The Toppie: An Ulnar Fracture Update

Quite a few of you have enquired about The Toppie and his broken arm.  So, instead of repeating the same thing over and over, I thought it best to let you all know the way I did just after it happened.

One thing I can tell you from this experience is that I am grateful I have never broken a bone.  The closest I’ve come is having torn the ligaments in my left ankle some years back.  Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, I tell you.  One minute I was strolling along admiring the Tsitsikamma scenery, the next minute I stepped wrong and bam, swollen blue ankle.  I don’t care who-, or how old you are, unless you have some serious psychological illness, you don’t hurt yourself on purpose or you might suffer from Munchausen Syndrome, but then you’re merely only pretending to be sick.  The bad thing is, an injury like torn ligaments, tendons and broken bones have repercussions for the rest of your life and they get worse as you age.   It’s almost three years down the line and I still have issues when it comes to walking long distances, even more so on uneven ground.

Okay, getting back to The Toppie… the whole ordeal took the obvious physical toll on him, but for the few days he was at home, The Bean and I were very concerned about his mental state too.  He was understandably frustrated because he had to do everything with his left hand, but clearly worried about stuff too.  At one stage I wanted to start calling him Snappy.

He went back to the hospital on December 28th, eleven days after the fall and the temporary cast was removed.  Not all good news, but not morbidly dark report either.  After new x-rays were taken, they showed the bone had moved into the right position and there appeared to be no visible swelling.  The doctor on duty also sent the images to another doctor in a neighbouring town who looked at them too.  Both were satisfied with the progress to date.  The concerning factor was that the open wound on the forearm hadn’t closed entirely and to prevent infection The Toppie was given a course of antibiotics, a petroleum jelly gauze was applied and then he got a proper, hard, plaster cast.  It turned out to be quite a bit heavier than the temporary one and the sling the hospital had given him, did zero to support it.  Uncle Barry lent him a fancy adjustable one, like the one pictured below, which made a mountain of difference, because it reduced a lot of the discomfort.

03s0101-broken-arm-envelope-sling-for-injuries-front

 

He got asked to come into work during his sick leave tenure to help out, driving with one arm, potentially risking not only his own life behind the wheel, but those of other road users too.  Obstinate! He continued to help out, because in our Sleepy Hollow town, December and January are particularly busy months. This resultd in him ending up working for almost two of the three weeks he was booked off.  He said though that the team of ladies he supervises were stellarly helpful, not allowing him to do anything that might result in him causing himself further injury.  It did help a bit to keep his mind occupied at least.

Last weekend when I visited there, he mentioned that his left arm is starting to ache, so much so, that he even started drinking the pain medication again, after having weaned himself off it.  I’m of the personal opinion it is because he has overcompensated with it because he stubbornly hasn’t heeded medical warning, but he swats my words away like an irritating blow fly.

The next appointment is set for February 1st.  The cast is due to be removed during that visit, and new x-rays will be taken and further action, if necessary.  In the meantime, we’re all trying to stay positive and hope for the best.  One thing I will tell you though is every time any one of us has to go down the stairs, the other two parties in the house shout, “Be careful on the stairs!”  Even more so when there’s been a bit of rain because as I mentioned earlier, accidents happen in a split second.

To each one of you reading this, who have sent well wishes and other forms of support, thank you!  It is a comfort to know that there are still some real people out there that do care.

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