Watch the arm. How do you do?: Watch the arm.

By Spider on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 07:29 pm:

    This Thanksgiving, we went to visit some friends of ours who work at a tribal school on another reservation in the north of the state. On Friday night, after a second holiday feast, they took us rollerskating at their rec center. It was the first time I'd been rollerskating in about 17 years, and, man, I hadn't forgotten a trick. I was doing wide spins and tight spins and sitting down and skating on one leg, and I was inwardly feeling smug for being so much better than my housemates. Finally, something I can beat them at (besides Trivial Pursuit)!

    Then, my fabulous skating friend taught me how to skate backwards by going into a turn and then weaving one foot in and out in order to propel yourself along. This was a little hard for me, and on my third try, I lost my balance and pitched to the side. I put my hand out to break my fall and felt something knock together in my elbow.

    Oh, sick, sick pain. I stood up, pretended I was fine, and continued to skate around, surreptitiously wiggling my arm about and prodding my elbow to see if I broken anything. I could bend it still, and nothing hurt when I touched it -- at first -- but within a few minutes I couldn't fully extend or flex my arm. By bedtime, I could only bend my arm maybe an inch in either direction (from a resting point of 90 degrees), the pain was constant and throbbing, and the swelling had reached my fingers.

    (I didn't say anything to any of my friends because we were on a reservation on the High-line, several hours away from suitable medical care, and I didn't think waiting a few hours until morning would result in irreparable damage if it were a break or a dislocation. The pioneers broke limbs and lived to tell -- forget about "Oregon Trail" for a moment -- and so would I.)

    I stopped at the ER in Billings the next afternoon and learned that nothing was broken but I had probably bruised the heads of my arm bones within the joint. No big deal after all. I didn't need to take the pain medication they prescribed but I wore a sling until yesterday, and now I have recovered nearly the full range of motion.

    (And yet I can't get over the exchange I had with the x-ray technician in the hospital. She was visibly annoyed with me for being unable to straighten my arm when she went to take an x-ray of the elbow. If I were less than unfailingly polite, I would have pointed out that this was the very reason I was in the goddamn hospital, and I was so sorry my injury couldn't accommodate the angle of her equipment. Jerk.)

    My kids have been so solicitous of me -- helping me carry things and offering prayers and invitations to punch anyone who bumps my arm. It warms the heart.

    So that was my weekend excitement. What's new with you all?

By TBone on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 08:49 pm:

    Since you ask, I can't turn my head without neck pain. And even when I don't move, I get annoying twinges.

    I can't explain myself. It's been like this for a few days now, and sort of just developed over the course of a day.

    I've got a lot of neproxen sodium in me, and that seems to help.

    I'm glad your arm is going better. Arm injuries suck. Heal up fast.

By Antigone on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 09:42 pm:

    My girlfriend has neck/muscle pain like that. Head to a doctor. One possibility is that you've got spinal fluid leaking from the top of your spinal cord. Go get yourself an MRI.

By Spider on Thursday, December 1, 2005 - 03:35 pm:

    Or it could be a stiff neck. Still, a trip to the doctor wouldn't be a waste of time.

    In other news, my mother has been diagnosed with breast and uterine cancer. She is going to have a complete hysterectomy tomorrow, so any prayers/good wishes/positive vibes in her direction would be most welcome.

By patrick on Thursday, December 1, 2005 - 07:18 pm:

    fluid leaking....

    reminds me of this joke some hipster comedian made about the goo in our heads. pillows, thats right pillows....that apparently from the stains on pillows, (underneath pillow cases) we all leak brain good from our ears at night.

    you are all free to send me your unused pain meds. thanks.

By droopy on Thursday, December 1, 2005 - 11:15 pm:

    i once had spinal chord fluid leaking out of my ears.

    i think my brain has been leaking out of my ears. it's been a bad couple of dad. yesterday i had to miss my bus home from work because i couldn't find my keys, even though i'd just locked the the shop up with them. i retraced my steps from the shop to the liquor store then to the bus stop. finally found them in my shirt pocket. today i didn't seem to be able to do math, i kept screwing up people's sales tickets. it was horrible.

    positive vibes to spider's mom
    and to spider

By dave. on Friday, December 2, 2005 - 01:32 am:

    best luck to spider's mom

By platypus on Friday, December 2, 2005 - 03:20 am:

    be well, spider's mom. kick that there cancer's ass.

    droop, I think the math is a December thing. I've been having a devil of a time with arithmetic lately.

By TBone on Friday, December 2, 2005 - 04:01 pm:

    Good luck, Spider's mom.

    Leaking spinal fluid is a scary thought. Give me the jibblies.

    I think I will see a doctor about it.

By Spider on Thursday, December 8, 2005 - 06:27 pm:

    TBone, how's the weather been your way?

    Yesterday, it was -22 when I left for school and -1 when we got out early at 2 pm because the heat broke.

    I've found I'm developing a good system for judging temperature, like, "it's cold enough that the inside of my nose is freezing, but not so cold that the skin on my legs is must be around 0." And I'm right.

By Spider on Thursday, December 8, 2005 - 06:27 pm:

    PS. How's your neck?

By Spider on Thursday, December 8, 2005 - 06:29 pm:

    PPS. My mom's surgery was fine, and today she starts chemo, and I'll see her on Saturday. I'm looking forward to getting the chance to spend time with her.

By TBone on Thursday, December 8, 2005 - 07:31 pm:

    It's +1 right now. I had to help a friend get out of his car yesterday morning because the door lock mechanism on his driver side door got stuck, and his other three doors were iced over. I had to scrape the inside and outside of my windshield until I started leaving a window cracked when I park.

    It got down to -16 which is nearly record-breaking for this area. You eastern Montanans get all of the really rediculous cold.

    The one time school was closed due to weather when I was a kid was when it got down to -20 or so with a good stiff wind. It was the wind that really did it, bringing the windchill down to the -40s. That was in Billings.

    My neck has improved. I got muscle relaxants, and my neck is almost all better, but my lower back is a bit achy. My whole back is more poppy and creaky than usual. I think I'm going to take this opportunity to demand a better chair from my employer.

    I'm glad the surgery went well. Chemo is scary. I wish her well.

By wisper on Thursday, December 8, 2005 - 08:22 pm:

    I hope all sorts of happy thoughts for your mom.

    right now it's been jumping around from -14 to a strange week of constant +19.
    It snows every day but rarely keeps on the ground. I still have to scrape off my car every morning though.

By semillama on Friday, December 9, 2005 - 02:47 pm:

    Good thoughts to your mom, Spider.

    We had our first significant snow for Ohio. By significant, I mean that there's about an inch and a half on the ground right now. Feel free to laugh.

    The bad thing about that is that it can really screw up driving anyway, because this part of the state at least doesn't handle snow too well off the main streets.

    I remember having college canceled for -20 wind chills when I was in grad school. I think i went in anyway, being a grad student.

By Spider on Friday, December 9, 2005 - 06:54 pm:

    Thanks for the good wishes. I leave tomorrow morning for Boston.

    Right now it's in the 40s. I fear the melting snow will freeze during the night and make my 5:30 am trip to the airport treacherous.

    Hey, Sem, my roommate's family is from Houghton, MI, and she didn't recognize your last name, but she wants to know if you know anyone with the last names of Stevens or Suo.

By semillama on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 06:44 pm:

    Tell her I know Sue, Ed and Kim Stevens. Suo I don't recognize.

    Ask her if she recognizes the names Pegg, Blanning, Reynolds, Oliver, LaPointe, or Kuure.

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