Monday, February 8, 2010

Fat pads: "Everybody has them"
--Guest Blogger Brian McKim

Traci can't type today... not well enough to post and not without a whole lot of swearing. So I, her husband, am guest blogging.

As you may know, our corner of South Jersey was in that band that received the second-highest snow totals after D.C. So, after the last flake fell, we donned our weatherproof gear and ventured out into the neighborhood to survey the havoc.

As we headed back to the abode, we rounded the corner down at the library parking lot and encountered some of that vicious snow-covered ice. I was about six feet in front of my lovely wife when I heard a faint whoosh and a mid-level swear word hissed through clenched teeth-- the sound of Traci hitting the deck hard.

We don't fall much. We say that with some degree of pride and wonder, because 1) We have pretty good balance and a decent amount of athleticism and 2) We don't really shy away from activities where one might be expected to fall.

And on the rare occasions when we do fall, we don't sustain much injury.

As Traci thrashed away on the ground this time, however, she was convinced that she had broken a bone. She broke her fall with an outstretched right arm... a no-no. And particularly embarrassing for her as she "knows how to fall." (That is, she knows how to tumble without making the rookie mistakes that most folks make... the ones that result in fractures. So her swearing and lamentation was mixed with a lot of disappointment in herself. She actually moaned, "I should know better! I should know better!")

I propped her up and ushered over the slippery terrain as fast as was practical.

When we stripped off most of her snow gear and inspected the throbbing limb, we saw none of the classic signs of a break-- no swelling, no blood, no discoloration. We did R.I.C.E. The pain persisted. Well, at least we were confident that the evening's show would be cancelled.

About a half-hour later, we received an email informing us that the show would indeed go on.

Ever the trooper, Traci did the show, her armed Ace-bandaged into the Les Paul, 110-degree crook, a sweater hiding the unsightly wrap.

She iced it right up until showtime, joked about it onstage, then iced it again while waiting for me to close out the show.

Next morning, we headed over to Premier Immediate Medical Care where she was examined, diagnosed, slung and sent home with prescriptions-- all in about an hour... and all for a grand total of $249 (if you count the $50 enrollment in their "Urgent Care Medical Savings Plan," which gets her reduced rates on care and procedures for a full year).

Turns out there was no fracture (see x-ray above... that's really her arm!), but, the doctor said, there was trauma to her "fat pad." (The doctor woman, ever careful not to offend her female patients, was careful to explain that "everyone has fat pads!" There are two. And in the fall, Traci traumatized her anterior intra articular fat pad, causing an effusion-- it went where it wasn't supposed to. And it caused excruciating pain... which continues 48 hours later.)

She's resting uncomfortably now-- arm in a sling, downing the occasional 800 mg cap of Naproxen and applying warm heat.

So, remember: If you think you broke your arm, it might just be an elbow effusion. Check your fat pads.

3 comments:

DamnCat said...

Hmmm...Treacher gets it last week and this week some malicious ice (which, "coincidentally", they have have plenty of on DC right now) suddenly appears at the library you frequent

I'm just sayin'...

dick said...

Tracy, Treach sent me over here to perk ya up.
Happy Birthday!

Hope the elbow's better soon.

Patrick said...

Yes, I came over from Jim's Blog.

OUCH!

Feel better soon. :)