Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Monday

I know it's already March, but to be fair, February is a short month. On a related note, I like the Gregorian Calendar; it keeps things exciting.

I wish to tell you all the sweet details of what's been happening these past weeks, but my weekend typing proficiency was ruined by snowboarding. Saturday morning, I managed to spin out of control, catch my front edge, and slam down hard right on my left shoulder.
I lay there for a few minutes before my friends caught up to me and sprayed me with snow. I said "Thanks. Hey, can one of you pop my shoulder back in?" but they couldn't. I was able to get up and hold my arm weirdly long enough to ride, accompanied by Jon, to the ski patrol shack, where I learned the French word for "dislocation." They couldn't do much on the hill besides wrap my arm in a makeshift sling and give me a snowmobile ride to the top of the gondola, which would transport me the rest of the way down to where I would be shuttled to the clinic. I was assured that they see this all the time and that common procedure is to give me a hallucinogen and push it back into proper positioning, and then I can go have a glass of wine atop the mountain.
Upon arrival at the clinic, they took some X-Rays in order to determine whether or not to follow that pleasant-sounding treatment plan. What they revealed was unfortunate: the top of my humerus was right where it was supposed to be, but everything still hurt, and my arm was getting heavy.
They ended up not giving me any drugs at all.
The issue I've now encountered is something about which I'd never heard previously: the distal end of my collarbone is supposed to touch the upper winglet of my shoulder blade, but it doesn't anymore. This is because I tore at least a couple of the ligaments that are supposed to manage the tension there. According to Wikipedia, the Acromioclavicular joint contains a meniscus in some individuals but not in others. I assume that it is pulverized if I ever had one there.
They gave me a fancy, elaborate sling that holds my arm snugly to my body and makes me feel like I'm receiving a hug all day, and a prescription for anti-inflammatory pills. In addition to this, I'm trying to eat lots of chocolate in order to get the most antioxidants possible. Overall, I'm feeling alright as long as I take it easy.

This morning, I went to the University hospital in Lausanne that specializes in shoulder and hand surgeries, accompanied by Martina, and we had a consultation with a doctor there. He considers it to be about a third-and-a-half degree Acromioclavicular (which is easier to pronounce in French) dislocation, whereas degree four requires surgery. I have pretty good mobility and relatively little pain for that type and severity of injury, which is good, but I have to go to Egypt for 7 weeks on March 27th, which means I probably want my clavicle secured by then. Tomorrow morning, he is presenting my case and x-rays to the shoulder specialist department head, and I should know by the afternoon if they want to bring me in and operate. Thursday or Friday would be ideal to allow me maximum recovery time before outreach.

All this is to say that I've been typing this whole thing with one hand, and that it's getting tiring. As much as I'm enjoying discovering what isn't as easy without two hands, I look forward to being in full form again, so that I can type more substantial things in fewer hours.

See you next time!