion. lol

Robert van de Walle said...

Oh! Oh! Oh!

How the heck did you remember all this clearly enough to write it down!? You are truly amazing.

I marvel at your willingness to play and risk, too.

lecram sinun said...

Damn! I was cringing the entire time I was reading that. Love your attitude though.

As you know I've had my Jimmy for most of my life and it hasn't stopped me. It'll be a challenging road ahead but I'm sure you'll pull through with flying colors!

Bridget Jones said...

OH LIMEY!!!!!! Am so damn glad you're OK but your poor arm/elbow and all YIKES and the poor shirt and bra. MAN. Glad they drugged you up properly.

No more zipping for you at least for a while.

Hey they treat this with ice cream and banana daiqueries, don't they?

James Goodman said...

Wow, what a journey... I'm glad you injuries weren't in your neck or back.

Blither said...

Lime.. We are sooo alike in so many ways. You with your arm.. But me with my feet. Scary. I breath and break things. Please becareful breathing :)

Love ya doll.. Story cracked me up!

Chickadee said...

OMG Lime!!! I'm sad to hear what happened, yet relieved that the worst case scenario did not happen.

I will send positive energies your way and keep you in my thoughts. Keep us posted on your recovery.

Moosekahl said...

Lime...you did a good job! Elbow fracture dislccations are a great challenge to ortho surgeons and physical therapists a like...elbows don't like to be broken and then fixed. But you are one amazing woman and thankfully have the right attitude about the whole thing. You will make the best of whatever your recovery brings.

And I'm glad I'm not the only one that got teary eyed with the secret I Love You.

Take care of you...

addict said...

Wow... Look at you typing away though... Good job! Thanks for the gorey details :) At least you were having fun when you broke it!
Feel better/heal quick, I'm so glad it wasn't worse!

Take good care!!!

Fortress Guinness said...

bloody hell michelle...!!!
although i'm sure Jimmy Page (insert your own guitar hero here...) wasn't shaking in his boots, i sure hope your arm gets good enough to play again...even though i hardly touch the bass these days, that would really make a difference not having the option to not bother...!!! duh...
anyway, hope the drugs are working...speak soon ok...??? xxx
PS - new poem posted...whenever you have a minute... ;)

Top cat said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your extensive injuries lime but glad the worst scenario didn't take place.
I think your positive attitude will contribute a lot to a rapid healing for you.

You are in my thoughts..hey you need an email address, I wanted to send you an e-card the other day but I can't find your addy anywhere on your blog.
Take care of yourself.
Tc

The Melody Censor said...

Brave kids! And brave Mom too! Hope the healing goes smoothly, and that the event wasn't to traumatic...you'll be up and swinging in no time!
I can't believe the length of this post considering you're down to one hand...good show!
Take care!
S

truckdriver_sefl said...

Dang I am soooo glad it's not worse than it is..

It's fun being a big kid belive me I know I am one as well. I guess this is the one little thing that is a disadvantage to being a big kid huh?

Tommy Gunn said...

Hey if it's any consolation the Carribean lime beer is, well, sublime to coin a phrase. I'll trya and get drunk and trip over the coffee table. If I break the right one, we can tango! Think about it. Take care Michelle and keep doing those drugs.
TG

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Oh. My. God! So sorry about this!

Hope you're feeling a bit better today.

Sis B said...

Well dang that sounds exciting! (and excruciatingly painful, but let's try not to mention that). your kids sound incredible, i nearly passed out just reading about the extent of your injuries. did you know that you inspire and encourage me even when you're going through things like this? the way you talk about the good in everything... I really appreciate it and you, and I hope for a speedy recovery for you.

Sending you my good energies this evening (and every time I think of you). Here's hoping for a full and speedy recovery.

ShyRocket said...

LIME! Ow ow ow ow ow! I'm so sorry and all I can think of... beyond trying to say something mature about getting better - doh! - is... what would a strange, drugged-up comment at my blog look like anyway?

Still Searching... said...

OMIGOSH!! I'm sorry to hear about your accident. How awful! Sending well wishes your way.

(My Babygirl and I have the same hand squeeze code! Must be a universal Mom thing...)

Be well. :-)

gloria jean said...

You are just an inspiring human being. What a great mom you must be. What a great teacher you must be. You have a marvelous attitude about life and I agree with you that you are blessed with wonderful family. Poor baby. I'm so sorry about your arm. It's been my experience as a nurse that people with attitudes like yours definitely heal better than most. I am jealous that you got to ride in a helicopter though...

airplanejayne said...

ouch! ouch! ouch!
But just as an aside:
You rock, girl, for going on the zipline!

So when strangers ask, "what happened?" be sure to start the sentence with:
"I was careening down a zipline...."

--glad ya' have good drugs.

Mark Leslie said...

Wow - what a positive spin put on this, and yes, you should be proud of your child who kept his head in an emergency so wonderfully.

Glad that the injuries weren't worse. Sending you positive thoughts and pleasant dreams of swinging high and free and "fall-less"

BTExpress said...

This sounds a lot better than your last post. I'm glad it wasn't worse. Yes, it could have been worse, but dang girl! What were you thinking?

AndyT13 said...

Good gracious. That sounds like an inordinate amount of damage for such a short fall. I was utterly amazed at the selfless devotion expressed in #4. That's motehrly love. I have tears in my eyes.
I salute you madam. Meanwhile, fear not. I feel confident you will make a full recovery. Heck, when Les Paul trashed his arm in a car accident he had it set at an angle so he could still play and at 96 he still kicks some ass. You'll be fine. Chin up! Plus: Good drugs! All aspiring guitarists need some good drug experiences. :-)

AlwaysArousedGirl said...

You have a wonderful attitude. I love it when someone can still manage to be thankful for life in the midst of calamity.

Best wishes to you.

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Diesel said...

Wow, that's quite a fall. And I was just thinking about putting in a zip line to the treehouse!

tsduff said...

Okay, i'm never complaining again... wowsa! How did you type that entire epistle with one hand, and on drugs, etc? I had a horse accident years past which dislocated/compound fractured et. al. my right ankle, so I know what you described so well about waiting for surgery in a painful druggy haze.. you are fabulous and I am humbled by your positive way of handling this awful accident. What is the prognosis on your shoulder/arm/hand now?