The pain kicked in on the way to the hospital. Don’t touch me, don’t move me, don’t touch me, don’t move me was all I could think… and of course, once I got to the hospital, I had to move from the car, to the wheelchair, to the x-ray table, back to the wheelchair, and finally onto a bed in the emergency room. “Yes, it’s broken,” and “no, we don’t cast it,” they told me. “We send you to a specialist.” I went home in a sling, and a few days later I was in the waiting room of an orthopedic surgeon who looked at all my x-rays and then took more of his own. Apparently the protocol with a broken collar bone is to wait and see if it will heal on its own. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. I was sent home and told to wear my sling except for when I was doing the excruciatingly painful exercises I needed to do in order to keep my shoulder from freezing in place.
I spent the next month sleeping in a recliner chair because I could not lie down flat. I needed help getting dressed because I could not lift my arm over my head or behind me to slide on a shirt. Someone had to slide the sleeve over my left arm and up to my shoulder and then help me find the sleeve for my right arm. I couldn’t fish around for it on my own. That hurt. Everything hurt. I had to wear my husband’s button front shirts. Big and loose was the name of the game. Someone had to help me wash my hair because I couldn’t do it on my own. I couldn’t style my hair either. My husband tried, but he looked like a deer caught in the headlights with the blow dryer and styling brush in his hands. I just didn’t have the heart to put him through it. Consequently, I looked pretty pathetic most days with my too big shirts, elastic waist pants, and flat hair. I couldn’t drive. I was miserable
I visited my horse a lot. Anytime I could get someone to drive me to the barn. I had a lovely young girl riding and showing him in dressage even before the accident. She continued with him as if he were her own, and I am forever grateful to her because he never lacked for exercise or attention. I was also jealous as hell. Imagine that! A 53-year-old woman jealous of a 12-year-old girl. All I could do was give him a carrot. I couldn’t lead him or groom him because if he spooked and pulled on the end of that lead rope, even with my good arm holding it, my healing could have been compromised. So I contented myself with watching someone else with him…and on the days when I felt really sorry for myself and couldn’t bear to see that…I didn’t go.
I returned to my orthopedic surgeon a month after the accident for another x-ray…no change. Ummm, NO CHANGE? How could there be NO CHANGE?