Monday, December 12, 2011

Do not fall off a ladder

The boys have been asking for us to hang lights on the outside of our house at Christmas ever since we moved into this house 3 years ago and we had a bunch of free lights from my brother (Thanks, Kevin!). So I thought, why not this year! We had been getting the lights ready throughout the day on that Saturday, a week ago, and when we finally had them ready after replacing bulbs and buying one more set, I just wanted to get the lights hung and didn't care that it was snowing and dark. The boys came outside to play in the snow while I hung lights. I warned them to go get dad inside the house if I fell. I was not feeling very confident about my ladder skills. Clue #1. It was snowing and everything was slippery. Clue #2. What are these clues leading to...do not hang lights today.

Bryan had just come outside to help me and I told him, just let me fix this one light. Bryan walked around to the side of the house where the boys were playing. And that is when the big fall happened. I was about half way done and the ladder slipped on the driveway and it went crashing to the ground with me landing on top of it. I cracked a corner piece off the ladder and smashed a few light bulbs in the process. I yelled as soon as I caught my breath after having the wind knocked out of me. I fell on the ladder and gravity hurt me badly.

I felt like everything was broken at that moment and did not want to take a breath. I yelled for what seemed like a minute, probably just a few seconds. I didn't want to stop letting air out of my lungs because I was terrified how much it would hurt to take a breath. The boys and Bryan were very concerned. Jaden later asked twice if I was going to die. We reassured him I would be ok but at that moment I didn't believe it. Bryan helped me get into the house and I almost passed out in the entryway. I laid on the floor to recover my sight and hearing. Then I moved to the couch. There was no comfortable position to lay but I couldn't move. Partially out of fear and partially out of everything hurting. Bryan checked me out and at first he thought nothing was broken. The more I sat, the more I knew something was really wrong with my right arm. I couldn't hardly move it. There was discussion about going to urgent care and Bryan informed me that they wouldn't cast me if it was broken so we should try to wait it out until Monday when I could see an orthopedic doctor who would put on a cast if needed. Later that night he got a sling for my increasingly painful and possibly broken right elbow. Clay asked if I broke my funny bone. I wish I could've laughed but the pain was too much. As time went on, we were both convinced it was broken around my elbow and we planned on seeing an orthopedic doctor on Monday to get an x-ray and potential cast. I was hurting everywhere which made it hard to pin point what was really hurting. My sternum hit the ladder and was in great pain and so were my ribs. We are pretty sure now that I probably broke a rib on my left side because I still have a lot of pain there. I have bruises all over but they took awhile to appear. I have bruises in parts that I didn't know I hit.

On Monday we found out that my arm is not broken. Many prayers of thanksgiving have been said over the last week. I am so glad I can use my arm even though it is only partially working. The doctor told me to quit using the splint then and that I needed to move my painful arm to get it to heal and regain my range of motion. So I have been using my right arm as much as possible but I only have about 90% range of motion and it hurts a lot to move it still. I probably only have about 25% muscle control in my right arm. Everything is painful from pumping soap to putting on my seat belt but I am gritting it out. I want my healthy arm back and the more I use it, the better it will get. I am taking it easy on carrying things. I can't lift any small children or heavy items as the doctor ordered. Lifting could make the damage take longer to heal. Hopefully in 3 weeks time, I will be lifting items again. Bryan is taking on the task of physical therapist now and forcing movement when it doesn't seem possible. I appreciate his help and hope that I get better sooner because of it.

I am still not sleeping well. My ribs are hurting so badly that they wake me up at night repeatedly. I am still taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen throughout the day and night for pain. This is not great timing when I really could use a good night of sleep every night in order to take better care of the 3 challenging kids in my house. Lots of prayers going up for healing, sleep and for little girl tantrums to end in our household. Thanks for your prayers.

1 comment:

Ali said...

Oh, Raquel!!! This sounds awful. I am so sorry. I actually hung the lights on our house this year for the first time and I had a couple of wobbles and it's so scary!! I was going to make this my facebook status: You should not judge your neighbors who leave lights on the house all year long until you have hung them yourself! Mine might be shining away in June! Praying for you!