Broken left humerus Surgery and Suck: Depression Help!

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So where do I begin.  Maybe I should start with I am living in my own personal hell.  Many say keep positive thoughts and to look at all the amazing people that surround and support me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for my family, friends, and husband but some days seem hopeless.  More days than others.  

It has been 64 days since I broke my humerus in 5 different places.  And about 61 days since a plate and pins has been surgically placed from my shoulder to my elbow.  It all started on Sept 13th.  I fell at one of my two jobs.  The scary part is the job I was working at, at  the time of my fall, I was working solo.  As soon as I fell and heard that pop, I laid there screaming for help.  Of course no one heard me so I mustered up enough courage to get up, in shock and hold my left arm in place with my right hand. I then called security telling them I am almost positive I broke my arm and to call an ambulance.  Lets just say I was lucky to not have  knocked myself out, because who knows when they would have founnd me.  I count my blessings that I am alive.

Anyway the ambulance rushed me to the hospital where they cut off my sweatshirt and took x-rays.  The whole situation felt surreal, like a nightmare.  They soon after told me I had a spiral/oblique fracture to my distal humerus. The ortho PA on duty splinted me and told me to call the ortho that Monday for an appointment that Thursday.  Unfortunately that Saturday night  was a nightmare.  I could literally feel my bone moving around and pain killers weren’t cutting it.  My husband rushed me to an even closer ER the next morning.  I had more x’rays done at the ER and was replinted.  My husband even went out and bought a recliner since I couldn’t sleep anywhere else.  I was then sent to the ortho for Monday.  As soon as I entered the ortho on Monday I was set up for Surgery on Tuesday.  The amount of pain I went through from when I broke it, up to surgery was excruciating all day long.  So for the surgery I am grateful.

Did I ever tell you I never broke a bone in my life, nor did I ever go through surgery and anesthesia before. Going into surgery was probably the scariest moment of my life ever.  However I was out for the count in a matter of seconds.  While I was under my doctor found not one, not two, but five breaks coming off my spiral break.  This lead to the surgery to last 7 hours instead of 3 hours. A plate and several pins were placed from my shoulder to elbow.  

So you might be thinking well Lauren you had surgery and are no longer in excruciating pain every moment so whats wrong.  Firstly I still get pain, just different kind and did still take pain meds for it.  Also during the surgery the doc had to move over my radial nerve so I couldn’t move my fingers too well after the surgery.  I now have radial palsy meaning weakness in the radial nerve.  For the first 5 weeks I was in a splint with splint changes each week.  My fingers can move a little better now but my thumb is still completely numb. But lucky part is  my incision healed well; no infection etc.

This past couple of weeks have been one of the scariest.  My ortho introduced me to a physical therapist and he said I needed to start moving my arm or I would be stuck with a bent arm that can’t turn over forever and at the same time the doc saw updated x-rays and my bones haven’t fused yet or even started. He needs a cat scan by week 12.  Therefore the doc wants me to move my arm on my own using my good arm, but not too hard because he doesn’t want the plate coming out by accident and then he has to God forbid do another surgery.  He doesn’t want me doing physical therapy yet because he is afraid it be too rough and will pull out my plate and pins.  So definitely scares me when my doc wants me to wait for PT, move my arm on my own, and me now being afraid of it staying like this forever.

Basically I am in a make shift splint for the next two weeks.  It is a half splint with ace bandage around it.  Everynight my husband takes the splint off and I move my arm ever so slightly with my good arm. 

I miss work, and doing normal things with friends without being in pain or nausea.  I hate having people doing everything for me including me simple tasks of bathing and pulling my pants down to go to the bathroom.  It is embarrassing and dehumanizing.  I just want to get better sooner or just better at all.

Added stress I was taking too many percoset so I went cold turkey and went through all the withdrawal symptoms physically.  But mentally I am more depressed then ever.  I am so worried of never getting better, 

I am scared sh*tless and just wish I knew someone who experienced the same trauma so I don’t feel alone.  I am scared the feeling and movement won’t come back.  I can’t be like this forever.  I am already a mess, crying every moment.   

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  • Posted

    This post definitely resonated with me, can I start by saying you are not the only one and it will get better.

    About two months ago I was hit by a car and broke my leg. It was a triple compound fracture so the bone came through the skin and damaged the surrounding tissue. I've had a rod and pins inserted. Then I underwent plastic surgery, they took a deep skin flap from my thigh to cover the tissue removed on my lower leg.(I'm only in my twenties and I had two perfectly lovely legs before this!) Two major ops and lots of heavy drugs! It is quite a lot to deal with having never been in hospital before isn't it. I was in hospital for 2 weeks.

    Like you I took pain killers which were quite addictive (tramadol) and decided to come off them quickly. Two pretty horrible nights ensued.

    I think that I probably have PTS and am now seeking help, however I am trying to stay positive. On a bad day I see the scars, get frustrated that I can't move much and my temper is ridiculous. On a good day I am thankful that I can walk at all and that my spine wasn't damaged. It's so hard, I certainly don't have the answers but I know what you are going through. 

