From the Couch of Alison Gary

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Hi everyone! Greetings from my living room couch, where I’ll be spending my days for a while. Monday I went to the orthopedist and he told me that my radius broke and parts of it chipped off so they were going to do surgery and put in a metal plate to reconnect the bone. While under anesthesia they were going to stress test my wrist and see if they needed to put a pin in it for stability. The office was disorganized, the doctor spent about two minutes with me and was gruff but somehow gave me the feeling that he was very good at what he did and even if he didn’t care about me as a person, he cared enough about his job and reputation to do a stellar job on my arm.

In the doctor’s office I started feeling extremely tired and… fuzzy and realized I hadn’t eaten in many hours. At the hospital on Sunday, a nurse recommended a sushi restaurant that was right down the street from the orthopedist so we headed right over. Man, miso soup is ah-may-zing when you’re starving! I was so proud that I ate sushi with just my left hand, used chopsticks and didn’t spill my meal down my front!

It was hard to sleep Monday night. I had never broken a bone before, no surgeries, the only time I ever was admitted to a hospital was for Emerson’s birth. Also I have to sleep on my back with my arm elevated over my heart and wake up every few hours to take meds. We were back at the hospital 8am for outpatient surgery.

Minor accomplishments keep me positive and make this more like an adventure. Able to legibly print my name on forms, put on my own compression tights and surgery gown, able to unhook my bra. I was strong until they had me in this room of recliners and IVs, all of us in blue shower caps and XL tan grippy socks watching Wendy Williams and Priscilla, my nurse in plum scrubs and cool plum metal glasses and a plum streak in her asymmetrical haircut came to start my IV and I cracked. Priscilla wipes away my tears, I let her know I am NOT crying in pain, my tears are not her fault but I think I’m not a 16-year old, I’m a 39-year old mom and wife who has been lucky so far and needs to get her shit together. So I slow down my breathing, clean my glasses, and get my shit together. They walk me into the operating room and it’s very white, very bright, my doc in the corner on his Blackberry, and giant cross I need to step up and lie on. The anesthesiologist makes a joke about it being a Sealy Posturepedic, I use my work training/voiceover voice and say, “Look how well it cradles the head!” A female voice says, “You should do commercials!” and I wake up in a different room.

Yes metal plate, and I can feel it, a rectangle of hot pain on the underside of my forearm. No pin, but my wrist hurts more than it did the night I fell. A heavy cast up past my elbow an inch from my armpit. They’re trying to find my glasses, tell me I need to breathe more deeply, offer me a little cup of apple juice, Suncup, the same brand I have seen my dad drink. Gosh how many times have I seen him drink it at this hospital, this hospital I despise? Was he ever in this room? When I got my X-rays Sunday I went past where Karl’s dad was when he died, I walked into that ER and remembered when I dragged him in and how he was screaming and everyone ignored him, thinking I was the one with the problem because I was pregnant. How they were idiots with my mom’s ruptured appendix, idiots with Chief, idiots with my dad and now they can’t find my glasses. Then Karl arrives and I get out of my head, he helps me get dressed and gets me the hell out of that hospital.

So since then… all is as well as can be. Filling out forms for short term disability and FMLA. Was on Percocet but it made me itch so they switched me to Vicodin which made me feel disgusting so I’m back to Percocet with a Benadryl chaser. Ibuprofen for inflammation, arm elevated over the heart to reduce swelling, lots and lots of sleeping. A pillow under my head. One along my right side, one on my chest where the cast lies and a quilt rolled up under my knees is how I get at least a few hours of sleep until an alarm goes off and it’s time for my meds.

Tuesday I felt so sad and boo boo kitty. Yesterday I was in a Vicodin haze and hurt a lot. Today… I feel like me. Itchy and achy and tired, overwhelmed by reading too much or watching too much TV, but me. And I feel so much love around me, I tear up just thinking about it. High school boyfriends reaching out on Facebook, neighbors offering to cook or watch Emerson, friends and family sending prayers and positive vibes and my coworkers? They are utterly amazing. Funny emails, flowers, Edible Arranement with a funny personal message, taking over my projects without fuss, and this video ( which I have watched a dozen times and cry each time.

As you can tell from this novel, I have gotten pretty good with typing with my left hand, though it wears me out and is slow going. The computer is more exhausting but I can’t form coherent thoughts on an iPhone. I still have posts queued up (it’s like I knew I’d need a break, I’ve been a writing fiend the past couple weeks) and will try to write another update next week. I miss all of you, and can’t wait to be able to type as fast as I think! Until then, I'm most active on Instagram where typing isn't necessary to share. Oh snap did a link and bolded font with one hand! What an adventure this is!


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