This is not the time to be careless

REQUIRING MEDICAL CARE DURING A PANDEMIC

is not a good idea.

This is a time to be extra-careful, if you’re older, not to fall.

It is a good time to lower your stress and eat right, and possibly not need that trip to a hospital for chest pains.

It is a time to watch your rage (while at the same time creating it – nice quandary), so you don’t, literally, blow a gasket.

It is a good time to think things through and take the safest course, to process the information from the outside world with more care.

You can see where this is going, right?

Yesterday, on my way back from the swimming pool (with its inconvenient limited hours), I was sitting on my walker (because standing and walking hurt), scooting backward as I do, when I needed to push the big metal pushbutton that opens the automatic doors.

I didn’t give it much though, but had to reach slightly behind me, and had to push that button harder than I expected, and something popped – and hurt a lot – on my right upper arm/shoulder/biceps area.

I have injured myself, and I’m irritated at how the stiffness of the button, and the need to get through the door after it swings open, made this go bad. But I’m the one injured, and right now the thought of going to the doctor, and possibly needing some attention, scares me.

So I’ve been babying it, trying not to use my right arm at all.

Nothing appears to be broken or torn

I used ibuprofen, and I sat with the cold-pack for a while.

Nothing is visibly swollen, and this morning it wasn’t actually hurting unless I moved it (not going to do that if I can help it).

And I can type – the important part.

But in ordinary circumstances I’d call the doctor, go see him, maybe get an X-ray, end up in PT, but right now, while we’re waiting for the first big wave of COVID-19 cases to hit the local hospitals, I don’t want to go to a doctor’s office. I don’t want to risk not being able to come back (retirement communities are looking askance at those who go out into the big bad world and then come back). I don’t want to possibly need surgical intervention – not even sure I could get it!

And I don’t want to go to a place where I might pick something up!

I just feel stupid

even though it was probably truly accidental, and I could never have foreseen the combination of circumstances that would result in an injury – from a seated position!

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you might remember that when I dislocated my finger, I pulled it back into position, and iced it myself – because I was hosting a picnic, and knew what going to an ER or Urgent Care facility would do, timewise, and that the best time to fix a problem like that is immediately, before the joint has a chance to swell.

It made sleeping tricky.

I had to ask my husband to load the washing machine for me.

It was very awkward taking a shower – and I had to be very careful – but our pools have chlorine and salt water in them, and I was decidedly not going to bed that way.

And it doesn’t hurt yet today, though I dare not move it much.

My advice?

Don’t be in a hurry. Don’t be upset, as I was, at petty rules not allowing us for the present to take a shower in the dressing room by the pool.

Be more careful out there than you think – this is not the time to require medical attention – if you can avoid it. Stay safe – just in case.


 

23 thoughts on “This is not the time to be careless

  1. marianallen

    I was taking a healthy walk in the woods the other day, caught my foot on a dead branch, and went down flat on my face. Fortunately, I fell onto a thick patch of moss. Didn’t even have any bruising, and only minimally sore the next day. Yay, moss!!! It scared me, though, and I’ve stuck to the house since.

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Don’t stick to the house – but 1) do walk more mindfully, and 2) make sure you have your phone.

      Just be careful.

      My arm IS getting better, with ibuprofen occasionally, gentle stretching and strengthening – and the passage of time.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    2. Lloyd Lofthouse

      Do you have a walking stick? I’ve trekked through a lot of wilderness over the decades and always took a third leg with me, my walking stick, to help me keep balanced. Actually, I have more than one walking stick but I have a favorite I use the most. That stick has saved me from losing my balance and falling many times.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

        Not that I can walk any more – though I hope to in the future – but I have a pair of walking sticks, and used them in Muir Woods (just the paved path) in 2014.

        My PT is working with me – but I should also start taking very short walks in our corridors, carpeted, flat, and deserted, to see if I can improve.

        It sucks to never have energy, but it also takes energy to not be able to walk.

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  2. joey

    That’s rotten. I injured myself shoveling in 2014 and sometimes it acts up like it just happened yesterday. A shoveling injury for me, a push button injury for you. I babied mine and do every time it flares. Shoulder surgeries are … well, I know a lot about them, and I’m not inclined. I sure hope the babysing, the ice, and the NSAID keep it from getting worse before you can get some imaging done.
    As I know people in hospitals and some people who have recently sought care in them, I congratulate you on your abstention. Hospitals are not interested in your patronage at present, and you don’t want to be in the hoopla of contamination. The stories I’ve heard from local hospital staff have been dramatic and I have prayed not to have nightmares about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Erratically, but yes, thank you. I take naps every day, sometimes long ones, so I make up the time.

      Things are changing since I started the low-dose naltrexone – I used to need a nap every 3 hours or so for half an hour; now it seems to be one or two long, hard naps.

      My biggest problem remains getting myself to bed (and sleep) at night. I use ibuprofen with the shoulder if I need it, and a wrist splint. That seems the wrong part to splint, but not bending the wrist seems to reduce the strain on the shoulder a bit. And reminds me something is off when I wake up or turn over.

