06 February 2013 by Rachel Andrew
Sixteen days after my accident and surgery and the cast is off my arm.
After a week where I discovered I am allergic to the glue of surgical dressings and yet another antibiotic (yes, I am an itchy mess!) I had an appointment at the fracture clinic to see my surgeon. He then sent me to get the cast removed and then on to x-ray. Trying to get my arm into the positions required was the most painful thing I have done since the Sunday that I broke it. Feeling somewhat battered I returned to the surgeon where I was shown these more detailed x-rays, all the screws, where they had to saw through my bone, and the bit that was too much like broken eggshell to be able to screw together.
I’m not sure how much this guided tour was to hammer home exactly how much damage there was, given that I was the crazy lady brought in due to running on the snow, however it has left me a bit nervous of my newly freed arm.
I did ask when I would be able to run again, and was told at least six months. This is purely due to the danger of falling on it again. Cycling is also off the menu, although a spin bike in the gym is fine. For the foreseeable future I’ll need to walk for my fresh air fix and use the gym for cardio. That timeframe is based on the amount of time it takes for the bones to knit together, so not something I can really ignore. I’ve been cheerfully ignoring medical advice for years where my knees are concerned. This is different. I am fully aware of how close I came to losing use of my right hand even for regular day to day stuff, never mind fitness. I still don’t know how good the end result will be. If it takes six months to a year but then I can get back to doing most things, that’s ok. There is still hope I can be back in marathon training for the 2014 London Marathon!
At the moment the aim is to give the soft tissue around my elbow time to heal. I need to keep it in the sling and can do small movements within the range of motion that doesn’t hurt or feel difficult to move. Currently that is a range of motion of about thirty degrees. I am glad it isn’t completely locked solid. The elbow itself doesn’t hurt at all, any discomfort seems to be from the tendons down my forearm, which complain if I try and turn my hand.
I have ordered a very serious looking elbow brace which I hope will allow me to do more things without any risk of jarring my healing elbow. I have been doing lots of walking – including a lovely walk with the walkers group at my running club on Sunday. I’m hoping to return to the gym next week and see what is possible that doesn’t involve my arm or any risk of taking another tumble!