Suture Self, Said the Surgeon (a post by Lee)

Last weekend, I went to a wedding outside of Austin. In the midst of all the excitement, I took a major tumble on Friday night. When I woke up the following morning, I noticed my right shoulder was a little sore. In my typical fashion, however, I ignored the pain, and carried on with swimming, dancing, climbing ladders, and generally being overactive.

When I returned to Houston on Sunday, I discovered that not only was my range of motion in my right shoulder rather limited, but also my collarbone seemed to be sticking out farther than usual. Because I’m an idiot optimist, I assumed the best and figured I’d just badly bruised myself. When I still wasn’t feeling better by Tuesday morning, however, I put on my responsible adult hat and went to the doctor.

The doctor took some x-rays of my right shoulder, and then sat me down for a conversation.

Doctor: So, did you hear a snap or a pop or anything when you fell?
Lee: No. It’s just that my shoulder is sore and there are some sharp pains if I move it in a certain way. Also, you know, my right collarbone seems to be sticking out pretty far.
Doctor: Well, Lee, that’s because your collarbone is broken.

This announcement reduced me into a giggling mess, which I think threw my poor doctor off-guard. He attempted to make me realize the seriousness of the situation by telling me I was lucky I didn’t puncture a lung, which only served to make me laugh harder. Eventually he just gave up and showed me my x-ray.

My collarbone was quite broken, as it turned out. The doctor recommended surgery, and that’s how I found myself at the Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital this past Friday.

The procedure involved the surgeon reconnecting my collarbone by affixing a metal plate over the bone via six screws. I am now the Bionic Woman! I put together a short film of my surgical experience for your viewing pleasure:

I was allowed to remove the bandages this morning. I’d been eagerly anticipating this moment since Friday afternoon, as I had no concept of the size of the incision. Turns out — it’s a whopping 4 inches!

I was disappointed to discover that my refrigerator magnets won’t stick to my new and improved collarbone. I guess there is a downside to major surgery, after all.

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9 responses to “Suture Self, Said the Surgeon (a post by Lee)

  1. Best post yet! Maybe next time you could rupture your spleen….

  2. Hope it’s feeling better! And I’m sorry the magnets won’t stick to you. Maybe someday.

  3. i just laughed out loud (LOLed) and had to read the post aloud to my parents. you poor thing! let’s try stronger magnets next time i see you. LOVE YOU, LIL SIS!

  4. Oh my goodness! I hope you’re feeling better! Your next Hunger Games movie release costume is going to be even more authentic-looking now that you’ll have a battle scar.

  5. Pingback: The Iron Lady (a post by Lee) | We Think We're Funny

  6. Lee, GET WELL SOON! Thank goodness you’re in Houston, which has one of the best medical communities in the world (Texas Medical Center). I’m a little curious why you didn’t supply more data on the exact nature of your fall — I guess what happens in Austin stays in Austin.

  7. Sarah Fischer

    Glad you are starting to feel better. You seem to have a thick Southern accent when you’re on pain killers. Interesting.

  8. I’m in med school, so I’ve seen a goodly number of xrays, but I have NEVER seen an collarbone break like yours. I literally gasped and covered my mouth with my hand. You must have some pain tolerance! Yowzers.

  9. Thank u for this. My mom just had a plate put in on her upper arm. I found ur post by looking up the word “suture”.

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