Monday, July 23, 2012

My injury.

I thought it was time to share the details of what I have been dealing with in the past two months.

Living in New York for the past two months have been pretty rough. Climate changes, not getting cast in any shows, mosquito bites and home sickness all have hit my 4'11" stature pretty hard. Oh, I expected it, and knew the tears would come with the territory of moving across the country. I was prepared.

However, all of those things didn't hit me as hard as my injury.

That's right. Injury. I have only shared my pain with very few people, mostly those who have seen my elbow in a brace and ask me, "what the HELL happened?!". To be honest, I really don't know. 

I woke up one morning in early June, and found my right elbow to be extremely swollen. I thought it was a bug bite, or maybe I slept on it funny, so I thought nothing of it. I iced it, took pain relievers and continued to go about my day. I went to a few dance classes, and a bunch of dance auditions, and despite my elbow hurting, kind of just continued to try to hone my craft and hope that my arm would heal with medication and ice.

Until one day, I woke up, and couldn't bend my arm at all. It was hella scary, ya'll. I've never felt so much pain in my arm, ever. So, reluctantly (because I don't have health insurance) I went to an Urgent Care in Astoria -- all thanks to my loving boyfriend who saw past my stubbornness and convinced me to go.

The doctor was immediately concerned, and had X-Rays done on my arm. He was concerned that my elbow was fractured and sent my results to a radiologist. Results: They saw two very tiny fractures but said I just needed to wear a soft cast so that I could reduce the use of my arm for a few weeks. It looked minor enough to heal with rest and anti-inflammatories.

Two weeks fly by, and my arm starts to feel a lot better. It feels as if it is healing and that I'm on the road to recovery. Until about a week after that, my arm lost mobility again. It wouldn't bend past 90 degrees, and I felt a sharp pain each time I even attempted to try to bend it. So I had multiple phone meetings with my doctor until he sent me to see an Orthopedic Surgeon (in which the ortho doctor's name is Dr. Gray -- and for you Grey's fans, that's a good sign.) 

I set up a consultation with Dr. Gray, and he immediately set me up for an MRI because he couldn't tell enough from the X-Rays. No good sign in sight, yet. He didn't want to scare me, but he wanted to make sure I was able to get a clear picture of exactly what was wrong before he could diagnose anything.

My prescription for X-Ray and MRI.

Today I got an MRI done, which was DREADFUL, and painful, which I didn't expect at all. The machine was freakin' bananas! Hella loud and just a bit claustrophobic in there. 

The MRI center, and the crazy machine I went in.
Indication of fractures, and rupture of muscle and flow of blood.

The good news of today is that Cancer is ruled out. The doctor was concerned that my bones may have had a growth or some type of tumor that was preventing me from bending my arm. Thank GOD it isn't that. "Surgery isn't going to be needed -- yet." - Dr. Gray.

Results: But I do have a ruptured muscle, and my veins are torn open. There is a large amount of blood flowing around the muscle, that is from the rupture, which is what is stopping my arm from bending all the way back. So steps in the right direction now, is to take plenty of medicine to avoid calcification, which would freeze and immobilize my arm permanently. 

I am on the road to recovery with physical therapy, bi-weekly checkups, and lots of pain meds for now. The entire past month has been stressful, frustrating, and a mess to say the least. I ran into a big financial rough patch because I am not on any type of health insurance, but with the support of a few amazing mentors and people whom I consider my family, my expenses are mostly covered without me going into what would've been extreme debt. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those people. You know who you are. ;) 

Thankful for this, too.

What is most frustrating is not being able to dance, do yoga, or go to any dance auditions. I have to consider the risks, which is further rupture, but if I am careful I can go but not without consulting with the orthopedic surgeon, and dealing with extreme pain. The doctor thinks I will be able to start dancing again in about two months. I guess buying that dance package to BDC will have to wait. :( 

This has probably been the most disappointing and grueling months I've experienced in a very long time. I have been struggling to find my niche in the Big Apple, and mostly because my arm has crippled many opportunities for me to acquaint myself with the city. Especially dancing. One of my goals after closing 'Miss Saigon' was to get into the best physical shape this summer, and dance like I used to. I wanted physical activity to fill my body and soul with endorphins and to make the move out here feel purposeful and fulfilling. Instead, it has been a huge waiting game, and ongoing test of my patience. Instead, my arm made me feel like it was the main reason why I wasn't getting cast in things I thought I was perfect for. I began to hate my arm and hate any and everything to do with it. Lots of sitting, waiting for my arm to just feel better. But now that I have answers, I feel some of the weight being lifted from the mess I feel like I've been in. 

Here is where it is at for now:

That is all I can really bend it to. Hoping for an inch more next week. 

Although the healing process won't be as fast as I want it to be (and if you really know me, you know how much of a go-getter I am, and the wait will juuuuust KILL me) I am doing what I can to keep positive. I will be keeping an weekly log of my arm, and it's progress on mobility. 

I will continue to update everyone on the progress of my arm, and can't thank my friends and family enough for the support and love. I feel good thoughts and prayers pour into me daily, and it's because I have a great network of people who keep me grounded and SANE. 

Now, I am off for a 2-week vacation to Tallahassee, Florida with my boyfriend, my best friend, and my beautiful Mom to visit some of the best siblings in the world. I think it'll ll be just what the doctor ordered. :) 


  1. Have a great time babe :) You deserve a little vacay :)

  2. I was so relieved to hear cancer was ruled out because having had cancer, it was one of the first things I thought of when I heard about your inexplicable pain. So I cried with relief when I got your text today AND just know that as difficult as this all my be, there is a reason for everything. You will never take any part of your body for granted ever again. Have fun in Florida and know you are loved. Aloha, your family in Cali