If you’ve ever broken a bone as an adult, you’ll relate with this post. If you’ve ever shattered an elbow and were still left to adult, these life lessons learned while under the elbow will resonate with you. Sit down, grab a coffee, and come feel my pain.
Y’all, the past month (OK, 25 exact excruciating days) has been rough. I’ve been absent from here, I’ve been absent from social media, and honestly, I’ve been pretty absent from life. Why you ask? I’ve been pretty much under the elbow. Most people are occasionally under the weather, they’re gone a few days, they come back. But you see, when you fall “under the elbow”, you’re pretty much down and out for a good long while. Why do I keep saying pretty much? Well it’s either the pain meds or the fact that no matter how broken (literally) I am, I still have to adult. Honestly, I really haven’t felt like adulting, but I’ve pretty much been pulling it off. Anyway…before I get on to the lovely life lessons I’ve learned as a full-time wife, mom, and employee as a one-armed bandit, let me back up and fill you in on what happened in case I haven’t whined it out enough.
We were out in the historic district…nothing happens there. I was on the sidewalk. I was standing. I went to walk. Someone stepped on my flip flop. I started to go down and pulled a rookie move. Hand out, hand grab closest chair, elbow shatters, arm bones break. It’s a thing. Kids, don’t try this at home (or anywhere else). Take my word for it, that bruised knee would not have been catastrophic. Just fall, dammit, just fall!
After a super fun ride in the ambulance, 3,793 x-rays later, it appeared this was not a simple dislocation. Putting it back in place took way too long, and honestly, it looked better before the relocation. But they gave me drugs. Drugs (legal…shut up) give me wings. It was a holiday weekend so I took those drugs and ran with them before they could cage me in until that Tuesday when everyone showed back up. The good news? That super swollen, totally messed up arm, was my right arm. Cool. I’m left handed. This would be simple. I can still play. I can still adult!
Yup. I was handling things well. My arm was literally hanging in a sling, I wasn’t sleeping or eating, but after my orthopedic appointment 5 days after the break, B was able to pick up my BRAND NEW JEEP that I can’t drive for months because it’s a stick. The irony. It’s cute though, right? Sitting in the side yard. Dammit. On to the story. I missed other things. It’s been fun.
Bug’s 9th birthday was on September 14th…10 days after “the fall”…the day they scheduled the dreaded reconstruction (yes, please, put this shit back together). But, birthday. We changed all plans. We stayed home. We smiled. It wasn’t the same, but…family. I grimaced. I smiled. She loved her presents. I love her. I adulted. She humored me.
On September 14th, I was rebuilt. After five hours of surgery, I got a kitchen hinge, a rake, a new half cast, and a sling. All ready to adult again.
I clean what I can, I wash clothes (no folding required), I cook and clean up the kitchen, I work full time at my real job, I get the kids back and forth to school. I cry in between. I don’t eat much because those drugs don’t like food. I don’t sleep much. But dammit, I’m adulting. I have to.
During this journey, I’ve learned some one-armed bandit life lessons I wanted to share with you. This is a temporary situation (40% anyway since that’s the usage I’ll get back in the perfect world) but you need to know. If you ever find yourself one handed, here are some things you need to know.
- I do way more around here than anyone thinks, including myself (this place is a hot, disgusting mess…the toilets, the kitchen, the floors…gross, for real).
- If you go to take a “bath” with one arm, you will cut, scrape, or bruise something. Oh, and you’ll never feel clean. Ever.
- Arm pit waxing. It’s a thing. Use it before it’s almost too late.
- Cutting a frozen pot roast to put in the Crock Pot is way simpler than it seems.
- Cutting a small onion to put in the Crock Pot with said pot roast is way harder than you’d think.
- Writing with your dominant arm is so simple. Until you realize you were holding that paper with your non-dominant arm all along. My handwriting sucks right now. Don’t believe me? Put one arm away and try. Exactly.
- Being “lazy” with folding clothes for a mom compares to no one else’s idea of lazy folding. We can’t even find our bed right now. Actually being a “lazy mom” only makes everyone else around you look lazier, if that’s even possible. Oy!
- I typically load and unload the dishwasher 27 times per month. When I can’t do it, it happens about 10 times per month max and the house smells.
- You really cannot make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with one arm. Try it. I dare you.
- When you’re effed up, you find out who your friends and true supporters (inside and outside of your home) are. I really already knew, but it’s more obvious at the moment than ever before.
And so folks (all 5 of you who are still reading), that’s where I am right now. I’m adulting. I’m coping. I have my surgical follow up today. Good vibes appreciated. This clunky non-cast needs to come off today. I need some normalcy. My family needs some normalcy. I need to clean this place before they let the bugs take us away. I’m ready to be well, to be whole. I’m ready to work at a desk again. I’m ready to sleep and eat. I’m ready for this chapter to be over.
I’ve learned my lesson. I’m tired of being under the elbow.