The story of a broken arm…

OK…I’m going to do my best to keep this typo free – LOL! Easier said than done with one hand!

Here’s the story… One week ago today I went quad riding. Had a blast! We took a long trail up through Roger’s Trough and it was gorgeous. Saw some young deer – only 30 yards away.

Young buck, in velvet, 30 yards
Young buck, in velvet, 30 yards

One guy caught and killed a rattler – we know what he’s having for dinner…

Nice diamondback
Nice diamondback

And I broke my arm. Short version: already tired, on unfamiliar ground, I got going too fast on a slight downhill. I braked…hit loose gravel and slid. I wasn’t able to regain control, and slid right off the edge of a small, steep ravine. The quad took it well… I didn’t.

I’ll spare you the pics of the broken arm… and the colorful bruises… and the swelling.

Luckily I kept my seat and did not go sailing off the bike – even though, by all rights, I should have. The impact snapped my right wrist, and I sat there, more calmly than those around me, saying, “ummm…I broke my wrist.”

We got the quad out of the ravine, and I rode another mile or two – slowly… one handed. My right arm pressed to my body, my left reaching across to handle the throttle. The road got too rough for me to manage, and with another 15 miles to go, we left my quad with some hunters and I clambered onto the back of another for the ride out. Let’s not even discuss how un-fun 15 miles of “off road” terrain is when your broken wrist is wedged between your chest and someone else’s back. Every bump, jiggle and jostle was torture.

The guys have a new level of respect for my “toughness” – since most of them admit they’d never have done what I did; they’d have sat and waited for someone to go fetch a jeep or something. Hell, I just wanted out of there, ASAP, and to the ER before I passed out or puked.

The ER visit was typical – $250 bucks to tell me I had a broken arm, wrap me in a splint and send me home. It seems, ERs don’t set bones any more.

Finding an orthopedic doc who would take my insurance, and who had an appointment open within the next decade, and who was willing to see someone whose fracture would require surgery, was not an easy task – especially coming off a holiday weekend.

Surgery is scheduled for Monday… I get a couple of nice metal plates and some matching screws in my arm… Oh, and from now on, I get to set off metal detectors… tee hee. Meanwhile, I still have a glorified Ace bandage securing those lovely loose bone pieces. Let’s talk pain, hmmm?

Work has been… well… bad. With the pain, fogginess from pain meds and having only one arm – I’m basically unable to do a lot of writing, can’t do it fast enough, etc for their schedule (let’s not discuss how long this has taken…and how much editing…). So, I’m knocked down to half time/half pay until this is over and I have two hands again. I would have been better off if they had just laid me off… As it is, the list of reasons why this sucks is nearly endless.

Then I find out that my insurance is not quite what I thought. My choices were pretty miserable anyway, and I opted for the decent, slightly expensive, but not going to kill me coverage. The kids are on their Dad’s plan, so they weren’t part of my insurance calculations. In essence, I have an 80/20 plan. Which, with my California insurance, meant I paid 20% and I had an annual out of pocket max of $5000, not including copays. Period. Pay 20% of all major medical. Reach $5000 – that’s it. Pay no more. And they bill you for your portion.

This is not California. And this plan is different.

It’s 80/20 alright. Up to the amount of the annual max. If it goes over that amount, you pay the whole annual max amount – in this case, it’s not an annual out of pocket maximum, but a deductible. So, I’ve got $5000 I have to cough up – since payment is due in full, in advance. Here’s the kicker: If this had been less than $5000 total, I would be paying a flat 20%. Since it’s over, I’ve got the whole fucking amount to pony up. What the fuck?

Combine that with lost wages and this is one fucking expensive arm.

If I’m lucky, I’ll have a regular cast, and use of my fingers, a week after surgery. If not… well, I’ll think about that when and if I need to.

As it stands – there will be a week in a surgical splint, then 6 to 8 weeks in a regular cast. That’s if everything goes well. Guess I’ll be hunting in a cast, huh? I am not about to give up a primo deer tag!!! That’s October 31, so… It should be fairly well set by then. LOL

And so… I’m learning that I am, in fact, quite ambidextrous. But there are some things that are very hard to do one handed – at this point, my right is pretty useless – I can’t even use my fingers, or use the arm to hold things. Basically, everything from the elbow down is just a painful thing getting in the way.

Try fastening a bra with one hand. Or putting on jeans… Buttoning anything… Washing your hair… Yeah… The list goes on…

So, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. I’m sure there will be more… And now y a know what’s up with me.