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Physical therapy – that’s a surprise!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

 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. . . .!

Off with her head (erm, hand)!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

O.K., confession time. With the guys off at work all day and “The Hand” sending out post-surgical messages I cannot repeat in polite (or even semi-polite) society , my “plan” was to escape boredom and pain by napping as much as possible.   However,  my self-appointed ‘nurse cats’  have decided  it would be a good idea (and very helpful, of course) to keep the injured hand warm if I  happen to doze off!  This ‘good deed’ consists of either Diva or Cassidy draping their considerable weight over the elevated hand , centering themselves over the bandage, and falling into a deep, virtuous sleep! 

I’ve started fiddling around with the bandage. Hey! The surgeon did say we could move to a smaller bandage after 3 days!  I’ve  re-wrapped the Ace bandage several times and in several unorthodox ways , as well as cutting away a few parts of the ‘cotton batting’ which had become rather frayed and disreputable. None of this activity has produced much in the way of comfort or improvement :(   The biggest problem is that some subconscious portion of my brain has decided that the main discomfort is a result of having the ring finger firmly bound to the little finger by layers I’ve been way-too- chicken to delve into. (Actually, I had worked my way down to three layers of ‘cotton batting’, all of which are firmly attached to me by post-operative bleeding. Nope – no way am I fooling around with that!   By the time Tom arrived home from work, I had latched onto a much better plan; catch my delightful neighbor/Ace Nurse at home, if I could, and have her redo this whole mess, hopefully leaving only the ring finger bandaged!

I’m thrilled to report that the Ace bandage is now banished, best neighbor/nurse freed me from the layers of felt/batting/whatever and released the trapped little finger!  There’s a strip of “magical gauze with mystical healing  & anti-bacterial properties”  (that’s an extremely loose quote from Nurse Kathy) that she left in place directly over the incisions . . . . .I was rather relieved, as said strip seems to be firmly attached to me by the aforementioned bleeding!  Still, with a fresh gauze wrap and bright pink cohesive tape wrap, I’m feeling freer and somewhat stylish. LOL!


Friday, October 1st, 2010

Woke up at 4:40am (hate it when that happens!) and got up when Tom’s alarm went off at 5:30am. (Hate it when that happens, too! I’m retired, but just cannot make myself sleep through his alarm the way he did mine when I was working.)
The only way I can describe my mood today is giddy; felt appropriately foolish for dancing around the first floor and chortling, but could not help giggling throughout the morning. I left the #*@! purple orchid plant (1/12 scale) overnight so the glues could set completely, inspected it under strong magnification and padded the he– out of it for shipment to its new home this morning. With color choice difficulties, mobility issues and fatigue-factors presenting challenges, this order has taken a very long time to complete, but the buyer knows me well enough (at least I believed so) to bear with the delay. There’s been some “static” about this order since about 60 miunutes after she placed it! She happily bought a white phalaenopsis orchid plant with a yellow throat, deep pink lip and the typical ‘spike’ leaves of the species. . . .then decided an hour later that she wanted a purple orchid (with a color contrast) and the smaller/fatter leaves of other species!! It has been hard to overcome the irritation factor plus physical issues and do a complete re-make for no extra charge!
Once I had delivered the dratted purple orchid to the UPS store, I came home and triumphantly completed a standing needlework frame kit (destinened for my “Sew Be It” shop and a wooden school bus toy (to be added to the FAO Shortz display.)
Can’t help it – I am STILL giddy, and plan to complete at least two more kits tomorrow!