Handy Hardware

Hi!  Been a while! Few weeks maybe? Not like I had any excuse not to write but well I suppose life pushed me another way.  I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a fan of breaking bones.  The feature photo is pretty much a testament to that.  No, no, no that was nine years ago.  However, recently I did take an unfortunate “intentional” spill while roller skating.  Intentional as in I had to “or else” type of a deal.  A little girl came literally out of nowhere!  I couldn’t even think, just drop, and as it had been about 30yrs since I last fell, I was not used to it and landed exactly how I shouldn’t have.  Brace my fall when I hit the ground and…ouch.  Small fracture on my right wrist with a cast for a few weeks to boot.  I remember in the moment thinking how bad it hurt but at the same time a sigh of relief that I didn’t ruin that little girl’s day.  I tried to act cool, shook it off, continued on, and on, and on until it really started throbbing.  Yes, I need to leave.  As I was unlacing, I knew right away that I had to go to the hospital.  Couldn’t move my hand.  I was like, Oh crap. So, a cast and a few weeks excusing myself from typing things.  I’ll be honest though; I was not happy about the cast.  I wanted to gnaw it off.  It even slightly depressed me. Me. ME?  I thought it was impossible, but it happened and after a week or so, I knew there was a lesson here for me. Take a step back, Ben, and then a few more steps back. Slow down.  I really did not have to be going as fast as I was when the little girl came out.  Not necessary.  I’m more about precision and finesse. I am ready to go back.

Nine years ago, I had to learn a lot of lessons.  The main thing I was learning was how to feel sorry for myself.  Lessons in pain management without prescription medication (not a fan). On the right-hand side of the photo above of my left, not so funny, humerus, is the first surgery.  A rod, two pins at the shoulder and elbow areas. I spent six months pretty much suffering in silence.  No clue that the double fracture was not even healing.  No union.  It wasn’t until my brigade surgeon asked me when my last x-ray was…I was like, oh man, ummm right after the surgery.  No follow-ups and I am generally too stubborn to go to the doctor as, “I got this”.  I didn’t.  A second surgery to install a plate with a bunch of screws, bone from my hip, and a heck of a scar.  I remember at the time that the doctor’s orders were to have the plate removed after 18 months.  By that time, I was stateside again, and when I went into orthopedics at Fort Sill, they were adamant that it was not coming out.  Period. I absolutely refused to believe that. No way.  It’s coming out.  I was having these infrequent but frequent enough for concern issues where my arm would feel like an electric shock for a split second and I my arm would just go numb.  I’m like, I need a second opinion, this is BS.  There is a screw or screws that’s rubbing against the wrong thing in my arm to make it go kablooey.  I managed to convince the doc for a second opinion where I traveled down south to Fort Sam Houston and saw a traumatologist. He was probably the most intelligent sounding doctor to this day that I have ever come across. He told me he could take it out, but he also very clearly articulated what was going on in my arm. Scar tissue. The scar tissue was rubbing the radial nerve at times. He said that with another surgery the scar tissue would more than likely be exacerbated annnnnnnnnnnd…I could potentially lose the use of my arm permanently.

As Stan Lee was fond of saying, “’nuff said”. I spent the rest of the day in kind of a numb daze. The rest of my life. Within six months after that second opinion, my Shift occurred. I began living intentionally. I had used my arm as a crutch, an excuse for so many things, and deep down inside I knew it was BS. This hardware was a part of me now.  I decided that if was a part of me then I am a part of it. It is Me. No more wallowing in self-pity. I’m a runner, a roller skater. My arms aid me in my momentum. My arms are my wings. In over six and a half years I have never had any more arm numbing experiences.

There is a profound sense of well-being when you Surrender. I am not giving up.  I Let Go and Let God.

Have a great week everyone!