“It’s broken. Oh god, that’s really broken”

There I was, screaming in radiology when the suggestion of “Maybe we should get her some drugs” came up. I wasn’t supposed to be here, dammit. I was supposed to be on my way to Laguna Beach for the weekend. I had packed my things. I had picked out where to have dinner, and hot damn the weather was going to be perfect. I’d walk on the beach in a flowy skirt and sweater after a croissant from my favorite bakery. Well, all of those plans came to a screeching halt about the same time I did.

I’d agreed to go skiing with John, one of my supervising attorneys, that morning. “Just a few laps to start the day. I haven’t even skied yet this year”. There wasn’t a lot of snow yet, so I wasn’t in any huge hurry. But the novelty of skiing in the morning and walking on the beach that night was something I couldn’t resist.

We got about 5 runs in before we decided that responsibilities at the office were calling. “Okay, let’s head down to the car”, said John. We took off for the parking lot. ‘Wow. I missed this.’ I thought as my skis carved into the snow. And without really any warning, there was a tiny snowboarder right in front of me. Not wanting to kill the kid, I turned quickly. There was a bump. Then, I was airborne. Well, shit.

Either I closed my eyes for a little too long, or I blacked out momentarily. John recalls coming around the corner and seeing me on the ground.
“Hey, are you okay?”
“My arm really hurts” I managed to say through the pain. It was pinned under my head. I tried to move it and immediately regretted it. OH GOD! That’s bad. That’s really bad. Something is wrong. Very wrong.

Ski patrol showed up so quickly that I barely remember them not being there. What day is it? What’s your name? Who’s the current president? Sweet. Not concussed. The nice patroller attempted to stabilize my arm with some gause. At some point I must have said that I thought I was going to throw up. He called for oxygen. At this point, I had to laugh a little. It’s not altitude sickness, dude. I live here.

I’m so glad he did. The next patroller to show up on the scene was an old friend. Dave skied up and said “Jenny, what did you do?” with a smile. Oh good, now I can really start crying. For some reason the familiar face gave me enough comfort to stop being so tough. He put oxygen on me anyway, while reassuring me and patting my head. “It’s going to be okay”

If you’ve ever seen someone getting a toboggan ride to the bottom of the hill at a ski resort and thought “That looks like fun” let me reassure you, it’s not. It was by far the most terrifying part of the day.

John drove me to the hospital after calling one of his physician friends. “We’re not taking you to the emergency room” he said
“Then where the hell are we going”
“Family med. Trust me, this is better”
I was still wearing ski boots in the waiting room, holding my arm, crying when they took me back. Getting my jacket off sucked pretty badly.
The doctor looked at my arm. “It’s probably just dislocated. We’ll go x-ray you, confirm that, pop it back in right there, one more x-ray to make sure it’s all set properly and then sign you up for PT. No big deal”
Pretty sure all the blood drained from my face.

The room was so cold. I just remember shivering and waiting for the kind x-ray tech to position me properly. WHOMP. Jesus, that thing was loud. The image started to load on the screen out of my view. I watched the doctors eyes widen. “It’s broken. Oh god, that’s really broken”
I instantly lost it. BROKEN? “Come take a look”
What was supposed to be one bone, was in about 8 pieces. Proximal humorous fracture.
Now for the good news. Everything was in place, so no surgery was needed. So, I got a sling and a bucket of pain pills.
Really, modern medicine? That’s all you’ve got for me?

A week of cookies, Netflix, and waking up screaming if I didn’t take my meds before bed later, I was getting pretty bored. I went back to work and managed fairly well. I went to the gym. The bike wasn’t giving me enough of a workout. The elliptical ( a true favorite of mine) was boring me to tears. Hmmm, screw it. I got onto the treadmill and tightened down my sling. A mile. That’s what I’ll start with. At an easy pace. No incline.

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