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Self-Portrait ©2011 by Paula's Thumb

Sidey’s weekend theme:  DISAPPOINTMENT

It was, to me, a great disappointment,
To learn that fusing my thumb’s end-joint meant
That I would be stuck for weeks on end
With pins – make that nails – pierced down through my thumb
To ensure that my digit could not move or bend,
Which would have been fine if my thumb had been numb.

You remember that I had that elbow and thumb-fusion surgery in August?  That little poem tells the absolute truth about the thumb-fusion part!  All right, maybe there is a bit of poetic license used here and there.  For instance, you should not worry that I was awake when the doctor pounded those nails into my thumb – I was sound asleep.

The fusion is done through an incision across the top of the thumb, and the last thing done is to “pin,” from the outside, the joint (temporarily) until the fusion takes hold.  I am not exaggerating, however, when I tell you that when he removed those pins, last week at my insistence, I discovered that what he calls “pins,” I call “nails!”  Good grief!  He sort of reluctantly agreed to remove them.  After viewing the x-ray that was taken to see how far along the fusion had come, he thought I was jumping the gun, but honestly!  Those dang nails were so close to the surface of the end of my thumb, that just breathing on it caused a huge jolt of pain.

So as a public service, anyone who ever needs that particular surgery should be fully aware of what they are in for.  That’s not to say that it was not needed – I mean, the endless “temporary” pinning was actually small potatoes compared to the reason for the fusion on the first place. Every time  I attempted to push a button or press on anything with my thumb, the joint bent all the way back.  It was essentially a useless joint, so it was a logical procedure.  I just wish he had done it when he fused the next joint up on that same thumb last February.  Of course, then there would have been four pins nails spikes that I would have complained about.

“So, now that they are out, why are you whining?” you ask.  Because it turns out I did jump the gun.  At this point the fusion is very fragile – so keep me in mind next time you use your right thumb!  I am wearing a thumb-guard doohickey, made for my thumb with molded plastic, in an attempt to keep it stable (see photo above), but it doesn’t automatically stay on.  It falls off when the swelling goes down at night.  I put it back on, but then I take it off to shower or wash my hands, and forget to put it back on.  So it’s sore, and I’m moaning and groaning about it – mainly because it’s my fault, and the only thing that can be done if it does not stabilize is ANOTHER SURGERY – but this one would be to screw in a permanent plate over the joint.  At least then there won’t be anything to dislodge, move around, or stick out.  But ANOTHER SURGERY?????  Oh, Puh-LEEEEEZZ!  Don’t you all agree with me that I’ve already had enough?. . .

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BY THE WAY:  READ MY REVIEW OF “WIRED” AND VOTE (FOR ME, OF COURSE!)!!!   PLEASE???  If you are having trouble at the voting site, please let me know – as Nancy did.  I am working on getting the situation fixed!  You can vote only once, but the “polls” are open until the end of the tour on or around October 25.  The sooner the better!  Thank you!

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