Hey! Guess what? I’m free of my PLASTER CAGE! (Except it wasn’t plaster, more of a plastic netting stiffened with glue!) I went to the doctor on Friday to have my stitches taken out and a NEW cast put on, which I was supposed to be in until after Thanksgiving.
I was inordinately excited about this, because through this entire casted era I haven’t been able to actually SEE what he did to me. It was driving me crazy. I could sorta feel where I thought the incision was, at first, but as it started to heal, it started tingling and itching in different places, so I just wasn’t sure what was going on in there. All I could see from peering into the thumb-end of my cast was a hint of dried blood and one single stitch that actually went through my fingernail (which…yucky). That, he explained, was for use with this rubber-band thing they use for physical therapy, just in case. As he put it: “It’s much easier to put a stitch thorough your fingernail when your knocked out. Otherwise, there is generally a lot of squealing.”
So in I go, prepared to see a nicely healed up incision! I sat down in the room and he pulled PRUNING SHEARS (really! No shit!) out of his pocket and proceeded to hack away at the cast. When he finally got it off, it was heaven, and I spent the next few moments with my eyes rolled back into my head and my tongue wagging out as I was finally able to scratch the top of my wrist where the screw-driver didn’t reach. Mmmmmmmmmm….
And then I remembered! My finger! Right! It was…gross…really gross. Lots and LOTS of dried blood. Like, all over my thumb and hand. I had 8 stitches which hurt like HELL when he took out. There was…squealing and gasping and gripping of the chair I was in. Oddly enough, the one in my fingernail did not hurt at all.
They were mostly able to use the original incision, which they re-opened, and the added little 1-inch perpindicular tails to each end, going the opposite directions. There is a LOT of scar tissue, and that central section of my thumb is hard and decidely un-supple. There is still a lot of swelling, and at this point I can’t move it at all. However, when I try to move it, I can feel the tendon pulling in my thumb nuckle, rather than my wrist, which is certainly an improvement.
After he wiped my hand and arm down with alcohol, getting most of the dried blood off, he wrapped some cotton gauze around my finger then pulled out an Ace bandage and said: “I’m putting this on to remind you that you had surgery a few days ago, and just because you no longer have a cast doesn’t mean you can cook and entire Thanksgiving meal by yourself.” (Curse you, Dr. Psychic!)
My response was, of course, “What?! No longer have a cast on?! I thought you were putting another one on!” He said nope, that he thought I was fine to keep it off AS LONG AS I WAS CAREFUL AND STAYED AWAY FROM APPLES (wise-guy!) At which point I did a little jig, ran up the wall, and did a backflip.
He sent me home with instructions to try and bend it some each day and do a few other exercises and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should I try and pick up the turkey. That man can read my mind.
I am slightly wary of the world now, because I see every obstacle and object as something that is TRYING TO BUST MY SUTURES! It is a very odd feeling to go from GIANT IMMOVABLE CAST to tiny unsubstantial ace bandage. I was so nervous about doing something to my finger in my sleep that Pete tied a towel around my hand to protect it. 45 minutes later, after we finally stopped laughing at how ridiculous I looked, I was able to sleep very soundly in my towel cocoon. And lo, I have done no further damage to it yet!