    I have decided though that I have two options: let this get to me and give up trying or do everything to get better. I will definitely go walking, running, swimming etc. again and I will do whatever I can to reduce the scarring on my leg. I try to think of things to be happy about each day, what I have achieved etc. and I seek inspiration from those who have suffered major injuries and have succeeded in staying happy. 

    I am due to see the docs again at the end of the month and they will tell me how much more weight I can put on my leg. Anything is possible with determination in these situations.

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  • Posted

    I am about to have pin and plate removed from my upper humerus on 29.6.15 after I was mended in December 13. Hope all is well. Understand all and empathise.

    Plan is rest and then physio. i have been in job since feb 15 and ok. I  take

    pain relief tablets and use warm showers for pain relief.

    Pray you recover well to. Kind wishes Sue

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra,

      I had surgery 3 weeks ago for a fracured humerus proximal. Still in a lot of pain and am on strong painkillers, tramadol and oxycodone for breakthrough pain. It is worst at night and can't get any more than a couple of hours sleep at a time. I have to keep my arm in a sling which I am finding very uncomfortable and seems to be causing pain also.

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    • Posted

      The recliner helps! I went MONTHS before i ever got decent sleep! At least your on oxy, it took months before i got any oxy! Its a long recovery! I hope u heal fast! My elbow didnt work after surgery. I develiped frozen shoulder. Im coming up on a year and still have limkter range strentgh and endurance sad

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    • Posted

      Thanks,! I have a recliner and it is okay. Thought I was better yesterday as had absolutely no pain for 2 days so gave up my painkillers, but now today the pain is back again. I don't want to get hooked on those horrible narcotics so am trying to just take solpadeine at the moment but it's not very effective. I really wish I could try ibuprofen but have been advised it is bad for bone healing.

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    • Posted

      Try ice to help pain and help sleeping. I didnt get hooked on oxy. I know everyone is diff. But i very mich needed it to get my elbow to work again. Sleep is VERY important to heal. Try to walk at least 30 mins. Sleeping was awful for me. I wish i cus tale ur pain away. Take plenty of calcium! I hear bone broth works wonders too
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    • Posted

      Ice helps, I also used homeopathic arnica and a combo called Arnicare. I also used acupuncture, which made a huge difference in my opinion. I also slept in a recliner for months after my surgery. 
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    • Posted

      Hope you're doing better. I broke my wrist and humerus 6 months ago and had orif surgery 2 wks after accident. I rented a hospital bed for four months and was able to sleep through the night. I've been in therapy for 6 months. Getting better but have a lot of metal in my arm and hand. 3 plates and 12 screws between arm and wrist. It was a nightmare but I'm doing really well.

      I fell down the stairs and not only broke wrist and humerus also rib. Also tore groin muscles and damaged Achilles' tendon and had a visceral detachment in eye.

      It's a long road to recovery but I hope to get there. Bad scar on arm but attempt to cover it up with makeup when in pool.

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    • Posted

      Sandy, are you still doing physical therapy? Im on 9 months in therapy n have great motion but still alot of pain and very weak limitong activity using pressure
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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra, can you tell me anymore about having the plate and pins removed? My surgeon has mentioned it but I don't know if that's going to happen and how it will affect my recovery if it does, have I got to go through all that pain again? Hope you are fully recovered now ?

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    • Posted

      I broke my humerus bone in two spots, one near my shoulder and the other between my elbow and shoulder.  I have been going out of my mind, like most of you on this forum and I feel like I’ll never get better.  I’m still really bruised and swollen(although the swelling is going down finally).  I was told I have a clean break so don’t need surgery.  Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.  I feel like surgery would help me recover quicker.  I am in a sling so my arm is not completely immobilized.  Sleeping is a nightmare...I woke up this morning Laying flat on my back and my arm is soooo sore now.  Something that might help, for those who do not have a recliner (like me) is the boyfriend pillow.  I bought one for $40 from amazon and it does help.  One of the most frustrating things for me is I cannot Get anything over my head unless it’s a large T-shirt!!! As for the pain meds...I cannot take them because they make me feel like I am on speed.  They don’t help me sleep or really take away the pain.  Tylenol has worked ok.   Good luck to all in your recovery process.  Glad to see I’m not alone with all the frustrations I am feeling.  
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    • Posted

      Hi karina, I just read your post and I feel your pain and frustration totally! I broke my proximal humerus bone 4 weeks ago today. I am also healing with out the surgery and hope and pray my X-ray in 2 weeks will show connection. How long ago was your injury?  It’s very hard for me to because it is my dominant side (right) so I can’t do hardly anything and can’t drive either. I’m a very independent person and now so dependent on my husband and thank God for him because he’s such a help! It’s hard for me to sleep also, I have to sit up. How old are you? I am a young 60 or at least I was until this happened now I feel like I’m old because this has but a real toal on me. I’m trying to stay positive because I know someday this will be over and I will have use of my arm again. I took the oxycodone for about a week now I’m totally off after slowly weening off it. I don’t like taking them either but the pain was so bad at first I had to. I’ll be courious to hear how your doing if you feel like keeping in touch. I also chat with a couple of other girls and it helps me! I’m on the central coast of Oregon and where do you live? Hope to hear from you.

