Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

On target with my recovery, go gentle on the hugs & other thoughts June 23, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I’m not good at taking selfies. So I turned the camera on my mirrored image. I took this image a week ago, about 3 1/2 weeks into my recovery.


A MONTH AND FOUR DAYS (yes, I’m counting days) into recovery from a broken right shoulder, I am healing on schedule. That’s according to my orthopedic doctor who was all smiles when he saw me Wednesday afternoon.

I was relieved by the good report given I’ve experienced recent shifting and incidences of severe pain in the break area. That’s normal, he said, explaining that I’m feeling muscle and nerve pain related to the injury. Whew. I thought perhaps the crack in my bone had widened.

I’m continuing with two home exercises—elbow flexing and the pendulum swing—with professional physical therapy likely starting the week of July Fourth. And bonus, when I’m in a secure environment at home, I can remove my body hugging arm sling. But I still basically need to keep my arm tight to my side. No reaching to my right.

Mentally, I keep reminding myself that this disability is only temporary and that others deal with far worse injuries. I have a wonderfully supportive husband who helps me with basic caregiving needs and who also is keeping everything up (mostly) on the homefront.


This is a photo of an x-ray of my broken shoulder from several weeks ago. To the untrained non medical professional, it’s difficult to see the fracture. It’s there in the humerus.


I’m not a particularly patient person, but I’m learning. There is always something to be learned in whatever situations we face in life. Good health is not something any of us should assume will always be ours. I never expected to miss a step, fall and end up with a broken shoulder. Just like I never expected to get osteoarthritis and undergo total hip replacement some 10 years ago. And I never expected to spend an entire summer battling whooping cough.

From all of these health issues, I’ve learned empathy, deeper compassion and an appreciation for others. As a woman of faith, I’ve also drawn closer to God. I’ve never asked, “Why me?” I’m not going to tell you it’s always been easy; it hasn’t. I get frustrated and just want to be able to do everyday tasks. Professionally, I’ve had to limit computer usage (thus writing time) due to pain and I can’t take photos with my Canon DSLR. This is prime season for photography.


A month after my fall, I continue to receive get well cards. This ongoing support for someone with a lengthy recovery is so appreciated.


I’ve appreciated the ongoing encouragement via conversations/emails/texts and in cards sent. Do not underestimate the value of a get well card. My personal experiences are useful now as I pen greeting card verses for Warner Press with an end of July deadline.

There are two things, though, that people should note related to my injury. Do not ask, in jest, if Randy pushed me. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, funny about domestic violence. I have written tirelessly on the subject here and have zero tolerance for domestic abuse and violence. I fell; my husband did not abuse me and to suggest such in humor diminishes the crime of domestic violence.

Also, be gentle on the hugs. I am extremely protective of my right side. I’ve had to stop about a half dozen people as they reached out to touch me on my right arm. There is a reason I am wearing a sling.

Last week I simplified one aspect of my life by getting my hair cut super short. I am grateful to the stylist at Sunset Salon who understood my needs. I love my new style which requires only my fingers and mousse to shape it. Randy is appreciative, too.

I am grateful to all of you also for your continuing encouragement and readership of this blog.

Please take what you’ve read here today and do something positive. Reach out with kindness to a stranger or to a friend/family member. Send a card/text/email. Make a phone call. Visit someone in recovery. Prepare a meal. Offer a ride. Hold a door. Offer praise and empathy and support. In these days when we witness so much violence and hatred in the world, it is more important than ever to express compassion and care. We need each other. We really do.


© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


41 Responses to “On target with my recovery, go gentle on the hugs & other thoughts”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    First off…….luv the haircut!!! I’m not a “selfie gal” either……you did very well! Sweet photo. I’m sure you have received many encouragements and even a “this, too, shall pass”, but, as you shared, it does give a body pause to more fully appreciate the hurdles others find themselves challenged with…..maybe without any “getting better” in their future. You are such an obedient patient! I’m afraid I was not, when faced with my similar happinstance…….sigh……….gentle, virtual, hugs comin’ at ya……………

  2. Audrey, as always, you give humanity hope))!!

    Sending you hugs from Duluth. xx

  3. Jan Newborg Says:

    Happy to hear you are recovering from your fall. I think you look really good with your new hair cut.

