Rebecca (beeker121) wrote,

me & my hand

I seem to be able to update either by email or LJ but not both.  So catching up here:

I got out of the full bent-arm splint thingy (it had gone from my fingers to above the elbow) and took new x-rays.   Moving down my right arm-

1) the radial fracture - elbow - is stage one(?) or whatever the least severe version of that is.  It isn't splinted, and in fact I'm even out of the sling for large swaths of time because now it's all about not losing range of motion in the elbow.  I have two basic exercises to do as often as i can stand it - they do hurt some - and should keep icing until the swelling goes down. 

2) the fifth metacarpal fracture - in the long bone below the pinky - is close to the wrist, small, and not displaced at all.  It will heal fine even if we ignore it, which is mostly what we're doing.  (if you're thinking this wasn't in my last entry you're right, until I looked at my er xrays on sunday I didn't know this one existed yet)

3) the fourth metacarpal fracture - in the long bone below my ring finger - is fractured just below the bottom finger knuckle, and still obviously out of place looking at the new xrays, though certainly better than it was in the first er xrays so the er doc pulling on it helped.  The ortho said we could just leave it, I'd get full use back but it would always be crooked (i have a gap between my middle and ring finger, kinda looking like spock doing live long and prosper).  Or, I could have surgery to straighten it.

So surgery tomorrow is at 1:15p.  I will be under general anesthesia, but lightly, and I'll go home once I'm awake.  In the best case scenario, he uses an xray machine to see and manipulates my bone into place and then puts in pins, through the skin, on either side.  The next step would be to make an incision to have direct access to the bone, and given how swollen my hand still is it is a possibility.  The pins eventually come out, they just ensure the bone stays put.  And keep icing until my hand looks like a hand again.
(from Wednesday) The surgery went really well.  I was out for less than 90 minutes and I got the best possible scenario - no incision.  Jay saw the post-op xray and said it's now difficult to even see where the break is - yay!

They did a nerve block so when I woke up I couldn't feel my right arm from just above the elbow to the fingertips for hours - it started to wear off around 8p in the classic pins and needles style.  It was a little disconcerting.  It hurts now more than it did before the surgery, but with manipulating the bone and inserting pins that makes sense.   I'm in a cast/brace thing that goes from the middle knuckles of my fingers to a few inches past my wrist.  I have a followup appt on the 13th, and it sounds like the pins come out in about four weeks.
Since then, I'm doing alright.  I've been wearing the sling to commute (as a visual signal to others I'm injured as much as needing it) and to sleep, but that's it.  My elbow still doesn't straighten out all the way but I keep working on it.  The other exercise the Dr gave me is being defeated by the hand brace, the way it's holding my arm bones above the wrist won't let it turn all the way.  [Put your elbows at your waist and your forearms out at a 90 degree angle palms down.  Now, moving only the forearm, rotate your palms up.]  I think this is going to be the biggest issue in healing, what's best for the hand isn't always ideal for the elbow, and vice versa.

I'm still taking pain medication, though I've stepped the dose down after reacting weirdly on Thursday.  I had been taking two pills every four hours and not feeling particularly fuzzy, though it certainly helped the pain.  Thursday mid-morning I took my next dose and 20 minutes later felt
woozy, like I was packed in cotton.  I got really warm and had trouble focusing.  The best comparison, I realized after, was I felt drunk, though whoo, nothing hurt at all.  I don't know if I hit my own personal capacity, or the fact that I was pmsing changed my body chemistry, but I didn't like it all, so I'm down to one pill now.

Otherwise, I feel pretty good.  My knee is healing up though I'm probably going to have to keep bandaging it for another week or so, the one scrape is really deep.  J has been awesome: making dinners, driving, and generally being a second hand when I need one.  This whole thing has left me putting several things on hold (running, wedding planning, knitting) and slowing down a little isn't the end of the world, I suppose.
Tags: broken bones, jisawesome
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