Monday, April 16, 2012

The Elbow

The elbow is a joint roughly in the middle of your arm. The elbow-joint comprises three different articular surfaces that are enveloped by a common synovial membrane. The design of the elbow is critical to ones ability to articulate the arm and some movements of the wrist.

I broke mine early Saturday morning.

There was a tornadic storm approaching and I went into my home office to disconnect my backup drives and take them into the shelter with me. On my way back, I plowed right into a baby gate we put up to limit the nocturnal movements of our dog. My most prominent thought, but certainly not my only thought, on the way down was, "save the drives!"

The drives took an impact, but were thankfully undamaged, and so did I. I distinctly remember face-planting because I felt it and I saw it - there were some sparkles, like lightning, in my vision at the time of impact. Amazingly, the only remnant of that particular blow are some scratches on the right lens of my glasses.

After the falling part was complete, I lay there for a few moments. My wife came out of the bedroom, saw me, and asked if I was alright. My answer came as a groaning, "no."

My left leg lay across the gate where I had hit it. I could feel the burning sensation of the three-inch abrasion on my shin. My kneecap also throbbed slightly with the pain of impact. I lifted my head and removed my bent and scratched glasses. I lifted my left leg and tried to push the gate away with my right leg. It wouldn't budge.

I somehow managed to sit up and was clutching a sore right arm in my left. I extended it tentatively. It felt very stiff but moved without too much additional pain. I wiggled my fingers. Okay there. I flexed my wrist. A little better than the elbow extension but stiff as well. When I tried rotating my wrist was when the sharp, intense pain hit. I exclaimed to my wife, "I think I broke my arm."

The volume of rain and approach of tornado-producing storms prohibited us from going directly to the hospital. We spent at least an hour in the shelter/closet listening to the track of the storm on the radio and watching the radar images on my iPhone. When the rotating portions of the storm had weakened or taken a different track, we got in the car and headed out.

4 x-rays, 2 consults with the doctor, a pain pill and an arm splint later, my knee was just bruised but I had cracked one of the bones in my elbow. It's been an interesting, semi-difficult and loooong 48 hours. It feels like it should be Wednesday or so, not Monday.

More later after my appointment with the orthopedist.

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