Black Ice, 6lb Yorkie, and a Sprained/Fractured Shoulder…


This year has been…remarkable. So much that I haven’t been able to find the words to blog or at times even compose. To bring anyone up to speed, this past year has been a series of health hurdles, starting with second degree burns in January ’11 and ending this past week with a fractured scapula. It would take far longer than I have the energy to type to go into details about the events in between, so in summary: five bouts of strep, the flu, two various infections and a virus. My homeopathic doctor (I believe in a healthy balance between Eastern and Western medicine 🙂 suggested I go back to blogging, so I’m taking her advice and sparing myself having to tell the IceCapades story over and over and over…

The last few New Years I have returned to the US to celebrate with friends, and this year was not supposed to be an exception. I had the past two days planned out, complete with new windshield wipers, a trip to the bank, laundry, dinner with the family and then a run to the border on the 31st only to end the year off in a sassy little Guess dress I bought singing with all those I know and love at Jimmy’s on the James, ringing in the New Year doing what I love the most. That all came to a crashing halt yesterday (literally).

My step mom and I spent the afternoon shopping in the city north of the little cottage town my family lives in. I hadn’t been to the mall up there, and was browsing for boxing week deals (see this blog for what that means if you are American: Boxing Day) which factored into my shoe choice yesterday morning. It’s a constant battle up here between surviving the elements outdoors but being able to discard clothing in the warm indoors of places like malls. So as I stared at my North Face boots (the obvious winter choice) and my Costco UGG knock offs (the more comfortable indoor choice) I opted for comfort as I knew we’d be meandering through the mall for a few hours.

Dropped the ever-loved Tim Hortons coffee to dad (Americans, see here: Tim Hortons), hung out a minute, went through the mall where I got this sweet Guess belt that was regular $59 (ridiculous) for $13 (store mistake!!), a sweet guess necklace and some earrings before my step mom and I decided to take the father figure one more coffee and head home. It is important to know that my father works 15 minutes north of our house and that we decided to bring the little Joey along for the day (For those who don’t know my animal child, see here: Joey). Yeah, yeah, I’m getting to the story!! 🙂

The Weather Yesterday...after a green Christmas!

Sue (step mom) and I decided to skip coffee till we got home, and just picked up one for dad. We were supposed to run in and run out and that phrase was literal as it was nearly -10 Celsius yesterday; colder with windchill! Now, remember my boot debate with myself earlier? Kissed daddy goodbye, tucked Joey into my right arm and started the jog back to the BMW. All I remember was I rounded the corner of the SUV and felt my foot fly out from underneath me. I had enough time between that moment and hitting the ground to think, ‘I have to protect Joey!’ So I brought up my left had to hold him away from the ground and successfully prevented him from injury as I crashed completely perpendicular on the ice-caked cement. I have no clue when I let him go because the fall stunned me. I hadn’t anticipated such a hard landing or the strange pain I felt seconds after hitting the ground. I had heard no breaking sounds, hadn’t hit my head, but there was the strangest sensation in my left arm and the second I stood up it became blinding.

It was a series of “Sue!! Sue!” and then like a five year old little girl I started back to my dad’s store crying “Daddy, help me, help me!” Of course, my poor father was not only working but had no idea what to do to help me. Sue was close to calling an ambulance but we concluded it was either a dislocated, fracture or as my dad said, “you just bruised your shoulder.” Just. If it was “just” a bruise, the trip from my dad’s work, home to drop of the Joey, to the hospital (totaling 45 minutes) involved the biggest tears, revolving shooting pain, and absolutely no comfortable position in the front of the Beamer. I kept apologizing to Sue (because that’s what Canadians do); mostly because I felt badly she had to listen to my whimpering and endure minute after minute of my solid pain, as I fought the urge to repeatedly cry, “hurry up, hurry up, please HURRY UP!” My logical brain was still working, and I knew she had no control over traffic or the speed limit.

She dropped me off an eternity later at the ER in Newmarket and at that point I didn’t care how much the visit was going to cost (thank you US medicine, if I were Canadian this all would have been free!!! – see here: Healthcare) and I walked in and stood in the middle of the room holding my left arm weeping. Canadians are usually nice, but I decided hospital workers see people like me all day long and maybe that’s why the lady at the desk said, “Are you ok?” Through my tears, I muttered, “no, I’m not.” She said, “Well, get a number on the pole behind you and we’ll call you up.” That made me cry even more because I’d already endured nearly an hour of pain and she was extending that. I pulled “67” and the LED sign said they were working with “65,” so I took a seat in the corner of the waiting room away from everyone so as not to bother people with my continual tears.