      Hope you guys are hanging in there – it isn’t easy.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. acflory

        Not getting proper sleep makes everything else in life just so much harder. As for the wrist splint, that could actually be a good sign as it may mean that the damage was ‘just’ muscular or a ligament or something. Of course that kind of damage often takes up to 3 weeks to heal, but at least you won’t have to go out to seek medical help.
        Keep us posted.
        We’re doing fine. Due to being in the high risk group, we started self-isolating close to a month ago. Luckily both the Offspring & I live online a lot anyway. 🙂
        Stay well.

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        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Thanks – it’s getting better already, and I talked to the PT. She said not to reach to the side or up in the future without being really careful, and to dress the affected arm FIRST – which already makes a difference. Since it’s my dominant hand, I was doing things the way I always have, which ends up hurting the dominant arm. So I have changed.

          Stay isolated until they get control of this – and we’ll be okay. My sisters are all isolated in Mexico City – but it’s a very large family, and things haven’t hit hard yet. Fortunately, they are all capable of understanding what’s required to stay safe, especially when governments are not proactive.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. acflory

          That’s excellent news. And yes, unlearning those habitual moves is hard. Seems we’re on automatic a lot more than we think. 🙂

          I’m glad your family is okay, and while texting and emails aren’t as good as face-to-face, they’re better than snail mail! lol

          Stay well. 🙂

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  3. Sharon

    My sympathies on the injury, can you get medical attention to visit you? if something popped are you sure it is not a dislocation? Dislocation can be incredibly painful. I have an unstable shoulder and it popping out at the moment would be a nightmare if I couldn’t reduce it myself. Your post is a very timely warning at the moment, hospitals are the last place any of us need to be at the moment. Good luck and I hope it feels better soon.

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Thaks!

      I’m babying it, and doing okay. Ibuprofen, immobilization at night, ice – and being very careful not to reinjure. VERY gentle stretching.

      I think I’ll be fine. I have a video appointment with my PT tomorrow morning for something else – I will run it past her.

      Right now it’s getting better a bit at a time, especially when I don’t challenge it.

      But it could have been much worse, and I’m not out of the woods yet (but I can still type!).

      It is aggravated (what a pleasure to use that word correctly) by too much mousing, scrolling, and clicking, so I’m learning to do that with my left hand – a useful skill anyway.

      I’m sure it’s not dislocated – I had the finger experience. The shoulder is not ‘popped out.’ I was incredibly lucky – and unlucky to do that to myself.

      Cross your fingers.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Lloyd Lofthouse

      True. My injuries from woodworking projects have been few and far between because I am careful but unexpected accidents still happen. My craft diversion has been woodworking going back to the early 1970s and I have only been to the ER once and that was a couple of years ago when I was in a hurry and didn’t bother to put on my goggles to protect my eyes.

      That one hurt big time, and I eventually ended up having a friend drive me eighty miles one way to the VA hospital in Palo Alto near Stanford. The two doctors in the ER didn’t have the knowledge to deal with the injury so they called in a specialist from Stanford’s medical center (who partners with the VA) and she dealt with the injury efficiently and in short order.

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        1. Lloyd Lofthouse

          The VA is still only serving veterans. But that could change if Trumpty Dumpty activated the VA hospital system to assist in this crisis. The Saturday that I ended up at the VA hospital in Palo Alto, the emergency room was empty. I was seen by more than one nurse and two doctors in minutes, but it took a couple of hours before the Stanford specialist showed up.

          “The Trump Administration Is Leaving the Nation’s Emergency Backup Hospital System on the Sidelines

          “Leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs say they are ready to answer the call to assist HHS or FEMA. But the call has not come.” …

          https://www.propublica.org/article/the-trump-administration-is-leaving-the-nations-emergency-backup-hospital-system-on-the-sidelines

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        2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Veterans are NOT exempt from the coronavirus. And we know he couldn’t plan his way properly out of a playground sand box. And his enablers make it so much worse.

          ‘They are ready to answer the call’ should be replaced by something – ANYTHING – proactive. In these days you can’t wait for leadership from the top!

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        3. Lloyd Lofthouse

          True, but the VA reacted the 2nd week in March. I arrived for my regular Wednesday 9 AM support group and on the way to the proper buildings on the Martinez VA medical campus, I saw a full-sized medical field tent set up in a grassy area near one of the flag poles. Ever entrance had booths with medical personal in masks and some even had goggles on. No test kits but we were questioned before we could enter and then depending on our answers we were given a colored sticker to wear to prove we had been screened.

          I asked what would happen if I had failed the Q&A, and they pointed at that big medical field tent, the kind you see in Mash units in combat zones.

          Before that week was out, we were contacted and told online and by phone that all meetings were canceled and if we wanted to talk to our doctors, do it online first through the VA website.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Lloyd Lofthouse

    Hmm, fuel for thought. I think I’m going to stay away from all my woodworking power tools for a while.

    RE: your shoulder

    Have you ever tried CBD+ cream? I bought a tube at Whole Foods from a brand called “ShiKai and it included menthol and camphor. When I have muscle and/or joint pain, I’ve used it and it seems to work well.

    Here’s a link to similar products through Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Green-Roads-Muscle-Joint-Relief/dp/B082RHJRH9/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=cbd+pain+relief+cream+for+muscles+and+joints&qid=1585677029&s=beauty&sr=1-3-catcorr

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