I’ve waited a while to bring you an update on my recent thumb-fusion surgery. There are a couple of reasons. One is that after I got the stitches out last Monday and got my gorgeous new cast on, I thought I would have a few weeks to photograph it and post it for all those who weighed in on the color choice. Here’s what happened.
The bandage came off. Wound looked good – no problem so far. I told Dr. Cutting that when I turned my wrist back and forth, there was a bit of subluxation* of the ulnar joint. Not particularly painful, but there just the same, occasionally. He took note of it and said that we would address it after my thumb healed. Fine with me. Stitches were removed. All is well. When I sat on the “casting couch” I told the “casting director” the colors I desired – chosen by blog-vote. The cast would cover my forearm and enclose my thumb. Two colors were chosen: Royal blue and a kelly green. We thought at first to alternate, but decided it would be more efficient to do a half and half casting: thumb and hand to just above wrist in blue, the rest of arm to elbow in green. It came out perfectly and looked really nice! Good choices people! Both parties satisfied, I went home.
Here’s a photo of what it looked like – sort of. Pretty, right?
Sometime later that day I started noticing that every time I turned my arm, the ulnar joint “popped” painfully. OK – I’d just gotten a new cast. I’d give my arm a chance to adjust, and move it around as little as possible. I put up with that for a few hours before my wrist started throbbing constantly – whether I moved it or not. That was not good. I could find no position that was comfortable. Consequently, I didn’t close my eyes that night. I had pain meds to take, but elected not to. Ashley had to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. to report for his hernia surgery. I wanted to be alert when I got up to drive him to the hospital. So, I drove him to the hospital, helped him get settled, and saw him wheeled off to the OR. As they wheeled him away, I made them stop so I could kiss him one more time. I told him, “One more kiss, hon – it may be our last time!” He didn’t think that was particularly funny, but I did! Can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself! 😀 I had to make a quick trip back home to take care of our dog Princess and see that Justin the cat and Pepper the parrot were fed and taken care of as well. Did that, and by that time Dr. Cutting’s office was open, so I called and told them what was going on. My wrist was screaming, and I was pretty much convinced it was the cast, and thought maybe it should be changed. They told me to come in that afternoon, so after I got my very sore husband home, medicated, and as comfortable as he could be, I went to get myself fixed up. (He’s still sore, BTW, but getting better each day!)
So, initially, Dr. Cutting moved my arm around, and from the noise it made and the pain it gave, he agreed that yes, indeed, some subluxation was indeed going on. In an effort to remove some of the pressure from the joint, he split the cast. Still painful. Then in a more involved effort, he removed the whole half of the cast that covered the lateral ulna. It helped minimally, but I was willing to take anything. Upon further discussion, we left it at that; he wrapped the cast in an elastic bandage, to hold it on, charged me not to remove any of it, and said to call him if it gets worse or no better. I told him I’d let him get through Thanksgiving, although he might get a call on Monday.
Here’s a photo of the 1/2 cast:
So far, it’s not any better, but then again it’s not really any worse. Haven’t decided if I’ll call and bug them or not yet, mainly because there is not much that can be done until my thumb heals. The next surgery, which he says I will now need will be to stabilize the ulnar joint (or DRUJ – distal radial ulnar joint). It involves a lot of stuff that, believe me, you don’t want to read or hear about. He expects this to be done sometime around the new year. Oh boy! I can hardly wait! Last ditch efforts are always so much fun. . .
So, all for me to do right now is to shut up, take a pain pill every once in a while, and cheer up. At least there is something we can try, and I can always hope. Dr. Bernie Siegel says, “There is no such thing as false hope – only false hopelessness!” I agree, and I have faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
I know it is enough. . .
(*Subluxation: Partial dislocation of a joint. A complete dislocation is a luxation.)