Unable to do much since nothing’s open and my arm still needs a lot of babysitting, I’m working on several projects including finishing two books. The following is a chapter in my nonfiction book that’s nearly finished and titled, Road Noise. It’s about the three-month road trip I took years ago with my son who was 11 years old at the time. I’m on the second edit but my goal is to finish it this month. The following excerpt is from the second chapter – our first night at the Redwood Hostel near the border of California and Oregon. ∞ Our private room overlooked a quiet deck and lush natural gardens. At least, that’s what the cheaply photocopied black and white flier said. I pulled back the dusty curtain—a sheet hung on a metal rod. There could have been lush natural gardens, but it was too
At noon Monday (two days ago) I walked to my car and broke down in tears. I just had physical therapy and my therapist flexed and extended my arm harder than ever before. I left unable to move my arm. At home I laid down and propped my arm on a pillow with an ice pack and told myself it was just muscle strain. I’ve been told repeatedly that physical therapy was supposed to hurt. But this pain seemed over the top, far beyond muscle strain. I was in pain and terrified that something had gone very wrong. Perhaps he had broken my humerus while leaning on it or the metal in my arm had shifted or come apart or that the many bones (comminuted fracture of the olecranon and monteggia fracture) had come apart. I lay with an ice pack most of the afternoon in
I am 9 weeks postop and according to my doctor things are healing… but, my arm will never be the same and I begin to wonder about all the things I won’t be able to do without a fully functioning elbow. I wasn’t thinking about that much until my ortho doctor told me last week that she would not trade arms with me for any amount of money. That did not leave me comforted but I do appreciate the reality. Since I’m not so young anymore there are things that won’t matter as much yet it bothers me that I am damaged – physically altered – permanently. I’ll have to think of a new way to put on contact lenses, an activity that used to require two hands to my face. I won’t be kayaking because paddling with one arm is, well, going in a circle.
What I’m watching while babysitting my shattered elbow… As we know there’s a lot of crap on TV that you have to wade through to get to a few good shows. I stream because I cannot take commercials, so that means Netflix and Amazon Prime with Starz and HBO. I also subscribe to Masterclass and a Spanish learning app in an attempt to absorb something more constructive. I like sci-fi and fantasy so The Travelers and The Expanse are good. I’m trying to get a handle on Umbrella Academy but struggling with how this trainwreck of a group is going to save the world. I don’t bother with shows that only have one season so that presents some limitations. Multiple binges: Grimm & Black Sails. I love a good pirate movie and note – there is a lot of running with swords but also some seriously
Yesterday was my first in-person physical therapy appointment. The last two have been online which doesn’t really work at all for physical therapy. I now have a masked but very handsome 27-year-old young man who pulled and pushed on my arm trying to make it bend, but about 12 inches of scar tissue up the back of my arm and a large metal plate is preventing much movement. He worked on the scar rubbing it with some sort of device. Then I worked with some putty and marbles to try to get my hand working. My arm hurts today, and I can’t seem to find a comfortable position for it. I’m supposed to go again tomorrow but I don’t want to because it hurts. I’m almost 8 weeks post-op and my arm is extending about 125 degrees to 80 degrees – not very good. Frustrated and
Living by yourself with broken parts presents a lot of problems. One of the biggest was opening things. I purchased quite a few things on Amazon but this under the cabinet jar opener was the best. Everyone needs one of these even if you don’t have a broken arm. The best part was, I installed it myself with one hand! I discovered with this type of injury that they don’t want you in the splint that long. They want you out and moving the arm as much as possible – slowly of course. So there were things I thought I would need for the long haul – several months for instance – that I only needed for a couple weeks. Things I bought but didn’t need – Several types of arm slings and none of them fit right. Besides, within three weeks post surgery I really
June 20th I shattered my elbow falling off a ladder doing an art project. Staying inside was never much of a problem for me – I always have projects in the works – writing, art, writing and art projects for clients, marketing projects for small business… So I took on a big one I’ve been putting off – a 6 by 6 foot wall hanging – a fabric collage – a personal project made up of old fabric artwork and t-shirt swatches from some of the places I’ve traveled or lived over the years. That is now on hold indefinitely, yet still hanging on the wall stuck with 500 pins. If you’re wondering what it’s like to shatter an elbow, I’m going to document some of it here. Maybe it will be helpful as well as a cautionary tale about ladders.
There was a weight on her head today, and she dropped into her lounge chair to spend the rest of the day watching movies. She starts with a favorite, Out of Africa with Robert Redford. She thinks she is dreaming but it feels real and wakes to see him—yes, Robert Redford is in her house and kneeling in front of her. “She’ll go away,” he says. “What?” “The lioness. She’s just curious. I will protect you.” No, he won’t, she thinks, but she wishes for that hero—not a hero of the world, although that would be even better—just a hero of himself. Yet, there is the surge of passion for this man Denys and in her head, she sees Fitz. He wants to move his things in, but not himself. He loves her the way he loves the land—with hesitation knowing that the ground is always
Excerpt from book 1: The Excalibur Nightclub was contained in a giant Gothic graystone guarded by winged gargoyles over the door. In the basement of the building, reached via a treacherous spiral staircase, there is a hole into the earth. Hidden from club party goers, it sits under a wooden floor and appears to be an old well—but some claim it is a gateway to hell. Long before the space became the Club, before the recording studio, the publishing house, and another celebrity-owned nightclub, it was the home of the Chicago Historical Society built in 1892. That was the beginning of the stories that told of ghosts and demons in and around the property. Unverified claims said that originally a decommissioned slaughterhouse stood on the site and that the well was never meant to be filled with water, but with blood. Fitz laughed, “I already know