I'm Bek, 39 years old in Perth, Western Australia.
I'm new to all this ... I had a motorbike accident on March 1st this year and ended up with a BPI in my dominant (right) arm. I can move my fingers a bit, but can't lift my arm or bend my elbow. I snapped my lower arm (ulnar) and smashed my upper arm (humerus) near the elbow. I now have metal screws and plates all through my arm. I was lucky enough that they were my only injuries, besides a few scratches. My motorbike hit some slippery gravel or something on the road, shot out onto the shoulder of the road, smashed into a tree and threw me into a barbed wire fence. Lucky indeed.
When I was told by the original ortho surgeon that I had "BPI and would never use my arm again and would never be rid of the pain, sorry, but here's a surgeon who knows about this stuff, go see him" ... I headed straight for the internet to find out information, because as great as they are, doctors and surgeons don't tend to spend much time with you going over every piece of information that you might want to know. What I discovered is that there is no support or information in Australia at all.
I use a computer for a living, and I can't stand sitting around doing nothing, so I was back working for my employer 3 weeks after my accident (from home). 2 weeks later I was back in the office. A couple of weeks later I drove our car with one arm. And on it goes. I push myself to do everything I used to do. Obviously there are some things I simply cannot do, but I try modifying things, using my teeth, feet, kitchen tongs ... anything, so that I don't have to rely on my husband and 17 year old daughter.
Anyway, there's just no info online for Australians, so ... I thought I would establish a support network in Australia for people with BPI. I've started off with a Facebook page and group. I'm going to get a web page up and I intend to get surgeons, therapists and accessory suppliers on board. My surgeon, Alex O'Beirne, and my OT, Jaslyn Cullen, are the only BPI specialists in Western Australia. They are keen to get involved with what I'm setting up.
It's still in its infancy, but will develop quickly, so I thought I would try to let any Australians that use UBPN know that I'm setting it up.
If you search Facebook for Brachial Plexus Injury Australia, you'll find the page and group. You can also find me at www.brachialgirl.com and firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hope to see you there!
Treatments, Rehabilitation, and Recovery
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