2020 was a year the world will never forget. COVID aside, for me it was a year my celestial family came to the rescue with a blood transfusion from heaven. I'll never forget hearing, "give me your arm." That photo/drawing is what it looked like. Unbelievable I know, but I did not reach this level of connectedness by telling tall tales. It's also not the first time they've stepped in to work on me. I've had work done on eyes on numerous occasions and had something put in mouth to get jaw to pop. Thank God because our so-called health care system neither cares nor cares to learn more. Of all places, Loma Linda was one of the worsts. After waiting 21 hours in ER, they sent me home white knuckling it up the Cajon Pass.
May 17th of 2020 I broke both radius and ulnar in left arm. Both ends near elbow were fractured in a gazillion pieces doctor said, not to mention elbow dislocated and stayed that way for over a year. When I broke wrist in 2015, I fainted so badly I died and was heading towards the light thru what looked like a tunnel. I've been fainting since I was a child. Pain has a way of doing that to me. So when I broke my arm, I didn't just break and dislocate elbow, I hurt the entire arm. It was considered a comminuted fracture. Meaning, caused by the likes of a head on collision from what I've read.
I was outside feeding the chickens when I tripped over a wire roommate left across the entrance. I tripped, flew up then landed with a piece of wire in leg. I had to hank my leg up to get wire out of leg. As I tried making my way back to house I had to keep dropping to the ground, to prevent the blacking out and possibly dying again. This happened six times before I could get an ice pack and call for a ride to ER. While waiting, I looked down at arm and saw hand was turning black. I panicked and stretched arm as best I could. It popped and got the blood going back to my hand. Whew, I survived a possible amputation.
I'm thankful I can think in an emergency. When I broke wrist I was in a big rig. I had to instruct driver on how to put a makeshift brace on. That accident happened at 7am in central California. I did not go to ER till 4pm that day and didn't leave hospital till 1am. Had it been a scratch on his finger, that had gotten immediate attention. I kid you not.
A whole lot happened between the time of injury and leaving the hospital. For starters, doctor came and left my arm hanging. This after telling him I had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He must've gone to take a nap because it ripped my muscles so bad I cried in agony. Two doses of norco, two of morphine, something stronger, then an injection, and I still screamed in pain. Looking back, it was as if I was left to hang on a cross. Crucified. God agrees.
Wrist injury aside, my elbow injury caused entire arm to bruise. Thankfully I had a caregiver at the time, she took me to hospital. One sister came for 5 days then I was on my own. Not so easy since my right shoulder was still recovering from a major open rotator cuff surgery. My arms felt useless but I had no choice but to push on. Caregiver wasn't used to helping me to that extent, so she quit a month later. No ifs, ands, or buts. I was sent me an email one morning saying she was done for personal reasons. WOW! Without being stereotypical, it seems many "religious" people are the worst when it comes to golden rule. This day was also the morning I drove myself to Loma Linda Emergency Department.
Okay, had to give a bit of background. My body was so beat and broken, and three surgeries in December of 2018 didn't help. The (POTS) Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia kicked into high gear, which is what sent me to the hospital. Loma Linda saw my left arm blood pressure read 148 over something, while right was 112/over another number. I was cold, clammy, and in terrible pain. They'd come around asking if I needed pain meds, more than once I said yes. Never got any. Thank goodness I had banana chips and water I nibbled on throughout my twenty-one hour visit there.
So sad that those who got genuine help were those that beat themselves up/lack self-respect and eat themselves into oblivion, or walk in with handcuffs. The kids in handcuffs were given a brown bag lunch. I asked for protein some time around midnight, nothing. I get tremors if I don't get enough protein. One man came in on a stretcher then jumped to his feet in lobby. Another lady like me (normal weight), tho older, had been there before me. They put her on a stretcher and shipped her to a lesser hospital after midnight. WOW!!! I was shocked. One man made a scene so his squeaky wheel got grease. He was moved to a private area with his wife.
