Thursday was a beautiful spring day in Chicago. One of those rare and relatively warm sunny Spring days. Mr. Twitchy and I had arrived the night before to celebrate my big birthday with family and friends. We were anxious to see our Chicago grandchildren. Their school is just a few blocks from our daughter’s house, so we walked over to pick them up. And that’s when the sidewalk picked a fight with me.
The sidewalk saw me coming
We were walking and talking, enjoying the afternoon, when my shoe got caught on a bump in the sidewalk and down I went, like a ton of bricks, landing squarely on my left shoulder. It wasn’t my fault, really. I swear that the sidewalk saw me coming and tripped me.
Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too frequently to those us with Parkinson’s. I have broken a bone in my foot tripping on stairs, and also broke a finger when I tripped going into my house. When she heard about my mishap, a PD friend responded “I have broken my ankle, my hand, my nose and been really bruised up by those uneven sidewalks that jumped up to kiss me.”
For both of us, it is caused by a gait problem, not by poor balance which plagues so many with PD . I don’t always pick up my right foot enough, causing my shoe to get caught on a high step or uneven pavement. I wrote about this last October in a blog post A Trip is Not a Fall. Or is It?
Diagnosis: proximal fracture of the humerus in my left shoulder.
I knew it was bad as soon as it happened. X-rays confirmed the fracture and I am now wearing a sling for at least two weeks. This is one of the more painful injuries I have had because you can’t put a cast on a shoulder to immobilize it and reduce the pain. I will eventually go to physical therapy to recover the range of motion in my shoulder and elbow. Recovery from this type of injury is 3-4 months. Life is complicated enough with Parkinson’s, without having to deal with broken bones and other self-inflicted injuries.
Becoming a Care Receiver
Now that I am basically a one-armed bandit, I can’t do much for myself at all. Mr. Twitchy has stepped up to the plate to do everything I can’t. Cooking, cleaning, driving, shopping, you name it. He has even helped wash my hair. Dressing myself is also an issue because I can’t lift my arm. So he has had to help with that too. In other words, he really can’t leave me home alone.
Because I am typing this one handed, I will leave out the gory details and keep it short. I did make it to my birthday celebration the next night, after Mr. Twitchy got me dressed, and had a great time seeing my family and friends.
Next month, April, is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, so I hope to share some things you can do in April for Parkinson’s awareness. Happy Spring!