My beloved husband is the guy who is rarely sick. If he does happen to get a cold or something, he is blessed to nearly always recover within a day or two. He never is down for more than a day. Even when he had bronchitis last year, he snapped back very quickly. Well, something happened that I never could have imagined. Last Thursday, I drove him to work so that I could use our car to take Pookie to his appointments at the therapy center 2 hours drive away from hubby’s workplace. He went to the back of the jeep to gather his lunch and gear so he could go clock in. Just as he was turning to walk away from the jeep, he slipped on a patch of ice and fell hard. Scary part was that he couldn’t move his right arm at all. Co-workers rushed over to look after him. Once they knew it was only his shoulder and arm that was hurt, they carefully carried him off the ice patch and he stood up. I was thinking of calling the therapy center to cancel the appointments, but hubby told me to go ahead and get him there. He had already missed two weeks in a row due to the Christmas and New Years holidays being on his Thursday appointment dates. His boss and the co-workers assured me that they would see to it that he was taken well care of. So, with great reluctance and worry, I made the journey to the therapy center.
When I picked my husband up that afternoon, I was relieved to learn that he had a contusion to the shoulder. What a blessing that seemed to be! He was told to take a couple of days off work to recuperate before going back to his truck driving job. His boss told hubby that since he had a few days of personal days allocated to him that hadn’t been used yet, the company would take those recuperation days as personal days so that we would not lose any days off. Hubby came home and did his best to rest, but since it was only a bruise, he tried to cut some firewood with the chainsaw, which the kids and I stacked into the utility trailer to bring home. The following Monday, he went to work as planned and did his truck driving. Now, here is the thing to understand. He works for a company that picks up and recycles industrial scrap metal. The truck drivers take large empty bins to the customers’ locations and trade out the empty with the full one. Typically, he can have 2-3 of these large bins on the truck. All the empty bins have to be removed so that the full one can be placed closest to the truck cab. Then the empty bins are loaded back on, just leaving one empty bin for each full one he takes from the customer. The bins are mechanically loaded/unloaded from the truck’s trailer. After each is loaded onto the trailer, the driver has to manually chain it down and tarp the bin to prevent any metal shavings from blowing out as he drives down the road. This is a very physical job to do. With a tender shoulder, it is very painful. By the day’s end, his pain was terrible and he could not sleep well that night.
Yesterday (Tuesday), he took a day off because he could barely raise his arm to dress himself. That morning, the mail brought a disturbing letter. The hospital had made an error in the diagnosis! Hubby did not have a bruised shoulder at all. The radiologist had taken a close look at the x-rays and found that hubby actually had fractured his right scapula up near the shoulder joint. This explained so much to us. The pain being so bad, yet there was no visible bruising. He had swelling in the shoulder blade area from mid-level to the top of his shoulder. So, today we went back to the hospital to find out what the heck was going on. We got to the ER and asked to speak to the director of the ER dept. Within a short time, a nurse came out to speak to us. She then took us back into the ER to an exam room. She saw that hubby needed to properly restrain the shoulder joint and the sling we had bought wasn’t doing the job. She had the doctor on staff come in to talk to us. He was a different one than had originally diagnosed hubby. This doctor re-examined the x-ray before talking to us and explained where the break was and why it was hard to see. Turns out that the fracture was in the top part of the scapula in a place that is rarely broken. He answered all of our questions. Thankfully, the fracture was not so severe as to need surgery. The downside is that he now is in a shoulder restraint that basically is a waist belt what secures his arm just above the elbow and at the wrist to the waist to prevent any shoulder movement. There is no way he can drive the jeep, let alone his truck at work. From what the doctor says, it will take 4-6 weeks for his shoulder to heal.
We left the hospital and after getting some lunch, went to hubby’s work to let the boss know what happened. They are being so great about it. Because he fell before clocking in to begin his work shift, the injury is not covered by worker’s compensation. But, they are going to find odd jobs around the office that will keep him busy so that we do not lose out on any pay. He is taking the rest of the week off as suggested by the doctor, but will start back on Monday. The only true downside is that we will only have one day of pay on the weekly paycheck next week since he only worked last Monday. It will make an extremely difficult time for us that week, but the Lord is always finding a way to bless us when we need it most.
It will certainly make life more interesting for the kids and I. Getting everyone up at 3:30am to give us enough time to get ready, eat breakfast, then drive the 45 miles to work. I am trying to figure out things to do with the kids to avoid having a lot of extra driving. If I can find activities or places for them to enjoy during the day, then I prefer to do that. Unfortunately, it is too cold to take them to the park or zoo. The library is an option, but Pookie gets bored after about an hour there. Likely, we will just have to eat the cost of double the fuel use so that I can bring the kids back home until time to go pick up hubby again. No matter what, I know that the Lord will provide a way.
It is hard sometimes to acknowledge that the Lord is in control and everything works out. This injury of hubby’s is really a setback for us in many ways. Yet, we are growing through this. We are also thanking the Lord that hubby did not need surgery for the fracture. We are grateful to the Lord for leading hubby to work in a place where his co-workers and boss truly are caring towards him. Yes, this experience is not one we would have chosen, but even in this, we are able to praise the Lord and bless His name.