How to Heal a Cracked Clavicle?

April 9, 2017

  1. Leave the AT.   “If you fall, and jar all those little pieces apart, I can’t put it back together again,” your doctor warns.  Yes, leave the AT while healing.
  2. Steadfastly refuse to answer to the trail name, “Humpty Dumpty.”
  3. Emphatically refuse to take the pain medication prescribed by the doctor because you don’t like the way it steals your brain away.
  4. Complain about how much the broken bone hurts.
  5. Ask for help with every little task, including getting dressed. Wince and make faces of agony as your loved ones help you.
  6. Your husband gets fed up with all this. He rents a car and searches for a campground far away from the AT, somewhere exotic.  He finds Merchants Millpond State Park, very close to the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina.  “That has a nice ring to it!” he states, and makes a reservation.  When asked his thoughts, he explains, “I just wanted to leave the city.  I felt we needed to get some perspective on all this.  And if the campground is that bad, the AT will start looking pretty good!”
  7. Sit in the front seat of the car for the first three days at the campground. Try not to think of overstuffed recliners and bathrooms just down a hall.
  8. Realize that at least while you are camping, you don’t have to change your clothes, which is good for your shoulder.
  9. Eat lots of sardines and cheese for the omega-3s and the calcium. Hope it helps.
  10. On the fourth day at the campground, realize that the fire and brimstone in your shoulder is starting to die into smoldering embers, with only occasional flare-ups. Do the calculations, and realize that you have been living with this smashed bone for eleven days.
  11. Take a six mile easy hike, with backpacking gear in a fanny pack. The coals in your shoulder continue to glow, but no flames.  Happily begin planning your return to the AT.
  12. Realize that it is four more days until your follow-up doctor appointment. Try to enjoy the Great Dismal Swamp.
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Sarah, roughing it at the Visitor’s Center at Merchants Millpond State Park.
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Next stop, the Appalachian Trail!

Author: Sarah and Jay Bigelow

Hi! We live in the Carson Valley in Nevada near Lake Tahoe. Sarah is a retired elementary school teacher, and Jay is a retired fish biologist. We are in our 50's, and have been married for 30 years.

6 thoughts on “How to Heal a Cracked Clavicle?”

  1. Hi, Sarah! It’s so strange how your posts come in clumps. Today (April 9) I learned that on March 20-something you fell and later found out you had a broken collar bone – ouch!! Then I learned (also today) that you and Jay have been off-trail for a couple of weeks, maybe . . . not sure how long, but I know you are impatiently hoping to return to the AT soon. Having hiked on a fair number of GSMNP trails, I can imagine the “easy” trail you fell on wasn’t really all that easy. And having also felt the sudden jarring of taking a bad fall, I know it was shocking, painful, humiliating, painful, disappointing, painful . . . ugh! SO SORRY this happened. But it seems you are planning a return to the trail soon, and that’s what matters. Cheers to you! Keep trekking.

    I pass along all good wishes from all of the Evensong Handbell gals! Amy Large

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    1. Healing thoughts. I can appreciate the postponed plans. I am the only guilty one but did not leave today. Hoping to hit the road Friday. First the Oregon coast the head to Utah.

      Need my blog up and running first.
      My cat (age 90+ in cat life ) died peacefully this am. I am grateful we were still home. Buried her and bought catnip to plant above her. She love curling up under it in the ( rare) sun.
      Take your time. The AT will wait for you

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  2. I just read a great book where runaway slaves hid in the Great Dismal Swamp Glory Over Everything. The author made you feel like you were RIGHT THERE

    Take care Sarah and Jay!

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