Sunday, March 22, 2009

Purple Haze

I've spent the last week in a haze of pain and pain meds, living in 3-hour increments on a 24-hour schedule. My left arm is in a sling and strapped tightly to my body, I feel like a half a swaddled infant. Doing even the most insignificant, mundane things takes time, perserverance and assistance. I am grateful that I broke my left shoulder -- had it been my right I would be a complete invalid. I can work a mouse and type with my right index finger, so working on the computer is possible, albeit at a much slower pace than I'm used to. My orthopedist said it was a bad break and a good one: bad in that there are multiple cracks running all the way through the base of the humeral head bone, but good in that the ball is still perfectly aligned with the rest of the bone, so surgery will not be required. My arm will be immobilized for another two weeks minimum, at which time new x-rays will be taken and a recovery plan will be put in place.

Given the fact that I was in the middle of a transition plan after being laid off when I was injured and it became clear that I could no longer work, in order to preserve as much accrued vacation time as possible I have decided to apply for state disability. Dealing with both of these issues simultaneously has been incredibly stressful, and seeing the true colors of people I liked and trusted in my professional life has been demoralizing, frustrating and terribly disappointing. Never again will I consider a boss a friend, a lesson you would have thought a professional woman in her mid-40's would have learned long ago.

Emotionally I feel quite broken as well, splintered and cracked. I realize that when you add narcotics, pain, sleep deprivation, financial stress, and loss of mobility and independence together you get a potent toxic brew, and I've been trying to rest and relax as much as I can.

I'm scared of Tucker, our extremely exuberant Golden; he's completely oblivious to the sling and the change in my actions and demeanor. It would be very easy to get bumped by him or lose my balance as he raced past me. Bailey, on the other hand, has become my protector and almost constant companion, my therapy dog has put his work vest back on. D has been incredibly patient and caring, taking care of my every need. I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through the last week without him. Thank goodness his temporary job doesn't start for another week, perhaps the one lucky break in all this mess.

We stopped by the barn to see Miss on the way home from the orthopedist. I breathed in the sweet earthy smell of the place and felt my shoulders relax...but as I approached her stall I instinctively covered my left arm with my right and realized with great sadness that I was afraid of her too. She isn't one of those horses that will stand quietly while you pet her, she is always pushing her nose into you, sniffing for treats and moving around. I fed her a few cookies and got in a few satisfying moments of contact with her warm silky coat, but then I had to step away. Her big sister Somerset is one of those gentle pettable horses and I was able to stand next to her for a few minutes stroking her soft nose and under her forelock, even resting my forehead against her neck.

I have two solid job leads and I'm hopeful I will have phone interviews this week. I'm concerned that the visual first impression of the sling and the reality that I wouldn't be able to start work for another 4 to 5 weeks will cost me an opportunity. In any other job market I would feel confident that an employer that wanted the best candidate would be willing to wait but these are not normal times. That's yet another way that I feel helpless, but all I can do is my best and that includes working at keeping as positive an attitude as I can. My friends and family are rallying around me -- my mother even called outside of the obligatory birthday and Christmas telephone conversation schedule after my sister told her what happened -- and I know this will be over with before I know it. A blink of an eye in the grand scheme of time. A mandatory rest stop on my own amazing race. In the meantime, drop me a note if you can, and I don't care if that's a shameless call for comments.


  1. Ouch indeed. You're in my thoughts, Donna.

  2. Poor you!

    I hope the drugs are good.

  3. I know that all the cliches in the world seem just like that - mindless cliches, however I absolutely believe that everything that happens in our lives - good and bad, happen for a reason. When this is past and you look back, you will probably see that this was a blessing in disguise. Trust in the Father to take care of you and He will. In the meantime, try to relax and find some enjoyment to do some of the quieter things in life that you might enjoy and otherwise not have the time for. I always say that working is okay, but it interferes in my personal life terribly. is true. Enjoy your newfound freedom and those drugs. :)

  4. Now, that looks like it really hurts!
    I hope you can find some quiet, peaceful times to help you through this rough bump in the road that life sends. I'm sending you good thoughts and good wishes.