  4. Praying you have a speedy and kink-free recovery. Take care, Dawn

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    Love your haircut! The stylist did a fabulous job and it does look like it would be so easy to take care of. Yay! Glad the recovery is going well. Patience is not one of my strong areas either so I would be learning a lot of lessons if I was in your situation. thank goodness for supportive husbands and friends who lighten the load. Here’s hoping the rest of the recovery is quick and pain free!

  6. Happy that you are improving! Appreciate the tips on how to show care and concern. I think there is some kind of weird force that compels me to touch, hug, pat someone’s affected limb. Of course I know not to- but there I go- jostling someone. Your hair is darling!

  7. Great News on the Recover Front!!! Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

  8. sidetrackken Says:

    Glad to hear that your recovery is proceeding. Yours is the second message today from a thankful “recoverer.” (My sister-in-law called from Chicago after an early morning message that relieved her back.) Good news is always wonderful.

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to let us all know how you’re doing. Hope everything keeps going smoothly.

  9. Susan Ready Says:

    Great photo and the new do gives you a whole new sophisticated look but best part is your smile

  10. Littlesundog Says:

    I’m so glad to hear recovery is going well. Look at all of the wonderful eye-opening experiences you’ve had with that one, big fall! And there is something liberating and freeing about cutting hair – making life easier. You rock, Audrey… helping all of us learn the ropes of carefully mending our bodies and the etiquette of being compassionate and supportive friends during the healing process.

  11. authorlauraslife Says:

    As a nurse, I’m always happy to hear about a recovery going smoothly!! Yay!!!
    Sorry people are making statements about abuse. That’s a little much. It would make me mad as well!
    Also, I wanted to say your blog posts is the first I’ve read so far that’s mentioned God! I now know I’m not alone ❤️ Have a great day!!

    • Dearest, Laura, so nice to meet you here in the comments section. I just skipped over to your blog and love your writing. Your honesty and insights and, bonus, incorporation of your faith into your writing, drew me in. Keep writing.

      I bet you are one caring and compassionate nurse.

      • authorlauraslife Says:

        Thank you so much! That’s what I try to be. I hope most of your nurses were throughout your shoulder surgery! Those are no joke!! One of the hardest orthopedic surgeries to recover from! You would think it would be a hip or a knee, but shoulders tough! Props to you!! And thank you for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      • Actually, I did not have shoulder surgery. Just fractured it in a fall, but thankfully not bad enough to require surgery. Still, the healing process is slow and then there’s the soon-to-be therapy.

        Comparing this to my hip replacement surgery, though, I would say this is more difficult and limiting for me physically.

      • authorlauraslife Says:

        For some reason I was getting the gist that there was a surgery involved! I’m sorry for that. And I believe it! I was always told, at least, that the shoulder had the longer recovery period.

      • No problem, Laura. I can see how you might assume surgery happened. My doctor warned me that if I “didn’t listen” and the break widened, then I might need surgery. So far so good. My greatest fear now is falling before I’m fully healed. I am careful, careful.

      • authorlauraslife Says:

        Good! You get your rest and no more injuries!! 💖

  12. Judy M. Says:

    I like your new haircut, it looks good on you. I am glad you got a good report from the doctor. Your blog is an encouragement to me, thank you.

  13. Jackie Says:

    I can squeeze you as hard as I want with a “cyber hug”…. so here it comes, HUG!!!! Glad to hear you are doing well through this long process. You are a compliant patient which is very beneficial to healing. I am sending 3 cards to my elderly friends from church today… it’s been too long, thanks for the reminder. P.S. I Love the hair cut, super cute on you !

  14. Glad to hear that your recovery is going well not being able to use an arm and hand completely can be frustrating. I look to the Lord every morning, for strength to get through each day. The other day my blog set a new record for visits, come to find out, another blogger who on dialysis had been reading my archives. He goes by the name quarkshire and lives in Colorado, he could use prayers from the other bloggers.

    • You have such a great and positive attitude. Leland. I, too, rely on the Lord for strength.

      Congrats on your record number of visitors and thanks for passing along Quarkshire’s name. Your heart is one brimming with kindness.

  15. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I’m so happy to hear that you are healing well.

    • Thank you. Yesterday I saw a friend whom I haven’t seen for awhile. She fell two weeks after me and broke her left elbow. So we were comparing notes. Then, on a trip to Walmart, I saw an acquaintance who fell in February and broke her elbow and arm. She now has an elbow implant. I din’t know there was such a thing. She actually saw me at the Red Cross blood drive on the evening I fell and said I looked pretty bad. I don’t recall seeing her. So falls are apparently way more common than I thought.

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