I started this blog to keep a regular journal of how EDS / JHS affects my on a daily basis, however it has been so chaotic that I haven’t been able to start, so now I am going to go back.
After my shoulder stabilisation surgery in December 2013, I returned to university. Firstly, I arrived back for my first day of second year on crutches after an accident on my penny board tore the ligaments and tendons in my right knee. I spent the next two weeks on crutches but soon got back to the swing of university life, I even signed up to go on the ski trip to Les Arcs. With first semester being successfully uneventful, I looked forward to a week snowboarding, albeit a little nervous for my knee.
On the first morning of the trip, my roommates and I were first on the slopes whilst the rest of the group waited for ski fitting. This is where things went literally down hill. The snow wasn’t too good this year. There wasn’t a great deal of snowfall so there was a lot of ice and grass patches on the slopes. On the first run I slipped on some ice and caught the edge of my board on a tuft of grass coming up through the snow. I tumbled and fell a good few meters down the slope before getting back up and boarding down (more cautiously) to the ski lift. When I bent down to unbuckle my binding I realised that my wrist was a bit floppy. I took my mitt of and saw a golf ball sized lump over my wrist. Yes – I broke my wrist on the first run of the first day. I took the gondola down to the medical centre where an x-ray showed that I had broken accords the top of the radius and ulna. I had a cast fitted and returned to the slopes. I spent the rest of the week taking it easy on the gentle slopes with the beginners.
Where I had been at altitude in the mountains, my wrist was swollen. By the time I had come home the cast was slipping up and down my arm, so I went to get a new one fitted. The new cast left my thumb free and I was in it for another 5 weeks.
When I went back to have the cast removed, I was still experience pain when I moved my thumb or bent my wrist. I was put back in a cast (this time with my thumb inside) which had slits down the sides and tied together with Velcro straps. This was so that it could be removed for an MRI scan to check the ligaments. Of course, having EDS, my ligaments and tendons were damaged and I was put into a brace that also supported my thumb. I stayed in this brace for 2 months before being able to take it off in June, 6 months after I broke my wrist.
At the time it was difficult to explain to the doctors that I was still experiencing pain. They openly didn’t understand what EDS was and how it can complicate things. All I was told was that “I shouldn’t be having pain now that it has healed.” It took a while to persuade them to send me to an MRI.
Even though my wrist had healed from the break, I still get a lot of pain. I have days where it is difficult write, type or lift and so I wear a wrist and thumb brace quite often. Because my thumb had been left out of the second cast, I was using it whilst my wrist was still broken. I now can’t bend my wrist backwards fully, as there is scar tissue in the joint. This means that weight bearing physio and exercises are difficult too.