I sat on the edge, there was no chance of solace without some sort of drug, and cried my little eyes out praying the time would fly. Of course, some guy decided to come and sit two seats next to me on the phone. I sat there and contemplated moving away, but decided he chose to sit there knowing I was some poor inconsolable girl, and just pretended he wasn’t there. So I was surprised when I heard him say to the person on the phone, “Can you hold on a second?” and then lean over to me and say, “Sorry, you seem to be in pain, can I get you anything?” I said, “no, thank you, I just need to see a doctor.” He said, “Okay, let me get you one.” I looked surprised and said, “no, no, I have a number, and I have to wait…” I’m not sure he heard the rest because he went up to registration and seconds later came back with one of the girls who promptly said, “your number is close enough, come with me.”

Canadian Saint Number 1

My step mom finally made it in from parking in Egypt (it seemed) and helped fill in my broken words as I signed away my life, promising to pay whatever astronomical costs I might incur when I walked through the double doors. I must have looked a hot mess, because I was “Fast Tracked” and as soon as the paper work was processed I didn’t have to go back to waiting, but walked straight to the back, and was promptly ushered to Room #9. One of the ER nurses came in and asked what was wrong, and then ushered me off to X-rays. The water works hadn’t stopped yet (hour and a half?) and when I got to the room to wait for x-ray, some sweet guy and his son (who my step mom later found out had been waiting since 10am to be seen for something) gave up his seat so I could sit and sob in a comfy chair instead of on the floor.

Canadian Saint #2

Through my tears, I was well aware that everyone was looking at me, but each shot of pain reminded me I didn’t care.

Then the Eastern European XRay Doctor came out, took one look at my brand new Christmas sweater and said, “we need to X-ray her chest, so you need to figure out a way to get that sweater off or we’re cutting it and her bra off.” I liked my sweater, and this was a good bra!!! So this sweet volunteer (a woman) and my step mom came into the bathroom with me and through searing pain I managed to get half of everything off and told them, “he’s going to have to deal with this, because that’s as good as it’s going to get – I fell on my back not on my chest!!”

I was next, and he called me into this massive room with metal plates everywhere and had me sit for the first round putting my busted shoulder into varying positions that caused some pain but was nothing compared to when he had me stand and put out my arm. The room started to spin, and I told the guy “I’m going to pass out.” He says, “No, you’re fine, I just need one more.” I said, “I’m really not. I’m going to pass out.” So he had me sit down on a chair for a second (obviously frustrated) and said, “stop breathing so much, you’re taking in too much oxygen.” So I tried to slow down my breathing (did he not know I was in pain!?!) and we kept going. One more turned into 10 more and once he had me laying on the metal table, I could hear “fracture” and “Scapula” in the other room as they looked at the images. I think that’s the worst, when the technicians know information but “you have to wait to talk to the doctor.” I wanted to know what he was seeing!!!

Since I nearly passed out, I was escorted back to Room 9 in a wheelchair, apologizing to everyone I rolled by for getting in their way (I AM Canadian :). Sat on the bed and had a nurse come in with two huge pills that she said will “take away the pain,” and then said I need to pull my pants down as she held up a massive needle, “this is going to help with inflammation.” I hate needles. HATE them. Pass out status with needles alone…and here she was trying to shoot me in the rear? Isn’t that what they do with babies??

Trauma over, the doctor came in and said, “I can’t see anything right now, so it’s just a sprain. Here is a prescription for Oxycontin, and you’ll be good in about 2-3 weeks.” A SPRAIN?? I’m telling you right now, that I do not remember a sprain hurting that bad. I sprained my ankle in high school playing volleyball and finished out the game. I had a second degree burn and the flu and still performed a full show at Jimmys (See Here: Burn). But THIS had me balling like a baby for nearly two hours straight? The phone call I got today made a little more sense when the nurse called and said upon closer inspection, “it appears as though you have a minimal fracture on your scapula that will take 2-6 weeks to heal” and will include some beautiful bruising.”

So there you have it. That is how I ended up staying in Canada for New Years and how I ended 2011. Here is my forecast for 2012: Completely restored health and loads of wonderful eventful stories to blog about!!

That’s right…I’m back!!! 🙂 🙂 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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