So my surgery was on Tuesday and tomorrow I’m jetting off to St. Louis to fend for myself with a broken dominant hand. This week after my surgery has just flown by even though all I’ve done is run errands, watch tv, and sleep. I don’t know what it is, but having surgery is just so exhausting. I’m hoping once I’m all on my own I’ll get some energy back. That or I’ll be falling asleep at my desk.
So my surgery was pretty similar to the first, except for being on the other side. This time I decided we could leave for the city a little bit later than we did last time and we still managed to get there 15 minutes before we were told to arrive. At least they were actually open this time. I signed in and did the crossword until they took me back to the pre-op area. They sat me in a chair in the corner this time instead of a bed, I guess because they were short on space. This did not please me.
Nobody puts baby in the corner.They also had me strip down completely and gave me hospital boxers to wear which was different from last time. In case you were wondering , I do not recommend those hospital boxers.
The one benefit of being in the corner at the beginning was I got to memorize several people’s medical histories, birthdays, heights, weights and full spelling of their names. However no social security numbers were mentioned so I quickly lost interest. They switched me to a bed and finally gave me an I.V. I tried to convince the murse he had already given me one (only because he asked if he had yet, which seemed like an odd question with a very visibly obvious answer), but he quickly caught on. I met with some more nurses, physician assistants, Dr. R, the same anesthesiologist as before, and my parents. I was feeling pretty popular. I discussed with the anesthesiologist about staying awake during the procedure and he said I could if I wanted to.
Like I did before with the last two surgeries I walked into the OR and got on the bed. Those rooms are cold, but luckily I was tucked in with lots of blankets. The anesthesiologist gave me the block and the feeling in my fingers slowly tingled away. I kept wiggling my fingers until I couldn’t because I knew it would be a long time before my hand didn’t feel stiff again 😦 Once my block kicked in they scrubbed and sterilized my arm and that’s where the fun ended. They put up a curtain between me and my arm and wouldn’t let me see anything. I quickly lost interest and asked to be knocked out.
Waking up afterwards, it was less of a shock to not be able to feel my arm although I was still loopy. I did an E.T. impression, ate some snacks, read a book and refused to use a bed pan. Like before the block began wearing off while still in the hospital. This time I was prescribed pure oxycodone instead of Percocet, so my dad was nice and went to the hospital pharmacy to get some before leaving the city to avoid another horrible Walgreens incident. All in all the experience was pretty similar to the one in July, just chillier. I did have to sign some papers before leaving the hospital, but I just initialed them with my left hand.
Getting by with just my left hand at first was annoying, but because it was just a couple days before I could start attempting to use my right hand it wasn’t too devestating. I just avoided food that needed to be cut and neglected personal hygiene more than I would like. On Thursday we went to New York to see the doctor and get my bandages taken off. Since then, my right hand has been a reluctant participant in taking care of me. I’m hoping that by using it more my right hand will require less drastic PT overall. It’s still really hard to completely bend any of the fingers. I’m not sure if it hurts less than before or the pain is just relative and I know it could hurt a lot more, but I’ve been using my hand for a lot more. At first I could barely lift a glass of water, but after some getting used to it and drinking some of the water, things have gotten a little better in a few short days. Still not sure what working, or driving, or grocery shopping will be like, but I can get dressed on my own now. I even am feeling confident enough to plan on missing only a day of work for my next appointment. I hope once I start turning tomorrow I still feel that way!
My doctor mentioned before my surgery that no two surgeries on different patients is the same and no two surgeries on different sides but on the same patient is the same. He then made some profound comparison between surgery and the Four Questions on Passover. So far
the major difference I discovered was this time around Dr. R did nor cut the pins as close to the fixator. I know this because last time I found the perfect width and height beads to go over each pin and protect the pins from getting caught on things. This time the beads are too short. Dr. R also provided me with these yellow rubber pin tips. Some may think this would negate the need for the bead solution, but in addition to finding the goldenrod color incredibly hard to work with, the covers have a very unsettling familiarity with a certain body part. Once again I was forced to improvise my own pin cover. My mom was nice enough to find a bead shop still open in NJ and I was able to make up the pin height difference with a second bead. I went with purple this time to match the awesome gloves she knit me. This solution was much simpler than using a dremel to smooth down the pins, like snowboardervstree did, especially because I don’t own a dremel!