We have all had bruises that we can’t recall the origin of, we’re Hypermobile! Maybe a scar or two that we just don’t remember the story behind. But what happens when the mystery injuries are a little bigger than a bump or bruise?
What happens to those of us with different types of hypermobility issues that lead to severe and frequent injuries like dislocations? These types of injuries are often unavoidable for us and happen at the most unexplainable times.
But just because we can’t always explain the why behind the injury, or prevent them entirely, we need to do our best to be prepared for anything that could happen to put our bodies in danger.
I recently woke up from a nice sleep with a fully dislocated shoulder, in my panic I tried to reduce it myself, with no prior experience, I ended up pinching a nerve and not getting the shoulder back in properly. This lead to tears and a hospital visit in the middle of the night.
My boyfriend was running around the house looking for 1 of the five slings I have from previous dislocations. Sometimes it takes an event like this to make you realize how you need to prepare in advance, for these things.
From my experiences, here are my top 6 tips to prepare for mystery injuries!
1. Plan ahead
It doesn’t matter if your leaving the house for 5 seconds or 5 days plan ahead for the unexpected. Most of us with chronic illness are pretty good about getting our daily things like medications, but we don’t always think about the what ifs. So carrying a sling for a possible dislocated shoulder, or some stability tape for a subluxing knee might be exactly what you need to have on hand just in case. If you drive, then having a personal first-aid kit in the car with all your “possible” scenarios covered is a good idea.
2. Tell a friend
Friend or family, it doesn’t matter, but it is always good to tell someone you are with a brief synopsis of your issues. You don’t need to divulge your deepest darkest medical secrets, but just a heads up to someone close by so if the worst happens they know who to call or where to find the supplies you need to stay safe
3. Prevention prevention prevention
Being sick is hard enough but always having to remember your limitations can be near impossible sometimes. We have to try our best to remember which movements put us in danger for dislocations or remember to get up slowly to avoid passing out from drastic blood pressure changes. Being aware of your body and stopping to think before doing things – especially out of the ordinary activities can be helpful. Referring to this STOP, THINK, DO blog post might help too.
4. Always have your cell phone (mobile)
We live in a time where our phones are never out of reach, and while it can be annoying if you’re on a date, it can be life-saving for people with chronic illness. Have essential numbers saved or activate your voice option on your phone so if you do get hurt you have a quick means of getting help for yourself.
5. Have the essentials
Make yourself a just in case bag of items you would need to grab quickly if you needed to go to the hospital e.g. insurance cards (Medicare, private insurance etc), medications & allergies list etc. Anything you can’t live without for even one night (I mean the “life & death” live without!)
6. Remain calm
When all else fails, and we have done our best, but our bodies insist upon failing us that day, all we can do is remain calm. If you get hurt do your best to remain calm, it may hurt badly but getting worked up will usually make matters worse. Deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and being prepared may help make the process of getting help quicker and easier for you. This might be something you might consider practising on a regular basis to that it’s more readily available to your brain when you need it in a crisis. An app like “Calm” or “Breathe” may help you.
Have you got some other strategies you can share with us? Leave them in the comments below!