Regaining Her Right Arm

Today Martine Said Good-Bye to Her Rigid Cast

Today, I took Martine to her orthopedic appointment during a major rainstorm. By the time we left, Martine had replaced the punishing cast that tortured her right arm for the last six weeks with a smaller, more lightweight Ossür Formfit “Wrist Universal” manufactured in, of all places, Iceland.

That means that I am now free to leave Martine at home without worrying that she would be unable to perform some simple everyday task like tying her shoes, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. That also means that I am no longer always on call to help her with those tasks.

Shortly after she broke her wrist late in November, I felt so stressed at having to double my household duties that I underwent an Addisonian Crisis early in December due to the fact that my body no longer produces adrenaline as I lost my pituitary gland years ago due to a tumor. As the month went on, however, I adjusted.

Fortunately, Martine now has the use of her right hand for everything but heavy lifting, at least for the next two weeks. And she could take baths again and wear regular clothes again. Because of the size of the cast on her right arm, she had to wear my shirts and jackets.

Of course, it will be some time before her right arm feels normal. It has been rigidly immobile for the last six weeks, and the fingers of her right hand are still a bit puffy from the pressure of the cast.

No Nurse, He!

I Discover That I Would Not Make a Good Nurse

Last Tuesday, I posted here that Martine broke her wrist in two places. Worse luck, it was her right wrist; and she is right-handed. I suddenly found myself in the position of being on call fifty times a day or more to help dress her, open jars, wash dishes, help with the laundry, and carry out the garbage and recycling, Neither of us has been in a particularly good mood throughout this ordeal, though our eruptions are fortunately short-lived.

Today Martine had her plastered splint removed and replaced with a fiberglass cast. It turned out she replaced one fiercely uncomfortable hard wrap with another. At first, the fiberglass cast was a vast improvement—until it hardened and pinched as bad as the plaster and splint ever did.

Until such time as Martine’s wrist heals, I am the only pair of working hands in this household.

Broken Wrist

Today, Martine slipped on a rug in the bathroom and, grabbing for the wall, broke her right wrist in two places. She was in such excruciating pain that she was not able to communicate with me for upwards of a half hour. As soon as she was able to move, I drove her to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital’s emergency room. It was only by clutching a largish container of blue ice that she was able to endure the agony.

We were in the ICU for over six hours while she was X-Rayed, injected with Lidocaine, and bandaged with a splint (twice, after her thumb became numb the first time). For the whole time that I was waiting next to Martine’s gurney, a homeless woman tried to use me as her private nurse while she loudly threatened to check herself out of the hospital if she didn’t get her oatmeal instanter.

It looks like there will be some changes to my schedule as Martine is unable to wash dishes or wet her bandaged splint. I had been planning to visit my brother in Palm Desert this weekend, but we’ll have to reschedule.

My goal is to see Martine through this difficult period, just as she helped me through two broken shoulders and three cracked ribs. That kind of support is an effective way of showing love.