Follow your usual nighttime routine. After everyone is in bed, get a cup of water for your nightstand, turn off all the lights in the house, and make sure the front door is locked. Proceed to the front door in the dark, since you know your way around the house very well, thankyouverymuch.
This is key: Forget that a very large, very heavy box was delivered today, and is likely still sitting in the entryway, a few feet in front of the front door.
Trip over aforementioned very large, very heavy box. Realize that you are unable to get your feet back under you because the box is too big. Insanely clutch that cup of water, because spilling water would be undesireable.
Catch yourself — all your weight, all your momentum — on the front door with your right arm. Attempt to hold yourself up with that arm while gravity insists on pulling you down. Also, drop cup of water as the pain makes you forget everything around you.
There you have it. That’s all it took. I’ll save you some of the gory details, but between the impact and the battle between my arm and gravity, I managed to fracture my elbow (technically a “radial head fracture”), sprain my wrist, and damage all sorts of things in between my wrist and elbow.
It happened in about one second, and has drastically impacted my life over the last three weeks…and for the foreseeable future. I do not recommend following the above steps in your own home. At all!
I am not a screamer. When I get hurt, I’m more the type to grit my teeth and mutter incomprehensible things under my breath. But that night, I yelled. I woke Chad up, I made C.(13) run out of his room to see what in the world was going on. It was out of character for me, but in hindsight, was understandable. My orthopedist has declared my injury “significant,” so some yelling and some tears were certainly justifiable.
Three weeks in, I’m hanging in there. There has been a whole lot of pain and discomfort, and I’ve lost a huge amount of the range of motion in my right arm (can’t straighten it and can barely bend it past 90 degrees). I can do very, very little with my right arm at this point .
And I may or may not need surgery. Elbows are apparently notorious for being difficult. At any point during the healing process, the bone parts could displace, resulting in a need for surgery (essentially replacing the end of the fractured bone with some prosthetic part). At the one-week mark, it had been healing well, but the doctor said that just meant “no surgery…yet.” Today, we’ll take another look.
In the midst of this whole ordeal, there have been some very bright spots. God’s grace is abundant, and I’ll blog more about those bright spots another day.
I will say, though, that I know my injury did not catch God off guard. The day I was born, He knew that at age 38, I’d have a painful encounter with a door, and would struggle with pain, discouragement, and questions, while finding myself thankful for His grace and faithfulness, and the kindness and help of others. I firmly believe that He weaves things together for His glory, and for the good of those who are His. I pray that my eyes and heart would be open to what He has to teach me.