Growing Pains isn’t just an 80s sitcom

A lot has happened since my last update and not all of it has been great, thus the delayed post. On Friday morning I woke up to an e-mail from the doctor saying to start antibiotics, in response to the pin site pictures I sent him. The day before the physician assistant had told me everything looked normal. I was therefore surprised to hear this, but also a little relieved because I figured that must explain the pain and as soon as I started my antibiotics I’d start seeing improvement. I started taking Cephalexin 4 times a days, which aligned nicely with my pin turning schedule.

The torture contraption

The torture contraption

I liked this physical therapist less this time, but maybe she didn’t get a fair chance since I was in so much pain. I’ve lost a lot of mobility. She designed this torture chamber to help with passive bending of my joints. When I showed it to my doctor this week he thought it was pretty neat. I’m now also questioning my opinion of him.

At least I got another velcro buddy tape so that my fingers are now super strapped together. This probably isn’t great for my flexibility but it keeps me from accidentally bending or hitting my ring finger which was causing surges of 10 out of 10 pain. I really could use a third one though because I managed to bleed all over one at the doctor’s office.

By the end of the work week I was totally wiped. I stopped by where some of my friends were playing volleyball to say hello after work. At one point the volleyball rolled towards me and I picked it up to throw it back. This little toss produced that 10 out of 10 pain. I proceeded to head home and stopped to get a slice of pizza. A guy there asked about my hand and if it hurt. He told me he could see the look of pain on my face.

I was very glad I had an appointment with Dr. R. because I was in desperate need to make sure nothing was wrong and curb the pain. Getting to New York was more of a challenge than it was in the past. I opted for a cab to the airport and popped a Percocet on the ride. This was the first time that I’d had strong pain medication during waking hours since Week 1 of surgery and it didn’t end well that time. Of course this is the one time the TSA guy decides to ask about the fixator and not for security reasons, just because he’s curious.

When I finally made it through security I decided that maybe taking the medicine on an empty stomach was a poor choice and cashed in a gift certificate I had won earlier the week for Chili’s. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for the burger because it was not very good going down and even worse when it revisited me while I was flying the friendly skies. I don’t think I’ve every vomited on a plane before. Luckily I was in a seat that was actually equipped with a barf bag and the woman next to me was very sweet to me. She helped call the stewardess and get me some water. I nicknamed her my “plane mom”.

Once I made it to NJ things were pretty uneventful. I took a lot of Percocet and spent a few days feeling woozy and exhausted. We tried to get in touch with the doctor to see if there were any other options to help with the pain and if we could see him sooner. The nurse suggested ice and I waited it out until my appointment.

Okay, some good news. I only had 3 more days left of turning on Tuesday. I’ve been spacing them out to prevent added pain so I still have 2 days left currently. The doctor switched my antibiotic to Sulfamethoxazole. Still not sure if it’s improving. My physical therapist was concerned about the infection this morning and cancelled our session, which is bad news disguised as good news since PT scares me. I think the redness may have gone down a little bit after spending all day in bed just bone stimulating, but I’m not sure. I’ll have to do some side by side picture comparisons.

Before ex fix vs day 24 of turning

Before ex fix vs day 24 of turning

So I’ve missed more days of work than I anticipated this week. I’d like to go in tomorrow, because now I’m not at home and being stuck in my apartment alone is really boring. This means giving up the pain meds. I’d also like to do this. It’d be nice to think clearly again, but I don’t want my only thought to be Wow, my hand is killing me. When my pain meds wear off in the middle of the night it often feels like someone has stomped on my hand really hard with the external fixator in it. That is not an enjoyable feeling. The only thing worse is having to talk to my short term disability insurance claim manager who constantly contradicts herself. She recently told me that having doctor’s appointments does not mean I have to miss work. She clearly failed geography if she thinks I can go to an appointment in New York and work in St. Louis in the same day. If only I was a wizard and could apparate. Of course, then I’d also just down some Skele-Gro. Well at least my next appointment isn’t scheduled for another month!

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4 thoughts on “Growing Pains isn’t just an 80s sitcom

  1. I bet your pain is over very soon, if not already. Infection causes pain, and the final days of distraction also cause pain…. At least they did for my foot! Hope you are doing better today. 🙂 Soon you’ll just get to sit and wait for the bone to fill in, and there is no pain in that, just the pain of being impatient, so hang in there!

  2. Reading through your journal entries is making me feel green from my own memories. I had this surgery for my foot seven years ago, and then I got an infection in the middle of the turning period.

    Holy crap! infection + broken bone = pain beyond imagination.

    I spent a week at the hospital on IV antibiotics. The doc already had me on oral antibiotics, but I guess they became useless after a while.

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