Goodbye 2017, I Won’t Miss You

As you can imagine 2017 hit me pretty hard losing my arm. But that, unfortunately was not the worst thing that happened this year. It has been the most challenging year emotionally and physically and quite frankly I can’t wait for it to be behind me.

The worst thing that happened to me this year was when my son, who was 18 months old at the time, was severely burned. This was one of the worst moments of my entire life only surpassed by losing a baby – and that happened more than once (but not this year).

But I also lost a friend out of my life who I loved dearly, watched a friend bury her fiancé instead of marrying him, see another friend younger than me die of a chronic disease, learn another Aunt has terminal cancer, gone through a melanoma scare, have had four separate surgeries and of course be left with only onegoodarm. Just to name a few.

It’s a lot. A lot for any one armed, or even fully armed girl, to handle. But here I am on NYE 2017 watching my kids dance around the lounge room enthralled with the Sydney fireworks thinking I am so lucky, in so may ways.

Get some perspective. That is my NY advice.

When my son was burned I was so broken I felt irreparable. I also felt like, after the event was over, I had been hit by a truck. The emotional toll of going through something like that is big, and comes later when the adrenalin has worn off. When you are totally exposed.

Without having to go through the torture of every detail my son placed his hands on a burning hot wood fire. Unfortunately at 18 months old he has no ‘retraction’ reflex so stood their burning and screaming until he was ripped away from the fire by my brother in law.

It was no-ones fault, but as his mother it was of course my fault. My one true job is to protect my children and I failed. He suffered partial and full thickness burns to both hands and was possibly going to require skin grafts, he needed heavy sedation by paramedics and I thought seeing him in such agony would literally – kill me.

It was beyond horrendous. I lay with him sedated on my chest in the ambulance and thought, this is the worst moment of my life. I am very thankful I had two arms at the time as holding him under tepid running water for 20 minutes was the most difficult task to perform but best decision I have ever made. It saved him from skin grafts and the hospital praised me for it. But I didn’t deserve praise, I felt I deserved a public stoning.

So after many weeks of bandages, dressings and trips to the children’s burn unit my little boy came out the other end almost perfect. I could not believe we recovered from that incident. The only ongoing issue has is a sensitivity to hot surfaces or hot objects on his hands. And a healthy fear of fire.

Just when I was starting to take a breath after that recovery I lost my arm. That was, easier, in a way. Whilst I struggle every day with almost every thing, it is happening to me. I can control it. I can control how I respond. Even though sometimes I do not do it well.

And of course this injury, this disability, has shown me so much, made me appreciate so many things.

Perspective. I have it. In spades.

So I have no doubt the coming year will throw me a few curve balls, but I will be ready.

Despite the tragedy of this year, I have also made new friends, seen the best in family, seen the best in many many people, loved unconditionally, been thankful, stopped being shallow, enjoyed simple pleasures like sleeping and hearing my children laugh, seen my baby sister marry the love of her life, pushed myself, overcome so very many hurdles and am proud of all that I have achieved and survived.

You may not think losing an arm is not worthy of all that indignation but it’s tough. And as an injury that you never contemplate happening, you are totally unprepared for it. But I have survived because I have no choice. I must go on.

This evening, just 4 months and 30 days post accident and 13 days post massive surgery, I prepared oven baked fish, individually cooked in lemon, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper – with one arm, even juicing the lemon and it was so good the kids ate so much fish their little bellies bulged and I thought that may explode. And I was so proud and so happy. So content. Life is all about moments like these.

Life also marches on – whether you are ready or not. It refuses to wait, no matter how damaged or unprepared you are. You must move forward. Roll with the punches and if it gets you down, accept it, get back up and keep going. No one will remember the down, only how many times you got up and kept going.

So come on 2018, lets see your face and see what you have install for us.

I am ready.

OGA says goodbye to 2017.

Sorry for all the Swearing

OneGoodArm Swear Scale: Zip

Ok I take it back, I am sorry. My last blog was a potty mouth festival, only on the roids. Whilst I do enjoy swearing, and I mean REALLY enjoy it, that one was a little over the top (see blog: eleven days and eleven nights).

So sorry. This blog I swear will be a curse free zone. No pun intended.

So I am home now going on 30 or so hours. I slept in my own bed last night which was amazing. The giantness, the non plastic mattress, the pillows, the 500 thread count sheets, the rain on the roof. Amazing.

I have fed the horses, made toast for the kids, cuddled and snuggled my babies and breathed in their intoxicating smell. I have pat the dogs and had four showers (tanks are full) and loved every minute of each one.

God it is good to be home.

On the down side Colin hurts like hell. It’s new and different pain in addition to the old pain. I can no longer let Colin hang lazily by my side, he doesn’t hang straight anymore and if I try to straighten him out he screams like a girl. I have to wear my sling all the time or I have to carry Colin with my onegoodarm.

Husband thinks this is a good sign and now the nerves are actually talking and telling me there is pain when once they didn’t. I don’t know about that. Only someone pain free would say pain is a good sign. Sorry Husband.

My skin on the bad hand also feels like its been superficially burned, it’s sensitive and it hurts. My forearm feels broken even though it isn’t. When I pick it up it hurts like buggary. Is that a swear word? I am going with no.

I still can’t feel my R knee, R inner though or R hand side of my chest. But that is from the accident. Now I also can’t feel the R hand side of my neck or most of the bottom and outside of both feet.

Today I tried taking only my antibiotics (turns out I have Ecoli in me), cortate (for my lazy adrenal glands) and panadol only for Pain. I didn’t take any of the good stuff for pain. And boy did I notice. The incisions in my legs suddenly feel as deep and long as they are. They throbbed and ached all day. My neck yells at me constantly and refuses to do anything I ask it.

My elbow is a horror zone, even resting it on a pillow is painful. I have no idea why but it’s certainly, extremely, annoying.

But that is ok as this is the injury post surgery and it’s as bad as it gets, well at least I hope and in theory, but it’s likely. And I can handle it. It’s awful and unpleasant and I want to scream, but it’s doable.

Actually the only scream I let out today was when I dropped a 2L bottle of radiant washing liquid in the laundry and no less than 1.9L spilled out onto the floor. Man, aaannnoooyyyiiinnggg. Husband came to my assistance post scream. He knew. He could tell Colin was up to no good.

I tried to lay down for a nap at about 4pm, you know because I was in hospital 30 hours earlier and it 38 degrees outside, and 12 days ago I ran the marathon of surgeries but I just laid there thinking about how much pain I am in. So I went and cleaned up the kids bedroom instead. Exciting.

So it’s 11.30pm and it’s time for bed so I will sign off and go and fulfil my fate. I will be thankful for the pain because it means I am still here, I have unpacked my bags, I have cuddled my children, sniffed the air on my property and have, hopefully, many more days ahead.

OGA Out.