My “Screwed” Up Elbow

Now that I am out of the hospital, I can try and write a decent blog. Hopefully there won’t be too many spelling mistakes as I am still typing with only one hand.

Anyway, right now I’m at my parents’ house and my mom helps me with feats such as showering and getting dressed. Doing anything when your dominant hand is undisposed and your other hand is holding the dominant one in place, is practically impossible without some sort of help.

So how did I come to this? Well, last Friday, my boyfriend and I took Diamond to the dog park as we do at least once a week. While she was off digging or grazing like the sheep she is, two enormous dogs pop out of nowhere and slammed into my legs. The impact was so hard I felt my legs flying out behind me as I crashed into the hard cement platform and landed square on my right elbow, smashing it to oblivion.

I stayed lying there on my face, breathing hard, screaming bloody murder. My right hand was buzzing with electrifying prickles, and my elbow was in so much pain I was having trouble breathing.

The rest of the night was spent in the emergency room of Hadassah hospital in Har Hatzofim where the orthopedic doctor took one look at my x-rays and informed me that the break is too complex for a simple cast, and I will need a surgery, implanting a metal plate, screws, the works.

I cried a lot that night. They hospitalized me in a small room with two other screaming, moaning patients and I got no sleep.

The next day, the doctors told me they will have to transfer me to Hadassah in Ein Karem because the first thing I told them when they said that the surgery will be under complete anesthesia was that I have Myotonic Dystrophy and that such an anesthesia is dangerous for me. Apparently the people in Ein Karem are more knowledgeable when it comes to patients who require special care. I felt more confident about this transfer because my neurologist who specialises in muscular conditions and who knows me and my condition is also based in Ein Karem, so I could tell the dude responsible for putting me to sleep to speak to my neurologist first before he pumps me full of chemicals that my body cannot handle. Maybe there are some special ways of knocking out a myotonized patient.

When I got to Ein Karem, they put me in a room that was one jacuzzi away from a hotel suite. It was large, with a fully adjustable bed, a big sofa for a guest, a comfortable  couch, a huge window, different lights with varying brightness, and a plasma screen tv with cable. The bathroom was also much bigger and fully equipped for people with physical limitations. I shared the room with only one other person who had her own set of equipment and furniture. We were separated by a long and discreet curtain.

“Now that’s what I am talking about,” I thought. “Ein Karem is where it’s at!”

My parents joined me at the hospital that same night. They were also impressed by the look of the place.

After that, it was a waiting game. I had dinner, and was then informed that my surgery will be the following day so I need to fast. I went to sleep in intervals, awakened by the nurses coming to check my pulse, blood pressure and temperature. The next day, I was taken into surgery only at around 17:00, which felt more like 2 a.m. because we were nervous the entire time.

It was in the operation room that I found out the anesthesian did not speak to my neurologist. When they gave me a form to sign and authorise them to put me under, I said “I am not signing anything until you speak to Dr. Gotkin.”

So finally they did and they administered an anaesthetic only through the vein, no sleeping gas or anything else that could affect and harm myotonia-afflicted muscles.

I don’t exactly remember when I fell asleep, but I will never forget the moment I woke up. I remember being wheeled out of the operation room into the recovery space, and I said “Wait, wait, I have to go into surgery.”

“The surgery is over, ” the doctors said.

“It’s over?” I asked and that’s when the pain hit me like a ton of bricks to my decimated elbow. It felt like I fell all over again, times 10.

I screamed and cried like a baby, my body shaking from the chemicals wearing off, the freezing cold room, and the enormous shock and intensity of the pain. My inner child had checked out. She was in no condition to handle any of it. Through my tears, I saw a mother standing over her sedated son in the next bed over, looking at me with great worry, fearing that her son will wake up just like me, with shrieks and pain-induced hysterics. I heard someone comforting her, telling her that I had a different anaesthetic method than her son.

My parents were finally allowed in the recovery area while I was at the height of my panicked shrieks. My mom asked the doctors to put a heater over me to warm up my temperature which dropped to 34 degrees during the operation.

“It hurts, it hurts!” I whined through my chattering teeth.

They gave me a shot of morphine, but I still screamed. They gave me another, I screamed some more. They gave me a third, and my shrieks had not abated. They finally gave me a fourth and told me they can give no more because of my weight, any more morphine would make me OD or something.

The pain slowly died down. My shakes stopped, and my speech turned slurred, feeling heavy with drugs.

My boyfriend came over. I missed him terribly, and missed Diamond too. I am so grateful to my boyfriend. He was with me every step of the way. He was so sweet to me. He told me how bad he felt on Saturday when I was in the hospital and how he’s not used to spending the holiday without me. He even had a tear in his eye when he saw me after the operation.

Due to the IV, I don’t think I’ve ever peed so much in my life. I felt as if I was draining myself of whatever fluid was in my body at that moment.

The rest of my time in the hospital was pretty uneventful. I was getting a healthy dose of painkillers, medication against constipation and another against nausea, antibiotics, and some more painkillers. I slowly started eating again and they removed my IV.

This was how I spent my new year’s. Awesome, isn’t it?

I got a short visit by a physiotherapist who gave me some exercises for my fingers and my shoulder to do on a regular basis. I’m still not allowed, and unable, to move my elbow. I have a follow-up visit to the doctor on the 15th when they will remove my stitches, and change my bandage. Maybe in about four months I could start moving my elbow again. And then, I will need another surgery (fml) to remove the metal plate and the screws.

Throughout the entire time I was in the hospital, I didn’t listen to music. I had my boyfriend’s iPod but I was strangely in no mood to listen to it. But when my parents and I drove to Be’er Sheva, I listened to my player on the way and the music felt so fucking good, I got goosebumps that hurt my scar! I almost cried when my favorite Rammstein song came on. With all the pain I am still going through right now, there is no better painkiller than music! NONE IN THIS WORLD!

Thank the Goddess for looking over me, making sure my operation a success, and thank Her for blessing this world with talented musicians who save my life and my soul on a daily basis.

Peace, love and this. is. THE PAINKILLAAAAA.

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