      Jo Ann 😊🌻

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo Ann,  

      I will be 41 on Friday.  This injury will certainly take a toal on one’s physical and mental health!!  I live alone so I have to depend on my family, friends and neighbors who have all been great.  I have a Dr appointment next Monday for an X-ray and I’m guessing they are going to let me know if it’s healing correctly or not.  Praying it is.   I keep hearing and feeling a popping sound when I move it a certain way.  Hopefully I’m not making it worse.  Sure I would be interested in staying in touch.  I hope you have a smooth recovery!!!

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear from you! And a happy birthday! So how long ago did you have your injury? Can’t wait to hear how your next appointment goes and your progress.  You take care!!!

      Jo Ann 🌷

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    • Posted

      Thank you 😁.  Yesterday marked 2 weeks.   I will definitely keep you posted on my progress.  Thanks so much for reaching out. 

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    • Posted

      Hi again, I meant to tell you I also have the popping and feel the moving of the bone in my arm also. I called the doctor and he did say it was normal and seems like it isn’t as bad as it was. He also said calcium and vitamin D are the most important but I also include vitamin C and glucosamine as I read is very good  too. Hang in there! Btw, what is your name and where do you live?   Jo Ann 🌸

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    • Posted

      Hi there, that’s good to hear.  The popping hurts.  Actually I am in more pain today than I have been in a while...not sure why 😐.  I just hope I am healing.  I heard calcium and vitamin D are really  important to take too.  Guess I need to get some supplements.  My name is Dallas and I live in Pa.  (no I’m not from Texas, ha) 

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    • Posted

      Hey Jo Ann I am right there with you almost 60 was rear ended by an ambulance driver that nodded off on October 4, 2017 with a clean break of the proximal humerus and slip the ball off the bone. Started to heal then stopped now I have a nonunion and have tried a bone stimulator for 168 treatments and after that no change. Now on Monday a CT scan Dr apt on Tuesday to come up with a plan for surgery. Will keep you in my prayers that that bone heals !

       

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    • Posted

      Hi, so sorry to hear about your accident. Who would think you would get hit by a ambulance. I know it won’t help you heal any faster but I hope you have a good attorney! Do you think they will want to do surgery? I hope not but if it’s the only way to heal it will be worth it. 

      I go back on Tuesday for another X-ray hoping and praying there is some union. It will be 6 weeks on Sunday. Looks like both of us get a answer on Tuesday.  Do they know why the healing stopped? Prayers for you too!

      Where do you live? I’m on the central coast of Oregon in the U.S.   Take care and let me know how it goes next week and I will do the same. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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    • Posted

      Hi .  I hope your recovery is getting g better.   I know you had your accident a while ago but I'm in less than two weeks and I need some help to understand what I really have average for my recovery?  How do you sleep?  Do you just sit or do you go out to lunch but be careful. Do you take pain meds ALK day?  We're you able to control your blood pressure?  How long to drive?  Is pt painful?  Do you ice after a week?  I feel helpless and ink pain so the time.  Sling.  Two week x-ray in three days. Thanks for any response. Cynthia

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    • Posted

      Hi Cynthia, 

      So I to hear about your injury. 

      Where is your break located? Mine is the proximal humerus right at the neck. I am 11 weeks post injury now and never thought I’d get here! I’m finally totally out of my sling. I still wore it to sleep and in public until a week ago. I took oxycodone for at least the first two weeks because of the awful pain! not much choice and it was good to finally get off them. I took one at night for a while to sleep but not long as the pain gets less all the time. I never iced as don’t like the cold on me. I know it’s probably a good idea. 

      You should go out and about if your up to it. It took me a couple of weeks to get out but just take baby steps. I finally took my car just around the block yesterday for the first time using my good arm only and thank goodness I have a automatic car! My range of motion is getting better but it’s still hard to do so much. I can only hold the bottom of the wheel. I finally start PT on June 11th. Until then I just do the basic hang your arm and do circles around to keep my shoulder from freezing up. 

      You are going to feel better as each week passes and believe me I know exactly how you feel at this point and think all these crazy things! Since the first week I started taking extra calcium, vitamin D and glucosamine and pea protein powder to help bone healing. I still take all my other supplements but extra on the four. Also ibuprofen is not good for healing and slows it down. 

      There is a group on Facebook now called humerus fracture support you should join that I’m on. It’s wonderful and we are all victims of a humerus fracture. Even one gives ideas and support to each other. A girl named Steph from this link started it so if you can’t find it or can’t figure out how to join if you want to let me know and I will find out and send it to you. 

      Btw, how old are you because it’s funny most of us gals are around the 60 age. And where do you live? I live on the central coast of Oregon in the U.S.

      I hope I helped you and let me know how your X-ray goes.

      Take care, Jo Ann 

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