Many of you may know by now that almost 4 weeks ago, while my husband, Malcolm was home on vacation, I fell and broke my left shoulder
The fracture is on the very top of the ball part of my humerus, which I find ironic because I am not amused!
Anyway, because the break is up so high, it wasn’t possible to put a hard protective cast on it.
My only option has been to keep my arm in a cloth sling to immobilize my shoulder and let it hang.
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After arriving home from the emergency room in a sling, it immediately became apparent that it would not be safe for me to be around Bethany.
All she wanted me to do was take the sling off.
So Rachel held down the fort at home with Bethany for a few days while Malcolm and I hid out at our local Super 8.
We needed time to figure out how we were going to manage 24/7 care for Bethany and find somewhere else safe for me to go.
When my son, Josiah and his wife, Katy graciously offered to let us to stay at their house, Malcolm and I took them up on their offer.
We stayed with them for a week, while Rachel and Rebekah took time off from their jobs to stay at home with Bethany.
The next week, Malcolm’s vacation was over, but he managed to get another week of FMLA time off.
This time, he went home to stay with Bethany so the girls could go back to work and I spent a few more days at Rebekah and William’s house, recuperating and avoiding the possibility of Bethany bumping into my broken shoulder or trying to take the sling off.
However, one of the things I was afraid of about staying at Rebekah’s was that she lives in an upstairs apartment and climbing stairs is hard for me because of how my spinal stenosis affects my legs.
I pretty much can only get upstairs by pulling myself up with a railing.
The extra challenge with Rebekah’s stairs is that the railing is on the side of my broken shoulder and there are three stairs with no railing at all!
However, I did actually manage to climb the stairs by facing the wall, standing sideways on the steps and pulling myself up using the railing with my good arm and by hanging onto Malcolm’s shoulder for the remaining three stairs that have no railing.
Once I actually got up to Rebekah’s though, I started worrying I wouldn’t be able to get out if a fire should happen to occur.
I tried to convince myself that I was just being paranoid and to have more faith than that.
But, to be honest, at that point, I didn’t really (and still don’t) have much confidence that God wouldn’t let me burn up in a fire!
Can you believe, that on my 4th day at Rebekah’s house there was an oven fire in the apartment beneath us?
The building’s fire alarm was set off and the fire engines even came around to check.
Let me tell you, I was terrified!
Thank God Rebekah was home at the time and was able to find out that it wasn’t a serious fire.
No one had to be evacuated, but from that point on, I was too afraid to stay there any longer.
So, with much fear and trepidation, I made the difficult decision to try going home!
I guess I was less afraid of Bethany possibly accidentally hurting me than burning up in a fire!
After arriving home, we had to come up with a new plan.
Malcolm had to go back to work in a few days and it was not yet a good idea for me to be home all day with Bethany without him being there.
We were at our wit’s end trying to figure out how to survive while figuring out this period of our temporary new normal.
During our ordeal, it looked like we might have to place Bethany in an emergency respite home for a while.
We even visited the facility and filled out the paperwork.
It was the most heartbreaking experience I’ve ever endured, second only to Bethany’s brain tumor ordeal.
BUT I JUST COULD NOT BRING MYSELF TO DO THAT TO HER!
Thank God, at the very last minute we were able to locate a temporary emergency respite worker to stay with Bethany at home while Malcolm worked and I spent the days recuperating and resting at a friend’s house.
I am very grateful that this arrangement has worked out well.
Bethany has been behaving so well over this long Memorial Day weekend that I am confident in trying to stay home with her, Jerry and Nate while Malcolm is at work this week.
I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday and I’m soooo hoping that I won’t be so fragile any more and will be able to take the sling off!
This whole ordeal has been such a devastatingly traumatic experience for all of us.
I’m certain I’m not the only one who has shed worried, scared, bitter and angry tears.
Our emotions have been all over the place as we have considered how best to handle Bethany while also making sure that everyone keep their jobs during this very unexpected and catastrophic situation.
This unfortunate experience has opened our eyes to several things Malcolm and I, as parents of a young adult with profound intellectual disabilities should have been doing differently.
There are a few changes we need to make to ensure a better future for all of us.
But I will save all that for another day.
On the bright side, Bethany has never once tried to take my sling off or been too rambunctious around me!
She has even achieved some new independent living skills such as sleeping alone in her own room and making her own bed.
She has also been helping me get dressed and picking things up for me!
I am determined to take advantage of this tragedy and help Bethany maintain and build upon her new independent living skills!
I am determined to turn another crappy situation into a happy one and find the good that is surely to come from it!
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