Yes, I’m getting old, but I was born to break

Yes, getting old sucks, but some of us were born to break, and I am one of those people. I have a doctor’s note. Even in your 40’s, with a body that is in better shape (and way more active) than some people in their 20’s, bone breaking has nothing to do with age.

Disclosure: Pissy pants post prompted by some haters in my life, most that shouldn’t even matter, but I feel I need to get this off my “old” chest.

We all hate getting old, but let me dispel the rumor. I’m not falling apart because I’m getting “old”. I have a doctor’s note. I’m falling apart, and breaking, because I was born this way, and the breaking started some time around birth, apparently.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fooling myself. I am getting old, but I’m not broken because of that fact. I’m broken in spite of it since I’ve always been “broken”.

I posted the other day about my “new normal” and I got some flack on Facebook. I heard that I’m just “getting old” and “these things happen”. Honestly, I was offended. I wasn’t offended that people said I was “getting old”. I am getting old. I was offended because people made the assumption, and overly judgmental statements, that my condition, my current broken situation, was solely based on the fact that I’m “old”.

Apparently, according to my doctor’s note, I was born broken. I guess I was born old? My bones, my tiny body, are not strong. I have a condition, that I was born with, when I was young.

There’s no name for this “condition” that they can put their finger on yet, but basically, I was born to break. Someone should have noticed years ago, apparently. I was born large, with Erb’s Palsy (because I was a huge baby…HUGE…1o lbs 11.5 oz). I’ve been ridiculously bow legged my whole life. I broke my baby toes while I cheered (or walked into wall jams) so many times that my baby toes now bend completely to the side of my feet with a ridiculousness that’s nothing short of a party trick. I have scoliosis (diagnosed at the “old” age of 12), a muscle disorder in my back (that they found when I was ridiculously old at 18). Broken, since birth.

I demolished my left elbow at the ripe “old” age of 35, it broke like a twig in several places, and I hit menopause at 41, just 4 months after the birth of my son. Let it be noted that I’ve had 4 children, now ages 26 to 7, without any hormone therapy, because “old” people do that. Yes, I might sound snippy here, but I’m tired of the insinuations and I’m ready to set things straight because my new “old” normal has been my normal my whole life, and I never knew it.

My normal is the reason why I never grew “like a regular person” apparently. My normal is why I break. My normal is why I don’t “heal” like everyone else. In fact, my “normal” is why my body actually heals quicker than most.

My body is what my orthopedist and my therapists now call “Mighty Mouse Syndrome”. No, that’s not an official medical term. That’s their term. They can’t explain it. In just 24 hours after my second surgery, while my arm was completely numb, a full block, my elbow healed itself to non-motion before I could get motion back again. Yes, in 24 hours, my body healed itself, protected itself from more pain, at a rate that most bodies, at a young age, would heal in 2-4 weeks. That’s what “old” bodies do, or not.

I have a disorder. I’m not your kind of  “old”. So, before you say my issues are because I’m “old” and I should deal with it because I’m “old” like you, maybe you should try to read, research, and understand, before you make your rash old judgements. You know who you are and thankfully I have WAY more supporters than I do haters, so there’s definitely that!

I am getting old. We all are, in fact. But my body, my 95 pound fit body, is still fighting harder than a 20 year old. My arms might be broken, but it has nothing to do with my age. Proof positive, there are millions of 40+ year olds walking around without broken elbows, all day, every day. Go figure. But not me. I was born this way. I’m an abomination of nature. Yay, me.

I can deal with getting “old”. I can’t deal with uneducated people telling me that I’m broken because I’m old. I can’t deal with uneducated people telling me that I’m not healing because I’m getting old. Take the time to read. Do your research. I’m not “healing” because my “old” body is healing too quickly. It’s fighting my condition. It’s protecting me from pain and further injury.

Thanks for your “advice”. When you get a medical degree, when you understand what’s wrong with me, I’ll be happy to listen to you because I really hope you can fix this “old” body of mine. In the meantime, I’d appreciate if you’d STFU because you have no idea how it feels to hear real professionals tell you that you were born to break.

You might be falling apart because you’re getting old and you don’t work out regularly and take care of yourself. I’m not taking that road. I’m really not that “old”. I was just born broken. I’m dealing with my new normal, my life-long normal that I never knew about. What’s your excuse?

