Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Happened By the Light of the Silvery Moon

I injured myself last week, and I have been using trigger point therapy a lot.  To explain what happened, I am including an excerpt of an email I sent our son, who lives in another part of the country. It will save me having to do so much one-handed typing, which is slow. Plus, it makes me dizzy following my finger all over the board.  The pain meds are helping my pain (thank you!), but they make me a little dizzy.  :) 

This post will establish what happened. I will then write in a following post about how I am using trigger point therapy to help me through this.  

Last Tuesday, I was walking to Young Women in Excellence at the church. Emily and Dad had gone earlier, and I was by myself. I was looking at the beautiful full moon and a bright star. I guess I was not watching where I was going very well because I stepped on the left edge of the sidewalk and half of my foot fell to the grass below, taking the rest of me with it. I was suddenly sitting on the sidewalk, and at first, I was just embarrassed and I looked around, hoping that nobody saw me. The pain soon made itself known, however, and I didn't care if anybody saw me. I waited a minute, trying to get my pain under control, and then tried to get up. I couldn't pick myself up. My left elbow hurt and felt kind of loose, like the joint wouldn't hold if it were to have any weight on it at all. At this point, I hoped that someone would see me because I needed help to get up.

Daniel Lyon was the first to spot me, and he came out to investigate. (I was about 25 feet from the east entrance, and Daniel was in the lobby with some other boys.) When he came out, I said something like, "It's me. I can't get up. Can you go get my husband?" Daniel walked a little closer and appeared to be squinting. He couldn't tell who it was. So, I said something like, "It's Sister Miles. I've fallen and I can't get up. Can you go get my husband for me? He's at Young Women in Excellence." Daniel was about to go in and get help when Brother Erik Dunne walked up, and he said that he would take care of it. He was going to give me a hand up, but when I told him that I couldn't use my left arm, he lifted me up by my armpits from behind. He had me sit on the couch in the lobby and he went to get Dad.

We went to the on-call doctor that evening and they took x-rays and said that nothing was broken. They did say that there was a shadow there though; so to be cautious, they put a splint on me and told me to go to my regular doctor in a week to have them x-ray it again, just in case. I could not extend my left forearm all the way--too much pain--so they had not been able to get a complete picture. 

They also gave me a prescription for Lortab to take if I needed it for pain. I tried to just take ibuprofen at first, but after that first night, I asked Dad  to fill the Lortab prescription. After 3 doses and absolutely no pain relief from the Lortab, I was getting pretty discouraged. The pain was excruciating. I was at a 9 on a 1-10 scale. Finally, at about 2:30 in the morning Wednesday night (Thursday morning), I asked Dad to take me to the emergency room. When I was explaining everything to the dr there, he asked me what effect the Lortab had on me. I told him that it did absolutely nothing. He said something like, "Whoa! What do you mean it did absolutely nothing? Didn't it make you loopy or anything?" I told him that I had felt mildly tired and a little dizzy for about 20 minutes after the second one, but then it went away. He said, "Wait a minute! Do you mean second dose, or second pill?"  I told him that my prescription said to take one pill up to four times daily as needed for pain. He then informed me that 2 pills per dose is the proper prescription for an adult. So, no wonder the Lortab wasn't doing anything. He said, "We've got to get that pain under control!"  (I was certainly okay with that.)

Then he told me that he thought that my arm was almost certainly broken. He said that the "pinched nerve" pain that I described would make sense if the bone was broken at the elbow in the funny bone area. 

He had the nurse bring me 2 percocet (pain meds) and an 800 mg Motrin (equal to four regular ibuprofen). She also gave me some anti-nausea medicine because percocet can make people nauseous. Then they came and got me and did a ct scan on my elbow.

A while later, I started to feel some pain relief. And, believe me, it was relief. I had been tensing my muscles everywhere, bracing against the pain. 

The doctor came in and said, "Yep. Broken. Broken and angulated." 

So, I have to have surgery to fix it. I will go in on Monday (I'll probably be in surgery when you read this). I could use your prayers. 

My pain is much better under control now, more between 1 and 3 mostly--sometimes up to a 5, but that is much better than a 9. 

Here is a picture the ct scan of my elbow. The half-moon piece needs to be reconnected to the end of my humerus (the bone on the right).  They are going screw it back on and hope for the best. They told me that I probably won't have my full range of motion back. 

Mari's elbow.  Just a note to clarify.  The lower bone is not broken.  This is a CT scan and it takes pictures in slices(?).  What we see is parts of two different bones, but they are not injured. The humerus (upper arm bone) is the bone that is injured.  It has the half-moon shaped piece broken off. Click to enlarge.


  1. Cringed again seeing that image. Oh, man. Glad you've managed to get some pain relief.

    I didn't realize you might not get full range of motion back. Here's hoping for the best!