Our plan to visit more of the East Bay Regional Parks fizzled the day it began. On April 8, 2022, we selected the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve for our first visit. Since the green hills near us had already begun their fade to gold, we knew the wildflowers wouldn’t last much longer in the eastern part of Contra Costa County.
We started out on the Atlas Mine trail until we encountered a closed sign, then transitioned to the Chaparral Trail. A few days earlier, I had watched a video about the wildflowers on the Chaparral Trail and anticipated all the wildflowers I’d be able to capture with the camera.
Up two short inclines and a walk through an overgrown area, until we hit a clearing where I stopped to take photos. Then Jon realized he had dropped the map. I offered to navigate the inclines again to retrieve said map. Sandstone isn’t my favorite medium to hike on, so I was proud I made it down and back up the steep inclines, not just once, but twice without sliding.
With the map retrieved, we continued on a maintenance and fire road, also graded from sandstone. I found another patch of flowers to capture with the camera and squatted to get a closer view. With the picture taken and the camera turned off, I stood, then landed on my butt.
Pain gripped my right hand and wrist. My Lamaze breathing techniques kicked in. Between breaths, I prayed for a sprain and not a break. I didn’t want to look, I couldn’t look, I had to look.
A quick look revealed my right hand misaligned with the arm. Not a sprain. Dizziness and shaking left me sitting in place for several minutes until I could recover and stand. My camera and strap served as a handy sling and kept the pain at bay.
Luckily, we hadn’t gone more than a 1/3 mile from our car. Off we drove to urgent care where X-rays confirmed the damage and need for surgery. Our plans to visit the East Bay Parks or traveling in our RV ended that day, a disappointment we are only recently getting over.
I’m sure it’s easy to guess that having my dominant arm immobilized limited what I can do. Jon has been the perfect caregiver helping me whenever I couldn’t do something on my own, carting me to doctor appointments and other outings, and taking over all the household chores.
On Thursday, July 7, three months later and two months after surgery, the doctor released me from any splint, cast, or brace. Now I’m looking at several months, if not a year, of slow incremental progress until my mobility returns to what it was before.
So, there you have it. A bad break sidelined the Traveling Todds and kept us from enjoying our passion for poking around this great nation of ours. We are so looking forward to packing up and hitting the road in a few weeks, after a few PT appointments and assuming no other obstacles crop up.
Thank goodness I could trade my cast for a brace, and we didn’t have to cancel our trip to Kauai with the family. It was a trip we had originally booked for April 2020 and rescheduled for early June 2022.
Stay tuned for a post or two, or more, about our Hawaii trip.
Updated July 14, 2022: corrected date from June 7 to July 7