By the time they came back, I was up and had showered (which is why I stayed behind in the first place), but thought that my wrist might be broken. It was swollen and it hurt really, really bad. However, no bones were sticking out, plus I could move my fingers, and there was no way I was going to try and find an ER on a Saturday night in a strange city, so I took a bunch of Motrin and went to bed.
The next morning we continued with our drive to North Carolina, with me hopped up on Motrin. As long as I didn't move my wrist a certain direction, it was tolerable. I thought I might go to an urgent care facility there, but I really didn't want to deal with all of that, plus being out-of-state, I knew that chances were high that our insurance would end up being filed wonky and I'd be dealing with a billing mess, which is exhausting. So I babied my wrist, and except for not getting to go bowling like Allie wanted - OH DID I MENTION THIS WAS MY LEFT WRIST AND I'M LEFT-HANDED - it didn't impact me all that much.
I finally went to the doctor the first week of January and had X-rays taken:
My wedding ring looks weird in this image!
Nothing was broken, which was a relief...or so I thought. Based on where it was still hurting, my doctor said it was a sprain, and that I'd either stretched or torn the ligaments. Apparently a break is preferable to a sprain, because bones heal quicker than ligaments...but that would explain why it was still hurting me so badly. He said if it wasn't better in six weeks, I would need to see an orthopedist.
Cut to early March. Because of an upcoming unrelated minor surgery, I had to stop taking Motrin (which is a blood thinner, a no-no before surgery). Well, my wrist, which had never stopped hurting, especially when I did something like shake a can of Pam before cooking, or curl my hair with a brush as I was blow-drying it, began hurting like CRAZY, all the time. Nights were the worst; I'd move in my sleep and my wrist would twist just enough to wake me up with a zap of pain, and this happened over and over, all night long. I realized that even though I hadn't been taking Motrin every day, I was taking it often enough to have been masking the pain levels really well. So I went to an orthopedist who is a hand specialist.
My orthopedist suspected a TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) tear and ordered an MRI for me, which showed an ECU (extensor carpi ulnaris) tear - but not the TFCC tear, which he still thought was happening based on where it was hurting and how long this had been going on. His guess is that scar tissue might have obscured the TFCC tear on the MRI.
The bad news is that I will almost certainly need surgery to fix my wrist. My orthopedist warned me that this would be a long recovery because there is very little blood flow to the injured area, and blood flow is what heals wounds. I am looking at three months of being in various splints after surgery; once that is over, I'll have to have some physical therapy to get my hand and wrist moving properly again. You know my first question, when he told me what was in store, was "can I still run?" His answer was yes. Turns out, he's a runner, loves running, and didn't see why I couldn't run once I was feeling well enough after the surgery, even if I was in a splint.
Before surgery, we're trying one last thing - I had a steroid injection into the pinky finger side of my wrist, right at the wristbone, and I'm to wear a splint for two weeks, followed by two weeks with no splint. Then we'll revisit the situation and make plans from there. Surgery won't happen until May, at the earliest, because I have a couple of fun races in April and I'll be damned if I'm going to miss them because of this dumb wrist - I mean, I've been able to run all the races since January with it, so why let it stop me now?
Once again, I bery bery sorry, Mom.
I'm wearing a Munster splint, which immobilizes my wrist and has helped immensely with me not accidentally moving it; I don't hurt nearly as much when I'm in the splint. Of course, the second I take it off, the pain is actually worse for a little while because it's so stiff, but I only take it off to shower, run, and type. I can even knit with it, although I worry that after the surgery, I'll be worse off before I'm better and I will need the magical powers of Harry Potter to get any knitting done:
So that's my wrist saga. Moral of the story is that you shouldn't fall down, but if you do, breaking your wrist is the better option. As if you have an option when you fall...