A Special Treat

Such a wonderful treat today — I took a walk!

The past few weeks have been trying — first the fall that shattered my wrist, the hospital stay, surgery, and then the demoralizing discovery that things were worse than expected. The first surgeon told me my elbow was not broken, so I tried to use it as much as I could, which was a mistake. The elbow was in fact shattered, and the movement only served to dislodge the bone fragments, and those fragments in turn severed the ligaments. Because my wrist had been pulverized, I have some heavy piece of equipnent (external fixator) screwed into my bones to keep them in the proper position rather than melding and shrinking my arm. Not only do I still have to contend with that thing for another six weeks, I had additional surgery to replace the shattered elbow and to further repair my wrist.

At the post op visit yesterday, I found out that I would have even less wrist recovery than originally expected, the wrist will be deformed, and in about a year, when all this is healed and I have regained as wide a range of motion as possible, I will need additional surgery. As if that news wasn’t enough to cope with in one day, I had to make the rounds of pharmacies to get the pills I need to keep from screaming in pain. A couple of pharmacies didn’t have the drugs. (Someone said that because they are a controlled substance, the drug companies can only sell so much, and this time of year, the pills are hard to get.) One pharmacy didn’t trust me because they weren’t my usual pharmacy (I don’t normally take medication, so I have no usual pharmacy). And one pharmacy thought I was trying to pull something by submitting a prescription from a different doctor. (How is it my fault that the doctors didn’t want to do the delicate operation and were passing me around like a hot potato?)

But I got the prescription filled, dealt with the not-good prognosis, and survived the self-pitying bout of tears.

This morning I woke with but one wish. To go for a walk. Seems so basic and ordinary, doesn’t it? But with only one hand, it’s hard to put on socks and impossible to tie shoes. And there is a bit of cowardice involved — if one can fall with absolutely no foreshadowing of the traumatic event, it’s hard to trust one’s foot placement. And then, of course, there is the matter of being drugged into a fog.

When the therapist came to check on me, I asked if she’d help me with my shoes and socks. She did. She even walked with me. It wasn’t much of a walk, perhaps a half mile or so, but oh! It felt wonderful. As if I were alive again.

For tonight, I’ve pushed all thoughts of the future from my mind, and am concentrating on that one special joy.

I took a walk today!


(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

23 Responses to “A Special Treat”

  1. Rosie Gibson Says:

    Dearest Pat..may your healing be better than you thought or anyone thought! i.e. doctors! I’ve had a wrist fracture and it healed better than new, I say this as a massage therapist gifted in healing. We have some things in common, mainly the loss of a dear loved one. I read your blogs occasionally but this afternoon, due to snow and icy conditions i’m researching ways to have my book edited. Rather than go into much detail here, could you contact me (if you are interested in editing or even reviewing my true life story?) I’m at the point of needing direction. I like your stories and blogs :)) Can you help?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I hope you’re right, and the healing will be better than expected, but this wasn’t just a fracture. The wrist was pulverized. Still, I will do what I can and hope for the best.

      As for your book, I wish you all the best. From what little I know of you, I bet it’s interesting, bu I am not in a position to help you. I am sorry. It’s all I can do to get through the days.

  2. leesis Says:

    so glad you had a positive Pat. Have been feeling your pain! xx

  3. Sherrie Hansen Says:

    Oh, Pat. I’m sorry you’ve had more bad news, but happy you got to go for a walk. I hope the pain lessens and that the degree of healing exceeds what is predicted. You are in my prayers. I can understand why you’re a bit afraid to go walking and glad you didn’t let the negatives get the best of you.

  4. James Rafferty Says:

    Hi Pat. So glad you had the pleasure of a walk. My days don’t feel complete without one. Lifting up thoughts and prayers that the healing progresses well.

  5. Deborah Owen Says:

    I am absolutely thrilled for you, girlfriend! Keep your chin up. Take it one (careful) step at a time.

  6. Deborah Owen Says:

    You are so right, but you’re made out of tough stuff. You’ll make it. Hugs

  7. Constance Says:

    Sorry to hear that you had more problems. I have a good regular pharmacist that I have used for a long time. if you have more problems with prescriptions. I would vouch for you to him. Call me if you need help here.
    Nice to hear that you got out for a walk.

  8. Sue Says:

    Dear Pat, l just wanted to send best wishes and hope things will become a little easier, you’re blog inspired me after Jack died so l can imagine how hard this must be for you, l try not to be self indulgent and weep and wail, reading how you are coping is once again inspirational.
    Much love and froma very mild England aand a very Happy Christmas however you spend it. X

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I read a comment tonight “Even with tears in their eyes, a strong person still manages to say, ‘I’m okay’ with a smile.” That is so not me so it’s nice to know you think I’m inspirational.

      I hope you are managing to find moments of peace, though weeping and wailing can be therapeutic. Wishing you all the best.

  9. Liberty On the Lighter Side Says:

    How awful all the frustration and pain. I hope this day also brings you some small joys. Last night I was lying thinking about that line from your book about this moment is my life and it is good in the context of my sister and her husband grabbing a few moments together and how happy I was for them after 4 weeks of tending their critically ill child. Small pleasures take on such significance when floating in a sea of hardship. Wishing you swift healing.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thanks for the reminder about the moments being our life. Even the not-so-good moments are life, though it’s harder to appreciate them. Speaking of joys — your comment brought one of those moments. How gratifying for an author to be quoted!

      Sending well wishes to you and your family.

  10. Hettie Barnard Says:

    You are amazing and despite all the pain, frustration and suffering your light keeps shining through. You have survived more than this and will again (though sometimes like all if us I suspect that you really don’t want to hear it!!).
    You always reply to my grief stricken complaints with so much compassion and understsnding that I wish I could do the same for you.
    Please be well soon. All the best.
    Hettie Barnard

  11. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    Sometimes, a walk is just what the doctor (should have) ordered.

  12. Coco Ihle Says:

    Gee, Pat, I leave you alone for a short while and before I knew it, you were getting into more trouble! I had no idea your drama wasn’t over until I read this post! It’s time to call in the big guns now and order some speedy, painless, drug free, permanent healing for you. NOW! Hold on, it’s on it’s way!!! Here’s to many more safe, refreshing, enlightening walks just waiting to be enjoyed by you. Please have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Lots of love is being sent, too!

  13. Roger Says:

    Hi Pat. Sorry to hear of your trials. I feel your pain, sort of literally, through the memory of my own broken wrist; plate, screws and all. It’s difficult to understand the complications of dressing, especially tying shoes, with one hand until you try it. I learned to use my other foot to hold one of the loops while tying. On the other hand, to luxuriate , and find wonder, in a simple walk is a special thing. Speedy recovery.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Good to hear from you, Roger. Each step of a walk reminds me that someday I will find the courage to go out in the world again. I tried to go for walk by myself today, but the winds blew me right back. Maybe tomorrow.

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