Monday I went to see the orthopedic specialist.
He walked into the room and said, very accusingly, "I looked at the x-rays from this morning and your fracture has shifted. What have you been doing? It was perfectly aligned on Thursday and now it's shifted. You must decrease your level of activity."
I fixed him with my best you're-an-asshole glare, a look that I've perfected over years of, well, being surrounded by assholes. It must've worked. (I think the black eye and my crazy hair helped the effect.) The doc actually took a step back, tilted his head to the side, and said, "I apologize. Do you live alone?" I nodded. "It's very hard to manage a clavicle fracture if you live alone."
I sighed. "Doc, I can feel the damn thing moving. It clicks. That's a little unnerving."
He checked my splint, a figure-of-eight brace that I'm pretty sure was once used as a medieval torture device. "The splint isn't properly placed," he said as he hopped on the table behind me.
Then he put his knee in my back and tightened the splint. I said a bit of the Rosary in a way not typically prayed.
And then we had a little conversation about what I cannot do, which is pretty much everything, during which he scared me into compliance by threatening surgery if the break gets out of alignment again. "Do not lift anything, do not stretch, do not extend either arm past 45 degrees, do not remove your splint," he warned. Got it. He scribbled a note that I can't go back to work until he sees me again in three weeks.
As I left his office, he paused in the hallway, looked back, and said, "If you need anything, just call the office. You're my patient for the next twelve weeks for the same price, so don't hesitate to call if you have questions or needs."
"Twelve weeks?" I said. "I won't really take that long to heal...right?"
"It will take every bit of twelve weeks for that fracture to heal, yes," he said.
"Twelve..." I gulped. "Twelve weeks...."