I had the pins removed almost two weeks ago. Sorry for the delay. The fourth time around the OR you begin to run out of things to write about. My pin removal was at 9:30 this time. I was glad I didn’t have to starve all morning before hand. I tried to not be super early to the hospital and with all the traffic we ended up being half an hour later than the time they told us to arrive, but I don’t think it really slowed anything down. The hospital finally called to see where I was just as I walked into the waiting room!
Probably as punishment for not being on time, once they sent me to the pre-op area they didn’t send my parents in until right before I was about to go into surgery. They missed seeing the whole gang: the nurses, physician assistants, the anesthesiologist, the anesthesiologist’s fellow and even Dr. R. I was a little disappointed because for my first 3 surgeries I had the same anesthesiologist, but this time it was someone new. I immediately expressed my disappointment when he introduced himself and was even more let down, when he didn’t convey the same confidence that he would be able to keep me alert for most of the procedure and wake me up right after the pins were removed, as my previous anesthesiologist had done. The fact that my anesthesiologist seemed less confident about being in complete control of when I would wake up was even more disturbing because they were giving me propofol, the drug that killed Michael Jackson and is used for capital punishment in Missouri!
Right before I was about to go into surgery they finally sent in my parents. I went to take off the beads that I used as pin protecters. Throughout the last few months these beads were a life saver, protecting me from scratching myself and others and keeping me from tearing clothing, but they also did not always stay on. Time after time I applied Elmer’s glue in hoped that would somehow keep the beads on the pin, but I spent many a night looking all over the bedroom floor or even a restaurant bathroom trying to recover a stray bead. I even lost one on a date once, but somehow I always found them. Now, minutes before the pins were being removed I couldn’t get one of the beads off! I’m not going to claim that I pulled as hard as I could, because well the bead was stuck to a pin that was still in my bone, but I gave it a good yank. The nurse assured me that the doctor could remove it in the OR, but it cost me that bead and I never did find out how he removed it because the anesthesiologist slipped me something.Coming out of surgery I was in a much better mood than most of the other times. Probably because it was the last one, and I knew I was going to get a different splint than the plaster one I currently had in just one day. The nurse even suggested I could go get the orthosplint that day, but I was hesitant to do this. Dr. R and I had discussed the game plan to get the orthosplint the following day already. After waiting around in the recovery room for an answer from Dr. R about the change of plans, we finally decided to go up a floor for a splint to be made. The nurse promptly found us to inform us that in fact Dr. R said I should wait. I was in a little bit of pain after surgery, but I only took one pain pill the whole time and they even let me walk out of the hospital! The next day, my mom and I came back to the hospital and had the splint made as planned. Having my hand bare made me very nervous at first, but it’s been so nice being able to shower or even just take the splint off for a couple minutes to get some breathing room and at this point I’m a little less nervous. I start PT and get x-rays in a couple days. Dr. R said I could get x-rays taken in St. Louis finally, which was a great surprise. I’ll go back to see him one more time in June for a follow up and I happen to be in town then anyway.
Now that I’m in a splint, once again everyone is asking me what happened to my hand. Some people don’t seem to remember that I had pins in my hand for three months and others think that I must have done something worse now. People are strange.