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Trail tumble: No wrist for the wicked
I'm sSitting here in an arm sling, typing with one hand. At least, I have a good story. I didn’t just fall down for no reason. (Hey, it happens a lot. Ask any MSer. Been there plenty.)
I tumbled down a steep hill during a weekend trail race. Actually, it was a hill that dropped into a riverbank. And, truth be told, I was hiking, rather than running, this time.
A new running friend and I had just come from another mid-race mishap, in which she helped carry an injured runner to rescue. Here’s that story: 3 women carry injured runner from trail course.
We were making our way back to the start/finish spot when my own accident happened.
I am pretty sure I landed full weight on one wrist. I even heard it crunch. As soon as I stood up, with the assistance of a trail buddy, who grabbed my un-sore arm, I knew something wasn’t right. I grabbed my Fitbit activity tracker with my teeth to remove it from my now-throbbing wrist and yanked my ring off that hand.
Factor in the MS queasies, the “I know I hurt something” shakes, and the nearly-ever-present MS vertigo, and it became a weird walk back from that spot. Plus, I was holding the sore arm up over my head, as it was already swelling.
The friendly race concessions volunteers were kind enough to give me a plastic baggie, which I filled with ice from one of their coolers. I climbed in my car and headed for the ER, driving with my left arm propped up against the car window and praying for no traffic stops.
At the hospital, the front desk attendant looked up from his medical school textbook (I kid you not.) and noticed my pinned-on race bib and my left hand clutched across me towards my right shoulder.
“Having chest pains after a race?” he asked. Seriously? I thought. On my right side?
“Nope. It’s my wrist,” I said. By now, the thing was quite swollen.
Sitting in the waiting room, I was attacked by a killer hot flash and nearly broke my front teeth, just trying to wriggle out of my pullover compression jacket without using my hurt wing. (MSers: Feel free to chime in here about the sorts of things that can happen to us when we overheat.) A kind stranger lady stepped in to rescue me from the errant garment by holding and gently pulling the sleeve on my good arm till I freed it and coaxing the thing over my head.
It’s a fair bet she’s somebody’s mom.
Whew! That was better.
Once I was inside the ER unit, the staff sent me straight for x-rays, which revealed a broken wrist. Now I have a clunky cast. So much for wearing those festive long-sleeved holiday clothes.
I’m not exactly old-hand at doing life one-handed. At least, I didn’t hurt my writing hand. But did you ever try putting on socks (or other stuff), opening water bottles, buttoning shirts, combing out long hair, or typing with one hand? One might say just about every daily task takes some extra elbow grease when one arm is tied … well, you get the picture.
Seeing the ortho in a bit for follow-up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the doc won’t suggest surgery.
And, right about now, I wanna thank the person who invented holiday gift bags.
Public domain artwork