Fractured means broken; damaged in a sudden or violent way. That is a perfect description of how I currently feel.
This week I took a tumble. I was standing on the high back of a chair to reach a 7 foot shelf. I lost my balance and fell to the ground from about 4 feet in the air. It was not pretty and I knew I hurt myself the minute it happened. I was trying to do to much and declined an offer of help which led to this fall.
I drove myself to the IBJI immediate care and was told that my wrist was, in fact fractured. The Dr. that diagnosed the injury(a man that appeared older than me) gave me a pity look and said, “accidents happen…especially to older women….” He continued to talk, making me feel like a feeble old lady. He failed to grasp that this could very well have happened to him if he had fallen from the same height. He was in the room for all of 10 minutes and laughed as he left. I was so stunned, and still in shock, that I failed to ask questions. I was fitted for a brace and still had questions. The PT did not feel comfortable answering some of those questions so I had to return to the Drs office to meet with his PA in order to ask vital questions (pain relief, activity level, cautions, follow up, etc).
I went home feeling really depressed and overwhelmed. Well wishes, and offers to help were many. I responded as expected of me….”I am fine.” “It is just a small thing.” “It is a speed bump….a reminder to slow down and ask for help.” “Its ok…just glad it is not worse.” But I was not fine. I am not fine. I am sad. I am angry. I am depressed. I am getting older and that scares the hell out of me.
I am angry that a Dr. minimized my injury and blamed early onset menopause for the fact that I was injured. Why? I am an older woman. Has he seen my other medical charts? Does he know my overall health history and know when I started menopause or did he make an assumption based on face value? What does he know about menopause as a MALE orthopedic Dr.? He did not even ask for details as to how I was injured. He just made assumptions. The way he spoke to me made me feel far less intelligent than I am. That is infuriating!
I arrived home and resumed life as normal, responding to messages and laughing about my fate….all while falling apart inside.
I am being transparent about my struggles not for pity but in the hope that others will do the same. We say to ‘check on our happy friends” and that is hitting home for me in a very real way. I am always the strong one, the one that doesn’t need help, thus vulnerability is not in my wheelhouse. In this moment I am beating myself up for my stupidity and brazen lack of safety. I am mad at myself for not advocating for myself in a better way with medical staff. I am sad that I had to deal with not only this injury for 4 weeks, but the rehab and pain that is sure to follow. I am sad that I have, once again, been confronted with aging and the limitations of my physical body. I am frustrated that I can not do the things I had planned for the remainder of my break, nor in the upcoming weeks and probably have to make other lifestyle changes for a while.
Is this just a speed bump, a reminder to slow down, ask for help and advocate for myself more often? Yes. In my rational mind I know this, however, past trauma and C-PTSD rears its ugly head at any opportunity possible in my life. And these past 2 days have been very difficult. I fight to diminish my anxiety and the negative self talk that fills my head. I struggle to find ways to rest and quiet the negative noise. I am working to find the compassion and understanding for myself that I so often offer others…which it is no easy task. I am really hard on myself every day but in times like this? I go above and beyond!
My motto in running and life is #forwardisapace, thus I take this day, and every day, one step at a time…..even if that is a baby step wrapped in bubble wrap! I have a great therapist who offers practical advice (I just have to implement it!). I have the gift of a few more days of winter break to rest. I have medical insurance. I have people who love me and check on me. I am blessed and never take any of those blessings for granted!
Right now I am be fractured, broken and damaged, but I will make it through today (and every day after that)and call that a win! I might be down right now, but NEVER count me out!
Check on your strong friends.