Injury Time-Out

At an ungodly hour this morning (by ungodly I mean before the sun was up and it was freezing cold!), the question about the existence of this blog was raised. Yes, my friends, it has been a while. Yet again, I am going to start a blog entry with an apology for yet another late update.

I am sorry it has been a fair while, even if my resolution was to do a much better job this year. A split second slip up one night at the end of January dictated what would happen to most of my plans for 2015. My big plans for this year were all going to end up on the wayside!

My mission that night was to dewater and clear a bogged sump. At around 9pm, my right hand slipped as I was trying to secure the hose coupling. It was a split second hyperextension of my wrist – I saw it snap a bit further back than what looked normal but since there was no pain (and I am pretty tough) I carried on for the rest of the shift

The hose had to go into A and secured with the nasty clippy bit. As everything was wet, my hand slipped and the rest is history.
The hose had to go into A and secured with the nasty clippy bit. As everything was wet, my hand slipped and the rest is history.

We flew out of site that morning and my wrist was still normal. I arrived home and did my usual post night shift routine: eat and crash on the couch. I tend not to resurface until I feel human again, which usually takes at least 48 hours after working seven nights.

Post night shift couch loving time.
          Post night shift couch loving time.

When I woke up after a few hours, I noticed my right hand was swollen; my technical assessment was: holy crap, sausage fingers! So I zombie wrapped my wrist and iced it then went back to post night shift hibernation mode. I had a doctor’s appointment that week so I waited until I spoke to her before stressing about my split second slip up. Surely I was going to be fine; I didn’t feel any pain at all when my wrist did that funny snappy thing so surely nothing was seriously wrong! Right?

Zombie mode
                       Zombie mode

The story gets a bit like a Hollywood blockbuster after this point:

  • lots of action, twists and turns (not just with my story but actual twist and turns when they were checking my wrist),
  • numerous storylines concurrently running (read: various doctors/therapist/specialist appointments and opinions),
  • several wardrobe changes (pretty splint, boring splint, mini splint),
  • and drama with a very important lesson imbedded through all this (people, report ANY incident or potential incident or else you get a written warning).

Four months on and I am still on light duties. What does that mean? It means office work. It means no lifting weights at the gym (and for a while there, it meant no gym AT ALL). It means no Maxine’s Challenge, which I was very excited about (see last post to completely understand how heartbreaking this one was for me). It also means no cycling (so the bike that I was very kindly gifted has turned into a very lovely décor in our home). And when I am at home it means no chopping of hard-ish vegetables, no heavy lifting (nothing over 2.5 kilos), limit any turning/twisting motion with my right hand (which negates my no-one in the kitchen while I am cooking rule). So it has been a very interesting few months.

Pretty splint
                         Pretty splint

But as with anything, when there’s a bad or less than ideal aspect, there are still some positives (I am really trying here, so don’t scoff people). Aside from now knowing fancy words like triangular fibrocartilage complex, because I am on light duties I have been able to use my pre-operator skills and combine it with knowledge I have gained in the last few years. I have been writing and editing documents, organising, and using my innate leadership skills *(see photo below) when required. Putting together Permit to Work Packs which involves marking up process and instrumentation diagrams and reviewing that all the required isolations are identified. I have put together training manuals and procedures on areas I knew nothing about but now I have a better understanding of. Played and updated super complicated Excel files (I got bored of feeling threatened by this task so for one month I reappropriated my shoe shopping funds to do an online Excel course).

Leadership Skills

As one of the restrictions on my return to work program is no repetitive tasks. To ensure task variety, I make it a point to do various wellness walk-arounds. A sort of sanity check and to prevent cabin fever; also the perfect opportunity to find people and foster positive working relationships with personnel I would normally not have much to do with. Okay, so maybe I just go out for a wander and talk to people to annoy them but doesn’t wellness walk-around and foster positive working relationships sound so much better?

Aside from dealing with this injury, there has also been dealing with the reality of what is going on in the mining industry. There have been some cuts in the workforce and we have lost some good people. Hopefully things do get better before they get worse.

This was as close as I got to the plant for a few swings.
This was as close as I got to the plant for a few swings.

I have friends who work for other mining companies who are changing rosters in the next month. We ourselves are waiting for news on the matter. As cheesy as it may sound, and I know this will get me out of favour with a lot of people I work with, there really is two ways of looking at things, current situation included. The bad does still come with some bits of good in it; it’s just up to us to choose which storyline we want to focus on. This may be my Psychology studies taking over at this point in time, but our mind is such a powerful tool that I truly believe we have the ability to influence our day regardless of what is actually going on. Yes, I know there are some days where I am an absolute grumpy bum and I cannot snap out of the misery certain things bring. We all have these days. I am pretty sure it’s not just me! But most days, I do try and on occasion successfully switch over from the dark side, to the slightly entertaining side, to the it’s not so bad side, and on to the it’s all good side (certain days I may even reach the completely crazy delirious side). I have lost track of how many sides I am talking about but you get the picture.

Inner peace

If we choose to focus on the doom and gloom, then we are guaranteed a gloomy day ahead. No question about that. If we try to swing away from the gloom and do as Peter Pan said (“think of happy thoughts and you will fly” for those of you too old to remember Mr Pan’s wise words), then surely it will be a better day? And if anyone requires any assistance, I have been told I can be pretty entertaining (my specialty is taking the piss out of myself) and can be a good distraction or destruction (whichever way you want to look at it). You know where to find me! I will be relatively easy to find whilst injured. I will be in the office, tied to a desk.

Special occasion hair do, just for laughs !
Special occasion hair do, just for laughs !