Tuesday, January 26, 2016


We had beautiful weather here in NW Tennessee last week: six inches of snow blanketed our little corner of the world in crystalline loveliness. It erased the gullies in the driveway and, with the help of the wind, turned even the junker cars out back into fantastic snow sculptures.

Four days later, the snow has melted away. The house is once again surrounded by dead grass and squelchy mud.

Short-lived magic.

Sunday morning, as I headed out to take care of my one lonely chicken, I skated down the snow-packed back steps in my big rubber boots. Apolo Ohno has mad skating skills. Me? Last time I went skating - oh, 12 or 13 years ago - I came off the ice rink with a broken wrist. This time, I ended up at the bottom of the steps hugging a limp forearm and fairly confident it was a repeat performance.

Steve splinted my arm and asked if I wanted him to take me to the Emergency Room. Since it was Sunday and since I knew the drill (We're just going to splint this for you until the swelling goes down. You'll need to see an orthopedist early this week.), I told him I'd rather wait until Monday and try to get in to see my regular doctor. I piggy-backed ibuprofen and Tylenol, defrosted several bags of frozen peas on my arm, and generally moved very slowly about the house the rest of Sunday.

Yesterday at the doctor's office, Kim (the nurse) told me my blood pressure was a little high. "That may be because you're in pain," she explained. "Pain can elevate blood pressure." Or, I thought to myself, my elevated blood pressure may be because my fearless sixteen-year-old has been driving me around on not-quite-yet-clear roads today, to school and now to my doctor's appointment!

Long story short:  the wrist is not broken, only badly sprained. Hallelujah! I have a sporty stabilizing cuff to wear for a couple of weeks, and am continuing the ice pack/ibuprofen regimen.

I am thankful the wrist is not broken. I am thankful this spiffy support cuff allows me to use my fingers, which means I can work at the keyboard - I have a couple of days of writing to catch up on! And I am thankful for my awesome family.

Helen has taken over meal preparation, laundry and driving duty. Ben has helped with kitchen clean-up, fire tending and Mom maintenance.

Since Ben and I are the early risers in the family, he had Mom duty yesterday morning. He fixed breakfast while I fumbled around in the bathroom attempting to dress myself. I finally emerged from the bathroom, winded and wincing, but fairly decently clothed. As Ben tied my shoes for me yesterday, he teased, "Geeze, Mom, you guys are getting so old...us kids are already having to help you get dressed!"

Things I have discovered are very difficult to do with one hand (and not my dominant hand, at that) that I would really rather not have to ask my 20-year-old son to help with:
  • Toweling off after a shower. Very difficult to do one-handed.
  • Fastening a bra strap. No college-aged son should have to help his tubby middle-aged mother with her undergarments. I eventually managed to take care of this on my own, but it took about fifteen minutes and several failed attempts. I was sweaty and worn out by the time I accomplished the task, and almost in tears due to a mixture of physical pain and fear that I would have to eventually yell for help.
  • Plucking those random chin whiskers that plague us middle-aged women. Blech.
  • Wallering into and fastening a pair of jeans. Difficult job, especially when you haven't toweled off very well. Again, I managed on my own, but it's a miracle I didn't fall and injure my other wrist in the process. It was kind of like squeezing too much sausage into a too small casing, one-handed, while standing on my head.
A few things I greatly appreciate:
  • Ben has a wonderful sense of humor and a do-anything-to-help willingness to serve.
  • Helen can drive on slushy roads just fine and she makes better meatloaf that her mama.
  • The staff at The Doctor's Clinic in Union City are wonderful folks, even under the pressure of a foul-weather-weekend workload.
  • Ibuprofen: good stuff. Finger mobility: awesome.
Now, back to work. I have some serious catching up to do before this ibuprofen wears off...

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