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Hey folks, long time no chat! I gotta say, blogging isn’t easy with a cast. While I have gotten the hang of typing with both hands (I’m glad Dragon exists comma but by time I have a sentence written out comma I have lost track of what I was trying to say period next line), it’s not as quick, editing photos is near impossible, and creating links literally cramped up my hand when using my laptop trackpad.
I miss writing, be it for the blog, or in my journals. This weekend watching Sunday Morning, they had a piece about the benefits of doodling. I Alison Gary, am a mega doodler. Doodling helps me clear my mind, focus on a presentation, craft a blog post, think of blog posts, and remember facts from a lecture or in a book. I realize the inability to doodle may be contributing to my lack of focus and mild ditziness that is driving me bonkers. I have half-written posts all over the place, in my Notes on my phone, my laptop, my work computer, on a flash drive… but when I go back to them I can’t remember what I was trying to say or else I don’t have the same opinion or voice. The lingerie post I shared Monday? Yeah, I started that post in May.
Friday, I went to the orthopedist knowing there was a chance my cast would come off. My previous appointment was just with the PA since my doctor was out of town and the PA told me the 20th the cast may be removed, and if not, July 7th. I was called back to the examination rooms and a tech told me he was going to help me “be free from prison.” He led me to the cast room and cut off my cast; I couldn’t stop smiling, even through the X-rays. My face hurt, I was so happy. They had a new computer system and a few glitches caused the schedule to be off, they let me know I may have to wait a bit to see the doctor. I sat in the examination room with my naked arm, so excited that I Instagrammed a photo of it, giving the thumbs up. The doctor came in and let me know that though the healing is going well, due to the damage the broken plate caused in my arm and the severity of the situation, I needed to go back into another long arm cast for 4-6 more weeks. Oh well, freedom was awesome while I had it! And really, this is worth it to have a functioning arm for the rest of my life. I again went with a pink cast, though I have a few CastCoverz! Armz! to switch up my look!
This time is so different from the last time. No pain, and no fear. I’m living life as much as I can. Last weekend Emerson had her dance recital and I went to see Kelis at 9:30 with my friend Nicole. This weekend I took Emerson to a birthday party at Pump It Up, and even picked crabs at a neighborhood cookout (not a drop of Old Bay on the cast!)! Karl and I have a Date Night this Wednesday and a couple more concerts on the docket later this summer and the annual Girls Weekend at Rehoboth come August. Sleeping is hard, little of my wardrobe works with the cast; and my hair is a ridiculous mess; but I’m healing correctly and all of this will be a blip in the grand scheme of life.
Speaking of which, after ten weeks so far of cast living I have learned some amazing hacks to be semi-independent and functioning:
- Put a silicone or rubber mat on the floor, a peanut butter or mayo jar on it, and grip the jar with bare feet; now you can open the jar with your non-dominant hand.
- Take one of those rubber bands that comes around broccoli or asparagus; clamp down a hand-crank can opener, put the band around the handles and you can use your cast hand to hold it upright and crank with the left hand and successfully open a can!
- Though I’ve tried all the gadgets out there to protect a cast while showering, none seem to work with a soft fleshy short arm. Reader Amy told me to try Glad Press'n Seal and it is amazing. While I still can’t take a traditional shower or go swimming, this product sticks to the cast, the cloth part of the cast, and even my arm making the whole thing resistant to splashes while I take a bath or fake shower (use a shower head on a hose). I still need someone to wrap my arm for me (Karl is a saint), but it’s far easier than a trash bag and electrical tape!
- Flossing picks. A broken arm isn't an excuse to shirk your dental responsibility!
- I now wear a wide knit headband when I wash my face and put on makeup. I think many people wear some sort of headband or clip to hold back their hair, but it never seemed necessary to me until now where I am constantly getting foundation or facewash in my hair. The wide stretchy band is nice because it covers from the forehead back, not a single bit of hair is exposed, and I can throw it in the wash with my reusable cotton rounds. And to put on one-handed… well it does involve teeth…
- My left hand is getting far more work than ever before, and having acrylic nails has helped greatly. My hand is more like a tool, and I’m not breaking or splitting nails. A coat of gel polish keeps me chip free for weeks.
- Kindle. Even the phone app will do. Impossible to hold a book and flip pages and keep your place without muttering a few swear words; a Kindle will maintain your sanity.
- Surf spray makes unbrushed untamed frizzy hair look more purposeful. Spray hair products are a must, don't try to be a hero and use a mousse or cream, you'll only end up with a gooey mass at the very back of your head that you can't fully reach when bathing.
- If you end up wearing a cast you MUST get a CastCooler. It attaches to the hose on your vacuum and the suction pulls cool drying air into your cast. Great if you do get your cast wet, great when it gets all sweaty from being in plastic while bathing or swimming, and just great when it’s been a hot summer day and you wish you could scratch that darn itch.
- They now have contacts that you can leave in for 30 days and nights. I got a box before my May surgery, and with my allergy eyes I can’t go longer than two weeks with them in, but it’s two sweet weeks of not having to wear glasses sliding down my nose and getting filthy from being pushed up by my awkward left hand. Another situation where I can praise Saint Karl, who pries my eyes open so I can put in the contacts (and I use these tweezers to get the contacts out).
Life may be awkward, but it’s pretty darn wonderful. Emerson is growing like a weed (how can she already be starting kindergarten this fall????), the garden is flourishing (already enjoying spinach and lettuce, the tomato and pepper plants grow a foot every day), Karl is swell (we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary earlier this month!), and I feel pretty darn blessed. I have some phenomenal fashion from brands like Kika, Dobbin Clothing, love,cortnie, Sanuk, and Karen Kane I can’t wait to feature in outfit posts (until then follow me on Instagram for near-daily outfit photos) and look forward to arm freedom and truly getting back to all aspects of this blog. Thanks for being on this journey with me!