June 26, 2008


Posted in injury, portland at 6:38 pm by berzerkeleyan

crying kid

I’m not the most prolific blogger out there. If I’m lucky, I find time to list what music I listen to from week to week. But even that meager output will be reduced further. You see, I dislocated and fractured my elbow last week after taking a nasty fall while running. I also took a few stitches above my eye for good measure. Though I have never been known for my grace, this is my first major injury.

It wasn’t a simple dislocation. If that were the case, I’d be looking at four to six weeks of minor misery. Unfortunately, I also broke a bone around the elbow joint (the radial head), and completely tore the ligaments surrounding it. Things were so bad in there that I had surgery yesterday to get everything cleaned out and reset. Recovery will, according to the Orthopedist, be “difficult” — three to four months. But considering how much worse my fall could have been (other broken bones, paralysis, death), and all the modern creature comforts at my disposal, I have no real complaints.

For example, I live in the middle of the city, a prime location for the invalid. I’m mere minutes walking distance from coffee, restaurants, the pharmacy, the hospital, even the Orthopedist. The inability to drive is therefore not a big deal. About the only thing I need a car for is grocery shopping. But Safeway now delivers! All I do is order online, and the next day there are bags of pre-packaged meals at my doorstep. There are a few minor difficulties, mostly from living alone and not having a fleshed out social network. But a broken arm today is very different than having one, say, fifteen years ago.

One final thing to note…from the start, I have been blown away by how great folks have been towards me. The skater dudes who saw my fall and immediately called 911; the EMT crew who doped me up right away and got me to the hospital within five minutes; the ER folks who stitched me up, reset the joint, put me in my first cast, and got me home; the pharmacists who have dutifully filled my Percocet prescriptions with sweet looks of pity; the baristas at the coffee shop who’ve treated me to a cookie here and there; and the random folks who haven’t been afraid to ask what happened to me, eager to know what extreme sport caused my injury, but probably more happy to hear how randomly normal the accident was. I think they’re ultimately relieved that my life’s as ordinary as theirs.

An ordinary life. But I’m grateful.