Last year, between Christmas and New Year, I went to BKB with riki couple for rock climbing and fell off from 3~4 meters to mat, face down, flat landing. Aft first I thought everything is OK, until I felt my right arm was not under control and saw the bones made an eerie shape at the elbow. Yes, everyone can tell it’s dislocated just on a sight… Surprisingly, I felt no pain at all at that time, just lost control of the arm.
Q: Isn’t there a rope to hang you from falling?
A: I was doing “bouldering”. It’s a kind of free climbing without ropes but with thick mats on the ground.
As it’s a rock climbing gym, my first thought was there must be someone who can fix my arm in 5 minutes, so was riki’s. However it turned out there isn’t such a superman. The manager called 911 then filled an accident form. In 5 minutes the ambulance arrived and we were taken to a hospital named Lutheran. I’ll never go to this hospital ever.
In the emergency room, I experienced how slow American’s “emergency room” could be. I waited 20 minutes just to start my paper work, waited 2 hours for the X-ray check, waited 3 hours for the physician to start working on my elbow. During all these 3 hours my elbow was dislocated and swelling, the pain level rose from almost nothing to I could barely help yelling. They said it was “change of shift” time so I had to wait a long time for X-ray. How was emergency room supposed to work? 2-hour dinner break and let patients die? I was seriously shocked by the sluggish process and stupid people in this hospital, when the “doctor” sit in front of a computer and typed 20 minutes, and when the “technician” sit beside the empty X-ray room and I was waiting outside for 15 minutes… I really couldn’t and still can’t believe how broken this hospital’s process is.
Anyway I left that hospital after 5 hours. The only “good” thing was they found I.V. was not strong enough for me to relax the muscles so they used morphine on me. My heart immediately felt some contraction at the second morphine flew into my vessels. And the pain went away in a few seconds. It was like someone was counting down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and my pain level dropped with it. Quite impressive.
4 days later I went to Beth Israel for an orthopedist followup. It went pretty smoothy. They cut off the splints, did another X-ray and gave me a new device to immobilize my arm. The joint recovered well, though I had lots of gross blisters around the elbow. I guess the initial splints were over tight.
I lived a resting life for about one week. Laying on couch, elevating my arm (sometimes like a Young Pioneer of China), watching movies and TV shows, ordering food online and picking deliveries in underwear… 3 movies a day really fed me up. I even lost 3 pounds after this week.
And in this “lefty” week I found something really difficult to do with one hand only, such as buttoning up jeans, twisting open a bottle, wearing earbuds, etc. And most things are, surprisingly, pretty doable with one hand. I went back to work today and can type with 2 hands perfectly fine now, yeah!