Keep your issues to yourself and don’t read my rants if you want to judge. For real, I don’t need that shit in my life right now. I’m dealing with real issues. Just grow “old” and shut up. Thank you in advance!

#endrant

Don’t Elbow Manipulate Me

Do you like to be manipulated? No one does, but I’m paying to be manipulated on December 22nd. Well, elbow manipulated anyway. Don’t elbow manipulate me, or do, because I need to be fixed. Ever see a manual elbow manipulation?

If you’ve been following along at all, you probably know that I’m quite broken. But the thing is, although I’ve been going on with my life as if I didn’t have all of this hardware in my broken fin, I’m really not getting a whole lot better. In fact, I’ve kind of stopped swimming in a proverbial sense.

And now, in a literal sense in more ways than one, I’m frozen. Progress is no longer a thing. My supronation is at 0º and pronation at about 5. I can bend my elbow at about a 40, straighten at about a 60. And that’s it. Not cool.

I’ve kind of stopped swimming altogether and to be honest, my psyche is beginning to completely drown with my broken fin. Typing is a challenge, photography is a huge challenge, cooking’s a challenge, driving is a challenge, even grocery shopping and putting away said groceries is a challenge. Life…is a challenge and it totally sucks.

I know I don’t have it as bad as many people do, I don’t mean to sound whiny (although I know I totally do). It’s just that I’ve grown tired of this broken fin and I’m ready for it to be healed. It should be healed. A badass reconstructive surgery and three month of intensive physical therapy, it should be healed dammit.

elbow 9 14 15

But alas, all of that hardware in my arm, the necessity for the placement of that hardware, has caused my body and my brain to decide that my arm just shouldn’t heal. That tendon is so tight, it could probably hold a small child as they zip line. I exaggerate not. It’s just…so…frustrating!

On December 9th I headed to my ortho appointment for my 12-week follow up. The physical therapists recommended a brace that would surely begin my transformation into an official robocop, or robomom, or something. Whatever. I was ready for the bad news and hopeful that the ridiculously cumbersome apparatus would let me gain at least a little of that supronation and pronation back. I really need those things…badly.

In a strange turn of events, my ortho looked at me calmly and said, “We need to do a manipulation. We need to knock you out and manually manipulate your arm and elbow. We need to get that thing moving again.”.

Of course we do! But, wait. WHAT does that mean? Knock me out? Manipulate? Like move this broken bitch around, manipulate? And so, the outside voice questions started pouring out of my mouth…

“So, you’re going to put me under and move my arm ridiculously in places it doesn’t move? Is that what you’re saying?”

Yes…

“That’s going to be painful, right?”

Well, you’ll be asleep, but yes, it would hurt like a bitch if you were awake. Like you’d be throwing up, crapping your pants, and passing out if you were awake, but you won’t be.”

“What about when I wake up?”

There will be plenty of narcotics involved. And it’s super important that you’re back in therapy the next day to keep it moving so it doesn’t freeze back up.

“In therapy? The next day?”

Yes, with narcotics. It will be painful for sure, but you’ll be moving again.

“OK, sounds good. But the risks? What are the risks? There’s always a risk.”

About 5% of a re-break. Well…in the perfect world…with someone with strong, adult-sized bones (<~~~none of these apply to my tiny, fragile bones)…it’s about 5%. But we’ll be monitoring that and we’d know right away. It’ll be fine and you’ll be moving again.

“I really do want to move again. It’ll be fine. I’ll be swimming again in no time.”

And so, this manual elbow manipulation was scheduled for the week of Christmas. Joy to the world. I can’t say I’m overly excited, or overly anxious, or overly scared, or overly anything in fact. Possibly overwhelmed, but not overly emotional in general. What will be, will be, and I’m hopeful that I’ll get a good bit of my range of motion back. I’m hopeful that I’ll get my life back!

If you’re curious about the surgery, watch the video below. It’s not in English, Bug and I have no clue why they are laughing, but I’ve probably watched it 100 times because I’m sick like that because I need to feel like I have some sort of control over the situation, at least by being in the know. Shit looks like it’s going to hurt considering I can’t bend it at all, but as they say…No Pain, No Gain! PS – I’m certain my doctor is way better at it than this.

Wish me luck, send sparkles, talk to the man upstairs, or whatever it is you do please and thank you. Here’s hoping I’ll be doing swimmingly in the coming weeks. Hold the narcotics.