Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Finally, I’ve graduated September 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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The Art of Recovery (soft yellow putty, medium green putty and firm blue putty).


THREE MONTHS AND TWO DAYS after suffering a closed colles fracture of the left radius followed by open reduction with internal fixation of the fracture, I am done with medical appointments.

Now, let me write that in an understandable language. Three months and two days after I broke my left wrist followed by surgery to implant a titanium plate with 10 screws, I am done with medical appointments.


But that doesn’t mean I am fully recovered. After twisting on my wrist (yes, it was painful) during my final therapy session on Tuesday, my occupational therapist sent me home with several new exercises, a container of firm putty and instructions to continue my strengthening efforts. I tested several weights before Annie decided I should work with a 3-pound weight. That’s up from the pound I have been lifting. Prior to my injury, I was lifting a 10-pound weight.

Recovery takes time, hard work and lots of patience. And a great medical team.

Following therapy, I had my final evaluation with my orthopedic surgeon. He cleared me to slowly resume normal activities with a specific example of what not to do yet. “Don’t go pulling a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator,” he said.

But he said I could use my camera. “I already am,” I said, noting that I nearly pitched forward and fell the other day while pursuing a photo at the Valley Grove Country Social. He gave me a look. We agreed that I should try to stay out of his office for awhile. A year ago I was recovering from a broken right shoulder. As much as I like Dr. Armitage, it is my intent to keep my bones intact.

To all of you who have supported and encouraged me during this three-month recovery process, thank you. I am grateful for your kind words. And I am grateful for my loving husband who helped me through this lengthy process of healing and recovery with personal care assistance and taking on extra responsibilities at home. I am blessed. Even in challenges, there are reasons to be thankful.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “Finally, I’ve graduated”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Congratulations on the graduation. It;s a milestone for sure and one I know you are happy to achieve. Now no more falling!

  2. I love that you received putty and did not have to put on a cap and gown (you did that already with medical appts/surgery). Cue the pomp though because YOU GRADUATED – YAY!!! Remember baby steps, rest and relaxation and hard work pays off when you do it slooowwwlllyyyy. Think patience pants when dealing with a challenging time. I am so excited for you that I am crying tears of joy and doing a happy dance for you 🙂 Way to Go Girlfriend – Take It Easy – Happy Day (((((((loveandhugs))))))

  3. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    Hi Audrey – it’s been a while since I’ve been on your blog and it was nice to see this as the first post I’ve read since going on my summer hiatus! Glad you’re back at photography. Have fun with that putty.

  4. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    To be thankful even during challenges is a wise statement, and a good example for others who might be experiencing challenges themselves. I’m so glad you have graduated…now go forth my friend and snap those photo’s (not your bones) 🙂

  5. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    You are an inspiration….so blessed your body has responded….the words titanium plate with screws would have ended it for me, we take so many little things for granted. You need confidence, like they say being an aggressive driver is better than overly cautious. If our bodies were as sturdy as cars….anyway, God bless and there used to be a police drama that ended with LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! If there’s a rehab group to volunteer at, that might keep you cautious…..

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I’m so happy to hear that you continue to improve

  7. Judy M Says:

    Time to celebrate your freedom. No more falling allowed.

  8. valeriebollinger Says:

    Congratulations…that is good news indeed.

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