Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

I planned to give blood, but… May 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:43 AM
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THE BEST LAID plans don’t always work out. Case in point.

Monday evening my husband and I arrived at the local hospital to donate blood to the Red Cross. My rare AB positive blood is in high demand and I’m always willing to give when I can, the operative words being “when I can.”

With my Rapid Pass in hand, I was prepared to breeze through the check-in process and get down to the task of donating blood.

As we headed down the stairs toward the basement donation room, I observed how shiny and clean the stairs. This was a hospital, so I wouldn’t expect otherwise. And then it happened. I felt my legs stepping into air as I missed the final step on the stairway. I pitched forward toward the floor, door and concrete wall, apparently breaking my fall with my right shoulder. I lay there, stunned and hurting, until Randy helped me up.

At that point, I still thought I would be donating blood. But by the time we reached the donation site just down the hall, my pain was intensifying. I needed to see a doctor. Opting for the less expensive walk-in clinic rather than the ER, we headed next door. By then, the pain was so severe that I was crying.

You’ve likely determined by now that this story does not end well. X-rays showed a broken right shoulder.  As I’ve repeated my this is how this happened story to medical staff a half dozen times in the past few days, I consider how unbelievable that I would fall while at the hospital. This story is even better than fiction.

But this is reality, my reality of 8 -12 weeks of healing and physical therapy, when my body is ready. I’m currently in resting mode with my arm in a sling and instructions to ice as needed and to take Tylenol for pain. I’m starting a basic flex your elbow exercise today and will advance to the pendulum swing in 10 days. I am learning, adjusting and relying heavily on my husband for personal help and help with household tasks I typically do. He’s a great caregiver. He’s been through this with me before when I had my right hip replaced about 10 year ago.

I am not good at resting. I want to write and do photography and more. The photography won’t happen. I can’t hold my arm in the position needed to take photos. And this is prime photo season. Today is my first attempt at using my desktop computer. Typing with my right hand is a challenge. My blogging and other writing likely will be limited. Time will tell what I can and can’t do. I appreciate your understanding and hope you will remain in my readership.

When I start feeling sorry for myself, I consider how much worse my injuries could have been. I could have slammed my head into the concrete wall and suffered a concussion. I could have face-planted and broken by neck. I could have broken other bones that would have required surgery. My orthopedic doctor told me it I had to break a bone, I chose a good one to break. I’ll trust him on that.

So, dear readers, this is the situation I am in now. I am determined to do what I am told or risk additional injury and surgery. I don’t have to like that I am suffering this painful, limiting injury. But I will deal with it. There is no choice.

Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling





48 Responses to “I planned to give blood, but…”

  1. Dakota Sky Education Says:

    First time subscriber because I was inspired by your photos and your blogging. Really enjoy your storytelling sharing about your experiences. Looking forward to reading more. Feel better soon.

  2. sheketechad Says:

    Wishing you a speedy and clean healing.

  3. CaRiJo77@aol.com Says:

    So sorry to read all that, Audrey. If you’re right-handed, I was hoping it was your left shoulder, but no such luck. I wish you well and it’s good of you to say it could have been worse. You’re right, of course, but I sincerely wish it hadn’t happened in the first place. Carol Johansen Roseville, MN

    • Oh, Carol, you are so sweet. Thank you for your compassion and care.

      Why I missed that bottom step is beyond me. It all happened so fast. My nurse this morning told me she fell and broke her leg while doing laundry at home. These things just happen. I now have a deeper appreciation for what my father-in-law has lived with for some 40 years. He lost his hand in a farming accident.

  4. Virgil Says:

    Our prayers are with you Audrey.

  5. Dan Traun Says:

    Oh no! That is awful. So sorry you injured yourself. Rest up or you will only delay your recovery. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  6. Judy M. Says:

    I am very sorry that you are hurt. I wish you a speedy recovery and will wait for your return. Prayer’s for you.

  7. Oh No – poo 😦 I am sending prayers for fast healing your way . . . zoom, zoom, weeeee. Take care and take the time you need to heal and please ask for help when you need it.

