Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I was technically supposed to have this follow-up about a week after the first appointment. So, I was about 3 weeks late, which did account for a few raised eyebrows. Since the first doctor seemed very strict about me not using my left arm at all, I suspected that I might meet with some disapproval about my less than strict observance of this rule. (I did not totally give up typing, as I was supposed to, for example.)
The second set of X-rays was much less painful than the first. I can't quite straighten my arm yet, and opening jars is difficult/impossible still. But I'm making progress. While waiting for the doctor, I studied his posters, and learned exactly what my "radial head" looks like.
The doctor came in with the current X-rays and good news. It does take six weeks for a broken bone to heal fully, but he felt that I was on target and healing nicely. He asked me what I did for a living, and sympathized with my difficulty in abstaining from left-hand use. ("Who would you get to type your sermons?") He told me that this was a very common injury; it had nothing to do with age; in fact, his twenty-year-old daughter had done the same thing recently. He also told me that he saw no indication of arthritis on my X-rays. He seemed to be able to anticipate the things that I would be concerned about before I even had a chance to voice them. I suppose he has seen a lot of people like me.
He showed me my X-rays, the fluid build-up which was part of diagnosing the initial break, and the place on the second X-ray where he could see both the break and the new bone being formed. "My body is making new bone?" I asked. "Does it ever stop?" I considered the amazing-ness of the human body. He showed me the little crack that was the broken bone. I didn't see it, and I told him so.
"Well, you can see a lot of things that I can't see," he answered.
As I left, he told me that he was impressed by the range of movement I already had achieved. He said that by beginning to use my arm moderately, I was doing the right thing.
"Have fun gardening," he said.
I'm hoping to get in the garden soon (better late than never), but I've been doing a different kind of gardening today. I've been training my eye on the new creation, searching the scriptures and my life for both the cracks and the new bones growing, so that I can speak words of hope and confidence into broken lives.