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Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Left Pit: Cockeyed Gratitude

calamaties,  cruising life
Uhhh, that thing's cutting my cast off?  Yup.
This is an ode to those who've broken bones (a new rite of passage for me), or for those curious about how it affects you.  I promise, this my final post on my broken wrist... and yes, it was my dominant hand.  Next post, back to travel adventures!

Funny, the things you learn when a part of your body you normally take for granted demonstrates just how much you rely on it.  My blissful ignorance in this department reminds me of wry joke ... "War is our way of learning geography."  (Cruising, in my unbiased opinion, is a much better way.)

calamaties,  cruising life
Here it goes.

calamaties,  cruising life
Pretty clean line.  No skin cut.  Whew!
calamaties,  cruising life
Then the scissors...

My learnings?
calamaties,  cruising life
Yuck.  Dirty and stinky!  But... Off! Yay!

  • Casts these days, if made of fiberglass (mine was) are not heavy like the old plaster casts
  • I didn't itch, but I did hurt, a lot more than expected
  • Casts stink like old cheese because you can't wash under them
  • It matters less whether it's your dominant hand and more that you don''t have the full use of both hands
  • Particularly tough to do, initially
    • Putting on a bra (mine a back fastened -- then I learned to start the back to the front then slide them around and then slip into the straps)
    • Taking a shower (thanks, Bertie for setting me up with one of those thick plastic cast covers with the broad rubber gasket -- wayyyy better than a dry cleaning or garbage bag) 
      • I was unable for the entire time to wash my left armpit (hence the blog title); Wayne took pity a few times and pitched in and did it for me
    • Opening a can with a can opener
    • Opening jars, though usually I could hold it between my thighs and open it with my unbroken wrist hand
    • Chopping veggies (pre-chopped onions, celery and green pepper had an odd preservative taste)
    • Opening ziplock bags (though I could do it with my teeth filling in for my dominant hand)
    • Writing, especially if filling in little tiny boxes (truly, more a 2-handed operation -- who knew?)
  • For once, was glad our car is an automatic
  • Overall, my cooking suffered
  • Eating with a non-dominant hand isn't hard (tough Wayne graciously cut some of my food for me), but it isn't pretty, either
  • My non-dominant hand became quite capable, given the practice
  • The dremel they use to take a fiberglass cast or splint of is unnerving (the folks using it my did a great job though)
  • Scooters are not ideal for long commutes with lots of busy intersections and bridges (mine's for sale)
calamaties,  cruising life
Not as bad as expected after
2 weeks splint and 6 weeks cast
calamaties,  cruising life
Ugh, lots of gunk and dead skin.
Cleaned up well though.
I really, really miss riding my bicycle - a little less than 4 more weeks and I can ride again
X-rays taking at a hospital are horrifically expensive - still negotiation a $5,100 EMT bill; $2100 was for the x-rays.  I was uninsured when it happened and that caused far more stress than the actual injury.

I celebrated my cast removal by making two unbroken eggs over easy and baking my first from scratch gluten free sandwich bread for Wayne.  The bread, an olive-rosemary recipe from America's Test Kitchen's gluten-free cookbook calls for several minutes using an electric mixer, which I had to mix by hand.  Wayne, aka the bread lover, proclaimed, "It was delicious.  I almost came."

If you've ever broken bones, how did you work around your injuries?

  • calamaties,, cruising life
    At last!  Two eggs, unbroken yolks!
    Location Location
  • We’re temporarily land-bound in Jacksonville, FL. We’re in the throes of planning our next big cruising adventure, to the South Pacific; lots of checklists!   Last weekend we were doing some cleanup and prep work at Green Cove Springs, where our boat is on the hard, for now.  This Galley Wench is looking forward to being able to winch a sail again.