  8. Don Says:

    Well crum, so sorry to hear of your injury at least it was in the hospital where you could get prompt medical care, from experience I know how beneficial that is. I will stay tuned to your blog for updates realizing that there may be fewer of your excellent pictures for a while but the important thing is to make a full recovery. Upon your recovery I expect you may make up for lost time with new pictures, perhaps fall colors! Sounds like Randy is a real gem and prepared to step up to the plate and do whatever is needed to help, kudos to him!

    • Thank you, Don. Yes, Randy is great at helping me with whatever.

      Interestingly enough, I chose not to seek care at the hospital, but walked next door to the clinic. I figured the clinic costs would be lower than the ER and perhaps a shorter wait. I have to choose healthcare based on cost. Sad, but true.

  9. Oh, Audrey, I’m so sorry to hear about your fall. Thank goodness you have Randy to help. It’s great to have someone you can count on. Hope you feel better soon and heal quickly. I have a feeling the PT won’t be much fun.

  10. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    So sorry hear about your injury. The first thing I thought was: why do bad things happen to good people? A second thought was – oh, no, she won’t be able to take pictures. I trust your photo gallery has many images that can be shared. You are creative and resourceful. So glad Randy can assist you. Please heal first; blog when you can. Thinking of you.

  11. Lori Says:

    So sorry to hear about your injury.
    I enjoy reading your posts and am praying you heal fast.

  12. Kathleen Ahern Says:

    Oh Audrey!!! I’m so sorry to read this “case in point.” Sending healing energy and love your way. Take good care of yourself. Hugs

  13. Valerie Says:

    Oh Audrey, I’m so sorry to hear this. I, too, add my best get well wishes and will pray for a speedy recovery.

  14. Loretta Schroeder Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your fall. A couple years ago I fell in a parking lot and broke me knee (patella) in three places. It was horribly painful, but after surgery and tons of PT, I actually had considerably more flexibility than I had before the break…until yesterday, when I fell down three stairs and landed on the same knee in addition to my shoulder and wrist…very painful, but with ice, rest, and elevation, hopefully I will heal again. So, I am sending prayers for your full recovery, and I will continue to watch for your always interesting posts!

    • Oh, Loretta, you have been through a lot. Praying you heal quickly and the pain subsides soon.

      • Susan Ready Says:

        oh my gosh I read your blog with an audible gasp!!. Truly a set back for someone who savors writing and taking photos. Do not push yourself so hard as that recent posting was really long and using the computer must be painful.I am confident you will find a new outlet for your creative endeavors. Maybe some reading you’ve always wanted to catch up on??

      • I probably pushed myself too hard yesterday given my pain is greater today. So, yes, I need to pace myself. Using the computer works OK. But not for long time periods. Thankfully I have some stories in draft that I can use and I won’t be posting (or commenting) as much.

  15. Jackie Says:

    Oh nooooooooo! I’m so sorry to hear about your fall Audrey, it happens so fast doesn’t it. Take time to heal, no need to worry about loosing readers, we all love your blog and will wait patiently for updates. I’m glad you have your doting Randy to care for you, let him bless you with his gentle care. Praying for quick recovery!

  16. bev walker Says:

    Wishing you fast healing!! So sorry to hear of your accident.

  17. Almost Iowa Says:

    Ouch! Sorry to hear about your fall. Take care of yourself.

  18. Joan Says:

    So sorry to read about your fall. Always sad when things like this happen when you are on your way to do a good deed. Hope your recovery is swift.

  19. Gunny Says:

    Wishing you a speedy and full recovery Audrey

  20. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Oh no. Thank goodness that wasn’t worse and that you weren’t farther away from medical services. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  21. Beth Ann Says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery! Grateful it was not worse, grateful you have Randy and grateful that bones heal . Take care of yourself.

  22. Littlesundog Says:

    So now I know the whole story. I read a later post of yours last night that showed the bruising. Yikes! I thought of you while I limped along with my right foot stress fracture – cleaning the chicken coop this morning. I wore my good work boots, very supportive. Each load I hauled away from the barn with the wheelbarrow made me feel thankful that I could still do my chores and work, albeit rather slowly. I know you have got to be frustrated. I hope you heal well and quickly. When do you see the doctor next?

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