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17 October 2010 @ 07:20 pm
Faulty stairs and massive fractures: Part I  
I can't believe I didn't write about this before. I guess it shows how little I actually write in my LJ.

Three months ago, I was walking down the stairs from my room, when I slipped down four steps and shattered my elbow. It was Pizza Night, and I was hungry as hell. I didn't have my money, so I had to go up to my room to get it. However, as I was coming back down, I guess I wasn't paying enough attention. I knew the steps were dangerous and poorly lit, but I had navigated them somewhat successfully many times before, so I wasn't concerned (I had actually slipped down them several times, but never actually injured myself).

So as I reached the invisible mini-step, I slid down at lightening speed, and landed with all of my weight on my left elbow—which happened to have landed on the edge of a stair. The sharp stair edge broke my ulna bone clean in half, and I let out a loud, howl-like moan. Apparently, a woman, K, was walking up the stairs when it happened (I don't remember) and she saw me fall. Two other women, F and J, heard me scream and came down the stairs to try to help me up into J's room. I sat in a chair as K, F, and J tried to figure out what to do.

Besides the pain, the only other feeling I was aware of was an incredibly intense nausea, and I asked for some water. Usually when I hurt myself, the pain loses intensity pretty quickly, so I sat there waiting for it to go away. Of course, this wasn't like stubbing my toe, and the pain did not let up.

I remember that as the pain began, I thought to myself, "Oh god, I hope this ends quickly so I can make my pizza." The whole time, despite the pain I was in, I had my mind fixated on the pizza. It didn't occur to me that I had actually broken a bone.

Once the nausea subsided, J wrapped my arm in a homemade sling made from a scarf. I grabbed some super prescription-level pain killers from my room that I had gotten half a year before, and went downstairs to make my pizza. Everybody in the kitchen asked me what happened. I was probably not looking well, half delirious and completely intent on making and eating pizza. F's partner, E, offered to make my pizza for me. I decided that was a good idea, since I was still in excruciating pain. I lay down on the arm of a couch and shifted positions every few seconds, trying to keep the pain at bay. The pain killers were not kicking in...except for a very potent side effect: nausea.

I wanted to eat before the nausea got worse, so I ended up eating half my pizza before E took me to the hospital. At first, the nurse thought my arm wasn't broken, since I could fully extend it. I was relieved until after my x-ray, when the radiologist said:

"It's really bad. I think you might need surgery."

...All for some goddamned pizza.

The bone was so broken that there was like a centimeter gap between the bone. I had broken the olecranon, the elbow part of the ulna bone. My tricep muscle was pulling the top part of the olecranon away from the bottom half, and I would need tension wires put in to hold the two halves of the bone together.

I am feeling: hungryhungry
Music of My Soul: "Dry Bones"