posts tagged with the keyword ‘accident’


Treeward Bound

I had my last doctor visit for my elbow dislocation follow-up recently. I had stopped going to occupational therapy before that because I can’t afford it. Luckily the doctor says it’s looking good, and should heal up well, and I should get back my full range of motion eventually. (I’ve been trying to do my own therapy, but I skip the exercises too much.) The doctor did warn me to still take it somewhat easy and avoid any Winter sports like sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating… anything where I could fall and smack my elbow, or get it pulled back and hyper extended. Sucks! And seriously, he couldn’t add shoveling to that list?

So in case you are keeping track, I got injured on August 23rd, 2008 (and again 4 days after that) and then got a crazy splint and then got that off and now I’m on the road to recovery. But the road is long, and the climb will be steep…. but we will never surrender, even in the face of Armageddon!


It’s off… The progress splint I was using to help my dislocated elbow heal has been removed, and I am now free of all splints, slings, and other such contraptions. But I’m not healed…

Right now I cannot straighten my left arm. It gets to about 35 degrees and just stops. It’s too painful to move it anymore than that. I’ll be starting therapy in a week and a half (that too is worrisome, as I would have liked to have started right away, but some miscommunication slowed down that process.)

I’m also supposed to “take it easy” which is something I have a hard time doing. I’m pretty conscious of my arm, and if I try to extend it too much I get a (slightly) painful reminder that I can’t. You’d be amazed how many times I look at something that used to be within my reach, and then reach for it, and realized I can’t quite get it. It’s this sort of disappointment/failure thing, and it’s a bit depressing.

Of course the most painful part of all of this just started. I got the first (of many) medical bills from this injury. Ouch… I’ll probably be paying this one off for some time… hopefully my arm will fully heal before the bill is fully paid off. Who knows? Maybe we’ll soon see a change in the U.S. and we’ll get a president who cares enough about people who cannot afford good health insurance and does something about it.


Range-of-motion elbow splint I’ve got a new splint. This one limits the range of motion of my arm. I can bend my elbow all the way up, well, as far as it can go right now, but I can’t completely straighten it. This is to prevent it from coming out of joint again, as the ligaments still need to tighten up.

I’ll have this for at least two weeks, and need to work at keeping my arm moving, as it’s pretty stiff from being stuck at 90 degrees for the last two weeks. We’re still not sure if I will get my full range-of-motion back, but I’m hopeful. This is the first “real” injury I’ve ever had, besides breaking the tip of my pinky finger twenty years ago, and various sprains throughout the years. It’s not fun.

Update: Two weeks turned into three…


It’s been a week, and oh what a week it’s been, since I first dislocated my left elbow.

Sunday I got a bit of rest, but Monday was back to work, though I took it fairly easy and just typed with one hand. Tuesday it was off to the orthopedic doctor, who removed the split, explaining that it would just make my arm stiffen up. He said to use the sling, and showed me some exercises for my arm. All seemed well, and Wednesday I headed to work with just the sling, and the ability to move my arm. I still took it easy, I was able to type, but didn’t want to do much else.

Wednesday turned bad quickly. I was going to the bathroom and just sort of twisted my arm a bit and POP! my elbow came out. I shouted an expletive and walked slowly into the office sort of yelling/swearing and then co-worker Eric drove me to urgent care to see the same Doctor that removed my splint less than 24 hours earlier.

So they gave me a shot, and popped it back into place. I also got some x-rays to make sure it was all good. I then went back to work, got my car, drove home, and rested for a few hours before my next appointment to have a splint made.

I got a splint to keep my arm at 90 degrees, and need to keep it in the sling. It’ll be like this for another week. They will then adjust the splint to an angle greater than 90 degrees. It’s extremely annoying. It’s hard to shower, and hard to go to the bathroom, and hard to put pants on… an all around pain.

Right now I’m just really hoping I can heal quickly and get my full range of motion back…


Ok, well, I’m typing this with one hand, cuz my left arm is in a splint and pretty much useless. I was painting a wall at Bucketworks, when the ladder slipped and I got to ride it down to the concrete floor. I think I minimized the impact, but I hit the floor pretty hard. I think I stood up, or someone helped me up, and I noticed my arm was all going the wrong way at the elbow. Also, I couldn’t move it, and it hurt. I also asked James to take my shoe and sock off, cuz my big toe hurt like hell. It was all pointed up the wrong way.

James took me to urgent care, and the doctor there snapped my toe back in place after numbing it up, but they couldn’t fix my arm there. Oh yeah, also got a bunch of x-rays done before all of that, so they could see what the damage was… luckily nothing was broken.

Dana and the kids joined me at urgent care, and took me to the hospital where they could fix my elbow. But wait… yes wait. While “sitting in the waiting room” is great lyric from a Fugazi song, doing it for hours sucks. My mom and brother showed up as well, since Dana had to get Maddy to a party. Now, I didn’t want to be the jerk who keeps asking the front desk when it’s my turn, but after like 3+ hours of waiting, we asked, and they seemed surprised we had not been taken, and I went in right away.

Marty the nurse stuck a lot of needles in my right arm, which sucks cuz all my good veins are in my left arm. After the “conscious sedation” had effect, Marty and the doctor wiggled and snapped my elbow back in place. We hoped. It was off to x-ray to make sure… and yeah, it was all good. I do remember grunting and swearing a lot while they reset the elbow…


One of the funnier things that happened was when Marty the nursed asked if I could get my shirt off, or if it needed to be cut off. I was totally against that idea, cuz I was wearing my BarCampMilwaukee shirt, and even though it had paint, and floor glue, and sweat, and dirt on it, I just couldn’t see it being destroyed by a pair of scissors.

So… now I need to figure out how to “take it easy” but also move an entire office, configure a server and other systems, tell someone how to silk screen shirts, prep for BarCampMilwaukee3, and a few other things I probably shouldn’t do… all with one working arm. Whew….

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