Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

On the road to recovery, an update June 9, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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“I DON’T LIKE YOU,” I told him.

“Most people don’t,” he answered.

And we both laughed. Laughed because I really did like him and he wasn’t to blame for the bad news he shared. As a former journalist, I understand well the habit readers have of blaming the messenger. And now I was doing that to a medical professional.


The bruising on my injured right arm has decreased considerably on the front with the bruising (not shown here) shifting to the back of my elbow.


What could I do except joke and laugh when my ortho doctor on Wednesday afternoon revealed that total healing and recovery time from my broken shoulder could stretch up to 16 weeks? That’s four more than he told me during our initial visit two weeks ago. Sigh.

And then, as we chatted about the elbow flexing and pendulum exercises I am now doing at home, I found myself in a bit of trouble. I had been doing more than three flex sessions and arm swings daily. “More is not better,” he said, noting that he had me pegged as someone who would do just that. More. Busted.

I like my doctor. He has a great sense of humor, empathy and a personality that is down-to-earth approachable and friendly. I never feel rushed with him. He listens and he answers. And I’m trying to abide by his admonition to “stop when it hurts.” I’m trying, like he says, to rest. I don’t want my bone break, which widened a bit to 2.8 millimeters, to crack wider. Shoulders apparently take a long time to heal.

After that bit of news yesterday, I felt a tad discouraged. But then, because I can choose to be positive, I remembered his words of “everything looks good” upon viewing my latest x-rays. Good is good.

Good is also the continuing encouragement of family and friends. My eldest daughter sends me photos of my granddaughter nearly daily and that makes me happy. I used Google Hang-outs for the first time the other day and that was great, to see and hear darling Isabelle.


My friend Kathleen sent a lovely vintage card along with the sweetest message. The thing about the card is the specific selection just for me. Kathleen knows I have chosen hope as a focus word in my life. Long before this accident. She remembered.



And then Thursday afternoon, I received a bouquet of sunny yellow and white daisies from my sister Lanae and her husband, my niece Tara and her husband and their baby and the couples’ cats.



And recently I received a handcrafted metal cross from my artist friend Steve, who in his own quiet and creative way offers such encouragement and support.

We all have our burdens to bear in life. That’s a given. I don’t care who you are. But we are not alone. It is in times like this that I fully realize the importance of being there for each other—whether through a card sent, a word spoken, a gift given, a bouquet of flowers sent, prayers offered, well wishes written.

Thank you, dear readers, for being here for me. I will continue to update you occasionally on my recovery.

Have a wonderful weekend and take the time today to encourage someone inside or outside your circle who is going through a difficult time.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


34 Responses to “On the road to recovery, an update”

  1. Robynne Black Says:

    Listen to the doctor Audrey, its so important that those breaks heal properly, used to be a support worker so have seen first hand. Your body sets its own timing there. Hope you are able to keep your spirits up while healing. 🙂

  2. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    Your photo story is a brilliant progression in thought: Bruised = Hope = Floral beauty = Cross.

  3. Sparrow Says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery! I loved your message of hope today. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

  4. Almost Iowa Says:

    Nothing can cheer us up faster than baby, even a fussy one…..well, not to fussy. 🙂

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    You seem so positive today! GREAT!! I laughed when you admitted to getting busted about doing too much. You and I are much alike – more is better, right? Ha ha! Apparently earlier in the week I did too much on my foot, so the last three days I’ve been resting, concentrating on computer work. I did work in the garden on my hands and knees weeding a little yesterday. Your doctor’s words are good in all circumstances, “stop when it hurts”.

  6. Oh No! You poor thing – that is just awful – I can’t bear the thought of you hurting – my son broke his collar bone – did too much and it still bothers him – never healed properly – so do listen to the Doc. Merciful heavens.. c

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Wishing you a recovery that is as speedy as possible.

  8. Jackie Says:

    Sorry that this is taking longer than expected, but I know you will get through this, just be patient and do your best to follow the doctors orders. Praying for complete healing and patience as you go through the l-o-n-g healing period.

