Physical therapy – that’s a surprise!

 Before my follow-up appointment with the hand surgeon (today), I fussed and whimpered and fussed some more; the “brave Christy” simply went into hiding, leaving a complete coward in her place!  

 My last encounter with stitch removal was two years ago, when the male nurse (aka Attila the Hun!) removed all of the surgical wraps on both feet (including the ones which had adhered to the incision) briskly, efficiently and painfully.  He then proceeded to SCRUB the incisions with great zeal and particularly rough-textured gauze! I have a witness – I think the marks of my fingernails are probably still dimly visible on Tom’s left hand!  The actual stitch removal was done by a very sweet, empathetic nurse, but she still had to dig for stitches within a rather deep V-shaped  area on both  feet and somewhat overgrown by new skin. . . . every time it hurt too much for me to stay silent and stoic, I felt guilty for making her feel guilty about hurting me!  All of this, of course, was on my mind while Tom helped a very reluctant me to get dressed for The Appointment before he left for work.

The mystical, “magical gauze strip with important healing qualities”  hadn’t been removed when my neighbor (aka Ace Nurse) or I did my own dressing changes, mostly because it was obviously well adhered to the surgical site by the rather important red fluid that flows through my body!  I was fussing because I had mental images of the surgeon (or nurse) calmly ripping the “magic strip” off.  In point of fact, it was the nurse who did the deed, and then proceeded to dig around and remove twelve stitches before leaving me to my surgeon’s tender mercy.  OK – I  survived that, the  incisions looked good and I was sent off to physical therapy to be fitted with a ‘figure-eight’ brace and given a sheet of exercises to be done five-times daily.   (According to the surgeon, “We had to remove a lot of extraneous bone.”) and released to return to the therapist’s clinic on Nov.10th. 

Excuse me? (1) The center of said figure  8 brace rests across all three incisions, with no padding between brace and skin! 2) I can perform the range-of-motion exercises much better without this infernal appliance constantly shifting and 3)  “OK, Chris. . . .give it time. Calm down, do the exercises, breathe deeply  & give it time. . . . well, I’m trying, but. . . .!

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