Monday, January 14, 2013

Broken

On New Year's eve I was snowboarding, when I caught an edge and flipped forward, which caused me to do a few somersaults down the mountain. As soon as I tried to push myself up I knew something was wrong. My left wrist felt really stiff and it hurt to put any weight on it. Luckily John was right behind me when I fell, he asked me if I thought I could make it down the mountain to the medical clinic. Somehow I was able to snowboard down to the clinic.

My wrist getting iced at the Mt. Hood Meadows Clinic
The nurse in the clinic got my gloves and jacket off, and as soon as I saw my black and blue wrist, it really started to hurt. They were able to take x-rays at the clinic, which confirmed I had a fractured wrist. The volunteer doctor at the clinic that day was awesome, his specialties are shoulders and knees, but he told us he practiced at a Sports Medicine clinic at OHSU in Portland and his partner specialized in wrist injuries. He told me that I probably had 2 options: surgery or a cast. Either option meant that my wrist would be in a cast or splint for 6-8 weeks, and he would advise against running. He said a treadmill might be ok after some time. This really was the last thing I wanted to hear, especially since Susan and I had just signed up for the Gorge Waterfall 50k. No, I take that back the last thing I wanted to hear was that we would have to cancel our snowboarding / skiing trip at the end of February to Austria, because I wouldn't be healed. He told me it would be cutting it close.

I spent the rest of New Year's eve at my moms' with friends, Vicodin and wine. Needless to say it wasn't the NYE I had anticipated, but I made the most of it.

I was able to schedule an appointment with the wrist specialist later in the week. I ended up meeting with his physician's assistant who told me I had a Distal Radius Fracture, which would require surgery, Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF). She also told me I probably wouldn't be healed enough for our ski trip. But she did tell me that I could run since I was going to have surgery, but that it would probably hurt and just to make sure I didn't fall and make things worse.

I was so excited that as soon as we got home, I put on my running gear to go out for a test run. I only ran 2 miles, but I was convinced I would be able to go on my long run (15 miles) the next day with Susan. I laid off the pain pills so I would be ready to run the next day, unfortunately this only worked until about 5am, when I just couldn't take the pain anymore and finally gave into the pain pills. 

I woke up 30 minutes after we were suppose to start our run, I was bummed I missed it, but John said he would go hiking with me in Forest Park instead. As we started down the Birch trail, Bob and Jay were heading out, they had run the first half of the run with Susan. They said she had just taken-off down Wildwood. I gave her a call and she said she would turn around and meet me. John was happy to have me ditch him so he could get an earlier start on brewing. I ended up running 8 miles with Susan on icy trails, with very little pain in my arm. 

Ready for a run or hike
My surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, so I was able to get in 2 more runs on Monday and Tuesday.

As Wednesday approached I started to get more freaked out about the surgery, I had never had surgery before and I hadn't even met my surgeon. Googling the surgery it seemed pretty low risk and common, but I was still anxious. I also stumbled upon Amy Reinink's blog, she is a runner who also broke her wrist snowboarding. I can't tell you how nice it was to come across her blog, it helped to lower my anxiety and also answered a lot of my questions about recovery.
 
Wednesday was a long day, I finally got to meet my surgeon and he told me that I would only be in the splint for a little more than a week post surgery and in a wrist guard for 4 weeks after that. He also said I could do limited exercise after I was in the wrist guard. I am sure my definition of limited is different than his.

Ready for surgery

My surgery went fine and I was able to go home the same day. Luckily my left arm was numb from the nerve block, but unfortunately it wore off. I was in more pain on Thursday morning than I had ever experienced before. No one had prepared me for this. By Thursday afternoon the major pain had subsided and I was able to handle the hour car ride to my mom's house. I spent the weekend recovering at my mom's. I couldn't have asked for a better place to recover.

I went to work today for the first time since surgery, my wrist felt fine and I am off the pain meds, but I was really surprised how tired I was. When I got home from work I passed out for almost 2 hours.

I am really trying not to focus on the things I can't do, but instead find things I can do one handed. Since I can type (slowly) one handed, I plan on blogging weekly about my recovery.




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