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2015/08/22 - Grievous Bodily Harm, 2015 Edition

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Guess who fell off their bicycle and had to be hospitalized with damage to their left arm again!

On Wednesday evening, I hit a pothole! My left arm went out to catch my fall, and ... well, it worked, from a certain point of view! At the expense of my elbow, that is. The damage to my humerus is really kind of impresive, but apart from some road rash, I was othewise practically, y'know, unharmed. On Friday I had surgery, and now there are screws and pins in my elbow to make sure it heals more than halfway properly. I am recuperating at my mom and stepdad's house, and tomorrow my dad and stepmom will pick me up and will have me until Tuesday, which is when we're pretty sure I'll be well enough to resume living without the need for supervision/assistnce. The followup checkups and suchlike start September 4th; it is known that it will be months before I can ride a bicyle again.

Long version: I had a front light, a back blinker-light, a reflective vet, a helmet, etc., but this did not save me from a pothole. (I theorized that I might need to get a front light with a wider aperture.) I called 911 and got rushed to the local emergency room. They very painfully put my arm back into the right position/shape, gave me a "splint" (which was basically a whole cast except not as thick), and said it would require surgery no matter what. However, the local orthopedic surgeons took one look at the x-rays and decided it was beyond their abilities, so they started getting word out to another, better hospital which is about an hour and a half away. I spent Wednesday night at the home of my mom and stepdad; we arrived at about 3 AM and got about five hours of sleep apiece.

Hospital #2 called on Thursday at around noon; they said to bring me over to the emergency room by 2 PM, and also that I wasn't to eat or drink anything in case immediate surgery was deemed necesary. We got there at 1:40; meanwhile, lots of other accidents were happening to other people who needed even more immediate attention. So we sat in the waiting room until 6, got moved to an examining room, got some more X-rays done, sat around the exam room until 10-ish, and finally got visited by a doctor who told us that I didn't need surgery that instant and I didn't need to stay at the hospital overnight, but I was going to get a CAT scan, and then there was going to be a big meeting of all the orthopedic specialists at 6:30 the next morning, where theey would decide exactly what kind of surgery I'd need and whether it should be scheduled for Friday or Monday. Also, in the process of rearranging my arm for another splint, it was discovered that I have an absurdly high pain threshold. I don't want to say I'd hold up as well as Princess Leia in her interrogation on the Death Star, but I handled myself surprisingly well. I got a cookie for my troubles after I got back from the CAT scan.

We arrived home at around 1 AM. My mom got a phone call from Hospital #2 at 7:30 AM, saying they wanted me over for surgery by 2 PM, this time for sure! (My stepdad stayed home because of pressing business matters which were now even more pressing due to the fact that we just completely lost Thursday out of nowhere there.) Having learned from the previous day's disaster, my mom and I brought chargers for our phones and I also brought my tablet. We arrived at around 10:45, and I discovered that they'd also left a voicemail on my phone (which was not getting a signal either in the house or in the hospital, but which can download voicemail over wifi), saying I needed to be there by 11. So that was all right.

Things were surprisingly quick and comfortable from there; I never even got to use my tablet. The various drugs they fed me for the surgery included an amnestic (which my mom referred to as "amnesiac"); I don't even clearly remember arriving in the operating room. I did have some kind of dream in which I was installing a plugin into Twine and there was some sort of interference from Seija, and then I was in a recovery room with my left elbow in an entirely different pain.

Incidentally, I cannot get over the fact that all the doctors have basically this Star Trek thing they put on your finger to measure pulse and blood oxygen level, and the surgeons even had this thing that beeped like a Star Trek thing when they rolled it over my forehead to take my temperature, but everyone used the same old inflatable straps to check blood pressure.

I am now on a whole bunch of drugs, mostly painkillers which are not 100% effective, plus an anti-nausea pill for the side-effects of one of the painkillers. My bladder and appetite are both a bit messed up, too. I also have an ice pack of uncertain effectiveness for good measure. (One of the doctors in charge of my surgery said that my throat would be scratchy from having a breathing tube shoved down it, and recommended ice cream.). My mom and I briefly went into town today so we could get a few things, for which I had sufficient energy, but I was reduced to a grogy mess shortly after we got back.

While we were there, I stopped at my apartment to get my laundry basket (I had planned on doing laundry on Wenesday night ...) because I'd been wearing the same shirt, shorts, socks, and underwear since Wednesday. I took the opprtunity to set up my desktop computer so that I can remotely log into it from my tablet using TeamViewer. Which isn't perfect; it doesn't recognize right-clicks on my bluetooth mouse, and it doesn't register the scroll wheeel at all, but it's better than nothing, and works considerably better than I expected of Windows 10 (which has even automatically gone into "touchscreen" mode!).1

I am not yet used to missing one arm and half a hand, but unlike my pevious accident, I can still use my hand. I guess I'll be looking for games and activties that only require one hand? It is and will be annoying in a million ways, but oh well, I'll just deal with it, seeing as there literally isn't anything I can do except just deal with it.

1I upgraded to Windows 10, by the way. I bought Start10, because the Windows 10 start menu has a hardcoded maximum of 512 links (not apps, individual links), which has been there since the Windows Technical Preview and which still hasn't been fixed.

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Dizzy H. Muffin

Stayed over at my dad's starting Sunday, and I am now home. Still got the splint on my arm ...