Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Oh, happy day August 23, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:46 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

A selfie taken shortly after going splint-free. You can see the scar on my wrist from the incision to implant a metal plate on June 25.


NEARLY 10 WEEKS OUT from shattering a bone in my left wrist which required an implant with 10 screws, I got the news I’ve been wanting. I can ditch my splint. My hand, my wrist, are now free of any supportive locking device. And I am one happy person/photographer/writer.


After two months in this splint, I no longer need to wear it.


I did not expect this news from my cautious orthopedic doctor during a routine check on my healing bone Wednesday morning. During a previous visit, he’d given me a splint time-frame that would have taken me to almost the end of September.


This is a photo snapped with a cellphone of an x-ray of the implant in my wrist. Ten screws (count them) hold the metal plate in place. The broken bone, my ortho doctor said, “looked like gravel’ following my June 16 fall.


But after reviewing my current and past x-rays and asking me to pass some range of motion tests, he told me I don’t need to wear the splint anymore. I asked him to repeat what he’d just said, not believing this could possibly be true.

He qualified. “I don’t want you doing anything silly.” He knows me well, that I wanted to be doing whatever yesterday. Yet, he apparently trusts that I will recognize my limitations and not push my weak wrist. I asked about using my Canon DSLR camera. He okayed that usage after I explained that I support the lens with my left hand. I don’t expect to do extensive photo shoots but slowly ease back into photography.

Upon arriving home from my medical appointment and occupational therapy, I tested my left hand while putting away dishes. Much to my dismay, I didn’t have the strength to pull open a cupboard door or to lift a small bowl. But I could lift a small rectangular plastic food storage container. It’s not much, but something.


Me, several hours after my June 25 surgery to repair my broken left wrist with a metal plate. The splint and wrap in this photo were replaced a week later by a removable (only for showering and therapy) Velcro wrist splint, the one I now no longer need to wear.


I expect to start strengthening exercises at my next therapy session on Friday. Up until now I’ve done only range of motion exercises. I’ll work hard to strengthen and regain use of my hand and wrist. It’s a slow process that requires time and much patience. I’m determined. And that’s a good thing. Determination and tenacity coupled with prayer and the support of a really great medical team and a loving and caring husband equal recovery.


© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


40 Responses to “Oh, happy day”

  1. Jenny Says:


  2. It is amazing the process to strengthen, however; I know your drive and you will have it back much sooner than later. Just do not push or overdo it! Take It Easy (((((healing/strengthen vibes))))) Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

    • From one who’s been there, right? I already realize my limitations. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • My injury back in 2012 with a re-injury a few years back has been quite the adventure and will last my lifetime. It is very humbling when you have to re-learn the basics again like walking, stepping up and down as well as forward and backwards, etc. I still struggle in getting on escalators and cannot climb multiple flights of stairs. I continue to learn my limitations – ha! Recent fall off bike at the beginning of June – not ready to surrender to a recumbent though. I also have learned to ask for help and not try to do it all myself.

  3. Cheryl N Says:

    Wonderful news! Be sure to follow that advice – “Don’t do anything silly!”

  4. Almost Iowa Says:

    But I could lift a small rectangular plastic food storage container. It’s not much, but something.

    One must take the joys that are available.

    Wonderful news!

  5. So happy for you! But go slow! We don’t want you hurt again! 🙂

  6. Great news! Just don’t overdo it!!

  7. Littlesundog Says:

    I knew you’d go straight home and see how you felt about holding the camera!! Ha ha! It’s the same thing I would have done! I’m happy for you, Audrey.

  8. Yay! Great News! Take Care!!

  9. Gunny Says:


  10. valeriebollinger Says:

    That’s really good news Audrey. So happy for your healing thus far.

  11. Judy M Says:

    Happy for you and your freedom from the splint.

    • You should have seen the look on my occupational therapist’s face this morning when I walked in without my splint. She couldn’t believe it because, like me, she expected me to be wearing my brace for another month yet. Today I started strengthening exercises. I definitely have a lot of work to do on that. But I’m starting and that’s great.

  12. Jackie Says:

    WoooooHoooooo!!! So glad to hear you are free of the splint. I know you will take your time to let your wrist get stronger before you over use it. You’ve come a long way 🙂

    • Thanks for celebrating with me, my friend. I got two pages of strengthening exercises and new green therapy putty from my therapist this morning. On my way to rebuilding my strength so I can manipulate my camera lens.

  13. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    You are amazing. I’d just be happy to soak in a hot bath without worry. Praises.

    • Thank you, Sandra. I continue to thank God for my healing and for the people who have helped me to get there. At my last ortho visit, I made sure to thank my doctor for giving me my wrist back through his skills as a surgeon.

  14. I am so glad you are cleared to use your wrist! Yay God for bringing healing! 😀

    • Thank you, Kristin. And, yes, praise God. Now I just need to continue the hard work of doing my therapy.

      I miss connecting with you. But I know you’re in the right place now, supporting and caring for John. I pray his recovery is going well.

      I checked out your blog and am impressed by the creativity in your photography. You do great work with an artsy bend.

  15. Bella Says:

    Indeed a happy day for you congratulations and REJOICE- REJOICE

  16. Happy to hear your good news!

  17. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    This great news!

    • I’m pretty happy. Now, after a week without my splint, I realize just how much muscle strength I’ve lost in 10 weeks. My arm and hand are sore by the end of the day and sometimes when I wake up. But this soreness should ease as my strength increases. I’m determined to keep working hard at therapy.

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