  9. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    Glad to hear you are making progress. I empathize with having your recovery time extended. I had minor foot surgery once and was told two weeks off my foot. That turned out to be a month and I never did get the hang of using crutches, so I ended up being in a wheel chair the whole time. Not fun but now understand more about people without mobility.

  10. OOO, sending you warm hugs and love and support from Duluth. xxOO
    I hope I still have your address, Audrey. x

  11. Audrey, It sounds like you really did a number on your shoulder. It is for sure you want to try to rehab quickly but you really don’t want to overdo it either, it sounds like you and your doctor the same page there. It is truly amazing what we could do to our shoulders at still have some function in them. The left side of my body has been paralyzed for years, in 1985, the bone at the head of the shoulder bone completely disintegrated, it dissolved, consequently, I had no more shoulder joint. I’ve used that arm to a certain degree ever since and continue to today, my hand is numb and the arm is mostly useless but I have continued using it, or it would wither away and be similar to a child’s arm. I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m trying to encourage you with the fact, shoulders can take a lot of torture and still remain useful. Wishing you all the best on your recovery.

  12. Susan Ready Says:

    Gosh no one wants to hear time added to recovery period and following doctor orders takes a lot of grit, determination, faith and just plain hard work. Hope you don’t have to wait that long for driving. Yes thoughts of hope can be very consoling in difficult times such as this. .

  13. Wyonne Long Says:

    Hi Audrey! Thanks for sharing! The left side of my face resembled your arm recently. And like you, I missed a step, in a way. I was looking up at the wonderfully clear blue sky and in the next minute I found myself lying on my back looking into the eyes of my co-walkers asking me if I knew my name, I’d stumbled on broken asphalt. Ambulance, emergency room, two nights hospitalization. Slight brain concussion, Discharging doctor wrote that I’m not to drive for 6 months. I’m thankful for friends willing to help and to drive me!

  14. Gunny Says:

    God Bless and Keep you an your family Audrey.

    I am now stomping around in Fargo Moorhead area. Went to see the Viking ship and museum. I went to the Valdres Samband Stevne. Someone noticed my speech was not like a Minnesotan!
    Again, God Bless and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • Welcome to the northland, Gunny. Sounds like you are having a fine time already.

      So, have you noticed that we Minnesotans have an accent?

      • Gunny Says:

        I have always known that. Talked the wife into watching what I thought would be a funny movie (Fargo) that actually I wish I had never seen. My grandmother had a very heavy Minnesota accent as did my grandfather. Visited their graves today. Went by their old house up on 220 11th Street North. House is long gone but not some of the others. Sugar plant is still there with a some improvements and the river area has undergone several improvement projects. Pictures do not do the Stave Church justice. If you see me, I am the guy that looks like he is cold. Long sleeve shirt, vest, long pants and boots.

      • I laughed about your attire. But I’m wearing a jacket this morning too.

        I hope you find all you are seeking on your journey to the northland.

      • Gunny Says:

        Well, made it to Northfield. Of course I just could not pass up a great breakfast at the restaurant across the street from the library! Great food! Bad day to stop as they had only one cook and the place was full! Headed over towards Dennison, turned off towards the Vang Church which we visited. Then headed down to the Vang Cemetery. Unfortunately, mother nature sent out her calls and we headed back. Got back to the Cracker Barrel eatery on the way back which fit right in. In the future, I will have to allow at least a two day period to do all that I would like between M/StP and Albert Lea. Had a picture from the Cultural Center at F/M that stated “No Snow Dumping” LOL!
        Took it over to show the Mrs, and told her I could not leave her there if I wanted: Her maiden name is Snow! Hope you are speedily recovering!

      • Ah, you must have eaten at The Tavern, noted for their breakfasts. Northfield is such a lovely river town. I hope you took time to do the rive walk and to explore the downtown.

        Vang is such a beautiful country church. I hope you found the family connections you were seeking there and elsewhere on your journey through Minnesota.

        Safe travels and keep snapping photos of interesting finds like the sign in F/M.

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