Loose Ends

Shiny and "new"

Shiny and “new”

I got lazy about following up on my last doctor’s visit and now I’m flying for a visit non-hand related: Thanksgiving! Went through security with no hand accessories to give me trouble, although I did miss the pre-boarding to which I’ve grown accustomed.

Here’s my update, better late than never:

I flew into LGA for a one-night trip mid November. Being in New York City by myself was a little lonely. Had I arrived earlier than 11 PM I would have called up a friend, but instead I watched TV in bed, got room service breakfast in the morning, worked out in the hotel gym and walked the 10 blocks to my doctor’s office.

The waiting room was full as usual. There was a girl there who was really upset. I think it was her first appointment and she was concerned about the bill. It also seemed she didn’t have use of her right arm. Most of the patients are there for leg or ankle problems so I was super curious about her, but never solved the mystery. In all my six appointments I don’t think I’ve seen the same patient there twice.

After I finally got x-rays I was moved to an examining room and Dr. R came in fairly quickly with a resident I had met once before. He said the x-rays looked good and I could stop wearing the splint, except when doing dangerous things. Asides from my flight back and a grocery store trip during which I didn’t want to accidentally carry the bags in that hand, I’ve been pretty much splint free.

It’s been great. I’ve really appreciated being able to hand wash dishes and clothing without worrying about getting anything wet and being able to French braid my hair. I’m still accustomed to not washing my left hand as thoroughly as my right, which is slightly gross. Perhaps writing it down will make me more aware of fixing that issue. I also am working up my ability to applause again. Those are just a couple little things the fixator made challenging that I never would have thought would be so hard. It was quite disappointing to go to a Broadway play a couple days after I got the fixator on and not be able to clap at the end. However, my hand looks awesome and no one besides my family knew I didn’t applaud at the end of Wicked until just now, so well worth it. I also tried playing the saxophone to see how my new finger handled that and I’m not quite amazing at playing it. I think that’s because I still haven’t fixed my right hand, and not that it’s been 3 years since I had a lesson.

Here’s the x-ray of my left hand taken 2 weeks ago:

Can still see the pin holes a bit

Can still see the pin holes a bit

When Dr. R came into my exam room, he caught me reading a book on algorithms I was brushing up on and he made fun of me for being a nerd. When he examined my x-rays he commented that the new bone looked nice and straight, but to me it looked a little crooked. I mentioned this, qualifying that as a mathematician those bones were not straight lines;  as a bone doctor he insisted they were straight. All in all I’m very happy with my “new” hand and excited and nervous about doing the right one in January.

I went back to PT last week. It had been so long since I’d seen my physical therapist so I was excited to be back. Plus, asides from my scar massage, the session was pain-free! I got to play with silly putty or as I call it when I use it at work and don’t want to share “serious putty”. It was medically prescribed to me after all. The exercises are challenging, but I think I’m making progress. In addition to putty, my physical therapist gave me an itty bitty splint to wear on my middle finger. Apparently the buddy tape I wore on my fingers for 3 months made my middle finger crooked. Why are my hands so strange and malleable? That was probably why I was a little concerned about the other bone maybe being crooked. Even though I’ve forgotten to wear the splint a couple nights I think it’s helped. Now I just have to work on that scar and enjoy having 2 hands for the next month and a half. I hope I’ll have lots of things to clap for in that time. Happy holidays!

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