I’m usually writing about other people’s stories, but this one is going to be all about me. I managed to get my foot caught in the vacuum cleaner hose a week ago and fell hard into a heavy armoire. Luckily, it wasn’t my head that hit, but I did quite a number on my right shoulder. When I slammed into the armoire I not only dislocated my shoulder, I also fractured the top of my upper arm bone. I had surgery Monday and now have a plate and several screws helping to hold and knit the broken pieces together.
I am home now recuperating with thankfully, minor pain, but my right arm will be in a sling for a while. On the bright side of it being my dominant arm, everything I can accomplish left-handed must surely be good for my brain cells!
I am so fortunate that things aren’t worse and grateful for the great care I got from the Gorham, Maine EMTs who whisked me to the ER, the nurses, CNAs, doctors, PAs, and the surgical team at Maine Medical Center who cared for me, the radiology folks who revealed the damage done, and Starr, the patient transporter who helped me get wherever I needed to go.
My husband Barry couldn’t escort me or hang out with me in the hospital, but he has been a loving and vigilant partner here at home. I’m trying to do as much as I can on my own, but he’s right there to tie my boots, open jars, cook even more meals that usual, wash my hair, and make sure I watch where I’m going.
My family and friends have also been extremely attentive, calling, texting, dropping off books and flowers, and sending me lots of love. I suspect I may even find some Dilly Bars on my porch this week, courtesy of my sister Debi.
My daughter Katharine delivered a bag full of things to nourish my body and my soul, including huge containers of bone broth. Chicken broth for breakfast is now a comforting part of my daily routine.
Every day I get to talk with my daughter Stephanie and my granddaughters. Penny is two and only understood that Nana fell down but she’s getting better, and four-year-old Coraline went much deeper with lots of questions and a bit of role-playing.
I’m not happy with the situation, but it is what it is. I fell because I wasn’t careful and in one of my lowest moments I apologized to my shoulder for the harm I’d done and promised to do whatever I could to help it heal. To that end, I’m trying hard to listen to my body and take appropriate action, especially when it tells me it needs to rest. I’m used to plowing through things and multi-tasking, but apparently, all of my reserves of energy are busy healing my arm, so I’m putting interviews, podcasts, and blog posts on hold for a week or two.
Although my arm is temporarily immobilized, I got the ok to continue with a Zoom yoga class I take every week. I thought for sure they’d say absolutely not, but instead, both the surgeon and the physical therapist said it would do me good — as long as I did nothing at all with my injured arm. I talked it over with my yoga instructor Martha Williams and participated in my first post-injury class yesterday and it was phenomenal. Seriously. My entire body was tingling after. I’m so grateful I thought to ask instead of taking it for granted that I could do no movement for several weeks.
The last thing I want to share is how meditation has helped me from the moment I realized I was badly hurt. I have belonged to a weekly meditation group (again, on Zoom) since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s hosted by the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth and led by Anne Gosling. I used her meditation methods to keep myself calm and centered throughout the entire ordeal — sitting on my floor shaking like a leaf and trying to explain to my husband that I couldn’t move my arm; riding in the ambulance over sometimes bumpy roads when even breathing would make me cry out; as I waited alone and scared in the ER; when I got the diagnosis and learned I needed surgery; and when I was on the operating room table about to be put under. Meditation didn’t take away any pain but it grounded me and kept me calm, and trust me, there were several moments when I felt borderline hysterical.
So, friends, that’s my story. I got hurt and now I’m healing. If any of you have had a similar experience and have any tips or advice to share, please do. And cross your fingers for me that when I go for a followup next week, they tell me it’s ok to get in the shower!
Take care and watch your step.
Healing rest to you, Diane! Glad you’re well taken-care off by your family but also don’t hesitate to reach out to your LARGE community of friends and well-wishers (me, me!) if there’s anything you can think of that would help. Gentle hugs. ~m.
Thanks, Mary. I miss the comraderie of our Wednesday night drawing sessions! I’m taking an experimental drawing class at USM (online) right now that I am enjoying immensely. This week we “draw” with brown packing tape. Should be an interesting challenge with my arm in a sling but I’m game to try!
And that m’lady is why I don’t vacuum. Glad you’re on the road to recovery. Hope you can manage to drink wine left handed.
Vaccinated people can get together says the CDC so it won’t be long til we can all hang out and I’ll give it a try!
Oh no! Poor Diane! Total bummer. I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. I am glad you have a good support system.
I try NOT to multitask and try to pay attention to matters at hand. I miss my yoga – just cannot get “into” zoom classes.
Mike and I are scheduled for our second Covid vaccine April 2. We walk every day (even in -3 degree temps) in our fluorescent vests as long as the roads are clear of snow. We have become more physically active and are much more “fit” in our retirement.
I still ride horseback and we both ski on sunny days.
Mike says hi. We are both wishing you a speedy recovery. Hello to Barry! ❤️
Thanks, Suzanne! You and Mike are an inspiration, for sure. Hi back to him and I will share your message with Barry. He’s at work now, don’t see him ever retiring, at least not full time.
Hoping for a speedy recovery. Look for the rainbow and possibilities.
Oh Diane, I’m so sorry. I am guilty of many of the things you mentioned like plowing through and multi tasking. I promise to learn from your experience, and to be more mindful. Sounds like you have lots of help but you have my number, so please call if anything I can do. Maybe a walk and chat when weather is warmer and you feel better. Sending healing vibes your way. ❤️❤️
So sorry to hear about your fall Dianne. I guess this is a time to take life a little slower and heal. So sorry, shoulders are so painful. You have a great outlook and know you will be in the shower soon. Healing thoughts to you.
Thank you, Marce!
Awww! I’m SO GLAD you’re healing, buddy! I love you, and it was a TOTAL JOY helpin’ u out! Be careful with those household appliances! They’re DANGERous! <3
So sorry to hear Diane, sending healing light and thoughts your way. Your great self care awareness and practices will serve you well, hopefully enabling a smoother and shorter path through this!
Thank you, Elaine!
I fell a couple of years ago on my right hand, elbow and shoulder. I had a ctr and a tennex procedure at the same time last November. I have come along way since then. My suggestion is lots of patience. In time it will be a piece of cake opening jars without help. Speedy recovery! Take care, Beth Beers
Thanks Beth. It’s nice to hear from you and that you’re better. I appreciate your advice very much.
Hoping your recovery is speedy . Enjoy your bit of pampering as well. I remember you painting in Gotham at the Church . Hoping you’ll be getting back to that too soon .
Still painting and drawing. Limited at the moment, can still scribble but no sweeping gestures!
Looks like you did a good job on your shoulder. Love your posts. Rest, and drink broth.
I am a retired nurse and have followed your career since you were a reporter for Channel 6. I have admired your continued work to help others with their health; good, bad, or otherwise.
Last week I had sudden onset of acute lower back pain- the worst pain of my life. I could identify strongly with your pain and fear in the ED waiting for a diagnosis. I don’t have a practice of meditation, other than prayer, I surely called on the strength of the Lord, for 5 days of excruciating pain., Prednisone has given me relief, but I still need an MRI for a definitive diagnosis, and possible surgery.
I will be praying for your continued healing and look forward to the time when you are ready to start your regular newsletter and podcasts.
God bless – Beverly
Thank you, Beverly. I hope everything turns out all right for you. I love your name — my mother’s name. I will be thinking of you.