So many use the ER instead of their brain. Aside from broken wrist, it had been decades since I had to go and not has a lot changed. I pray I never go back. They cater to those who lack self love. Even my local hospital was a horrible experience. I had to ask tor a wheelchair so I wouldn't faint after fracturing both bones in left arm. For hours I asked for a tetanus shot because my leg was beginning to swell, turn red and get warm. Again, I was able to think in pain. So much more to that bad treatment, including a male nurse popping elbow back out with his horrible wannabe brace. But I won't bore you with details.
Back to POTS. Best way to describe the criticalness of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is to share this link. It is from Zac Efron's show, Down To Earth. There's a woman who was hospitalized for the same exact reason I went to the emergency room. **POTS story starts at 28 minutes. For four months I didn't think I'd wake up in the morning. I would stop breathing. I had to wear tight belt to keep blood pressure up. I wore it during my 21 hours at Loma Linda ER. I thank God for Dr. Gilespie for that tip just days before. For being a teaching facility, they have a LOT to learn. From my blood pressure being different in both arms and my wearing a tight waistband to keep it up. Neither of those raised a red flag.
It was during those months of alone time keeping myself alive that I had another spiritual awakening. It was clear who my friends and family were, which were basically none. I felt like everyone, including Loma Linda left me for dead. On the upside, my voice got louder, and my five year old gloves fell off, never to be worn again.
Sadly, when it comes to my family, only the dead are honored unless you're part of their bully clique. More on that in another post. The sister who came to help was not at all excited, but I so appreciated. When my roommate caregiver came home he had me make her an aquaponics setup before she left for home. This just five days after two major fractures and a dislocation. I sweat in pain, but plugged away. Seems the tougher we are, the more is expected of us. I'm done carrying dead weight. Doing so is partially why my body is so broken and others taking advantage of me.
Back to my health. Turns out I didn't just have POTS, I have autonomic neuropathy, so my blood pressure, temperature and breathing were all effected. Cardiologist originally said I was fine till he saw my arm. I quit the medication he put me on before broken bones, since according to him nothing was wrong other than a life of low blood pressure, his response on me stopping meds? "Fine, then keep smashing your bones." Wait, what? He said I was fine. Again, another story.
POTS is scary, but so is autonomic neuropathy. Those being just two conditions of the many I posted here.
I share all this to show, bright side of Universe has our back. Although, before you get too excited, you God-ahh meet them at least half way. Show them what you're made of sort of thing. Since I am told my purpose is great, they stepped in to keep me alive. WHEW!
My mom had a similar experience. She was severely anemic, but they failed to discover why till she had a heart attack from being low four pints of blood due to being punctured during a colonoscopy. That is the reason I will not get a COVID test via my nose. Our collagen is weak. That being just one risk we take having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Saddest part for me is my left arm now feels like a gimp of an arm. Three opinions, and all said to have an elbow replacement. Day of surgery doctor decided to simply take a piece of bone out. Arm can no longer extend or rotate fully. I cannot push or pull with it, and I've got to be careful playing with my puppy for fear of blowing it out again. No doubt more work needed, but who can I trust? The doctor within knows more these days.
I especially HATE when they pull the age card on me. I'm in my 50's and have taken care of myself darn near my entire life. Had I not, I'd be dead. Prior to all these injuries, nerve damage, surgeries and all, I looked much younger than my age. Using age as an excuse to any ailment needs to stop. I am not a number, so stop treating me like one.
If there's anything to be learned from all this let it be, be your own doctor whenever possible. There are plenty of books, videos and great websites with many ways to help yourself of what ails you. I understand certain injuries are a different story, but a simple cold, flu, headache, etc. are not reason enough to fill the emergency room up. Perhaps a class in Junior High or High School is needed, but First-Aid is something we can all teach ourselves. May all be blessed to learn a thing or two. I mean, wasn't it those (or many) who went to the hospital with COVID the ones who rarely ever made it home? A hospital is the last place we should strive to go.
May common sense fill our planet sooner than later. Till then, may you be well because those of you in your 20's and 30's, I can tell you this. Once aging kicks in, it can happen fast. Prevention is key.