Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Double Header

John had a double header on Monday: PT and the hand surgeon.
I dropped him off with Jen at PT at 9:00 int he morning... and picked him up at 10:30- hot and sweaty. She really works him hard: manipulating his fingers (bending and extending them) and moving the swelling (edema) out of his fingers and hand. It's not as easy as it sounds because of the scar tissue. We work on this at home, too. Think intense, painful hand massage. When she finishes, he rides the bike at PT for 45 minutes to "feel like I did something" - ???!!!
Quite the adventure getting to the hand surgeon... lovely traffic caused by some crazy person shooting at people from a car on the freeway (we didn't see anything except tail lights). The hand surgeon and vascular surgeon spent the first 10 minutes of the appointment trying to out-do each other with their vast med school vocabulary- completely ignoring us. Once they had exhausted their "medicalese", they turned to us and shifted in to English. Here's the gist: They explained that giving John a thumb is a little like building a house... and they need to get the plumbing and electrical to the site before beginning construction. The first (of two) surgeries will be to re-route some of John's veins/arteries from his arm to the thumb area... and also to check on/ move the existing nerves to the site. During that surgery, he will also have a "look-see" at the inside of John's hand.. and do some manipulations on his middle finger. The darkest cloud over the visit was when he told us that if John's middle finger doesn't respond to the PT and/ or the manipulations under anesthesia, he will remove the finger and use it (instead of a toe) to make John a thumb. This is a way off... lots of time for lots of things to happen.... the first surgery will happen (at the soonest) in 2 months.
John's wounds are healing really well. Lots of scabs! I love to pick scabs - so it's all I can do to NOT pick them. Gross, I know - but I bet some of you are scab-pickers, too! :)
Keep the cards/ emails/ phone calls coming - they are the HIGHEST points of John's days!

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