Disaster struck the very night I got back into St. Louis. The Cardinals lost the World Series and I managed to get my cast all wet again by merely rinsing off a dish before putting it in the dishwasher. I called the doctor’s office and explained to the operator what had happened in hopes he could give me more advice as to whether I needed to rush off to the ER. He didn’t know and only asked me if my case was an emergency because only emergency calls would be passed onto the doctor until the morning. A bit impatient with his lack of knowledge, I told him that if neither one of us knew if it was an emergency I guess he better assume it was. Either the doctor determined it wasn’t or never got the message that night.
The next day at work my cast still felt damp and I was a grumpy pants even though I was wearing my candy corn socks. Plus it was raining all day, banishing me indoors for fear another raindrop might reach my cast. I e-mailed Dr. R. about the night before. It took a while to hear back. Finally the nurse called to say they were waiting for Dr. R’s decision since I obviously could not come into their office for a new one. At the end of the day he said I should get an orthosplint at the physical therapist. I was able to make an appointment for early the next day which was good news but I was nervous the prescription wouldn’t reach their office in time, because now everyone in New York had left for the day. After a lot of back and forth e-mails the nurse confirmed she faxed it through.
Getting the plaster off was such a relief. I got to wash and dry my hand which still had the doctor’s initials on it and even see my scars. Not sure if I should start treating them. Best of all no plastic bags while showering. Not that the splint is problem free. My wrist sometimes gets irritated since I’m constantly trying to use it despite its restraints, especially while typing, and it still gets sweaty. By the end of the 3 months, the external fixator definitely seemed less cumbersome than the whole spint ordeal.
I was looking forward to seeing the doctor on Thursday and I hoped I’d be hearing that I only need the splint for very risky behavior like participating in fight clubs and that I could resume PT. Instead, I got a call today that Dr. R had a family emergency and my appointment had to be rescheduled to the following Thursday. This was a confusing phone call to me, because Dr. R is supposed to fix any emergencies I might have, not have his own. Back when they tried to reschedule my initial meeting with the doctor to an different day I simply refused to allow it. In that case both my parents and I were coming in just for that and it was only rescheduled due to another patient’s surgery. This time it seemed an objection would be pointless and at least it was just me flying in (my parents decided to stay down in the Sunshine State for something so unimportant as a first check up after surgery ) so I told the secretary I would make sure I could rebook my flight and hotel and then confirm the new appointment. I since e-mailed the doctor to see if I have to now stay in my orthosplint for a whole extra week and suggested I might get x-rays taken here, but have yet to hear back.
I’m anxious to start PT. My regular therapist called me today to see how I was doing since I had to cancel on her last week and a different therapist made my splint. It was very sweet! I haven’t gone this long without trying to bend my finger since the infection and hope that not doing any bending of the mcp joint isn’t costing me all the hard work I put in. Plus I want to know if I can start treating the scar. I hope whatever the emergency was isn’t too serious. I hate to nag him with these questions without even knowing what’s going on, but this extra week does change some things. So glad I’m not in a plaster splint right now or I’d be freaking out.
To cope with the culmination of the treatment of my left and upcoming break from the world of orthopedic surgery for a couple months, I picked up Hot Lights Cold Steel, which is a memoir about an orthopedic resident. So far I can’t put it down.