Saturday, September 29, 2012

The oven mitt, the Hand-v3.0 and a new arm

The Oven Mitt

Another surgery...
This one was to try to identify why my middle finger was a frozen hook and maybe even start to fix it.

I felt ok in the recovery room (thanks to a nerve block), but 10min from home the pain started.
I popped 2 percocets, curled up in bed and started my lamaze breathing.
30 minutes later and the crest of this wave of pain was nowhere in sight.
Not good.
I had my dad give me an oxycontin (The most drug I've had since Maui) and we started back to Stanford.
I found Dr Chang and he cut open the fresh cast and gave me 2 or 3 injections in the hand.
The injections sucked (sorry for cursing Dr Chang), but a few minutes later I was finally breathing normally.

The first night was packed with percocet, but by the end of day two I was feeling much better.
Now I just had to deal with the oven mitt.
Most people would struggle if they had to give up a hand for 8 days, but few can imagine having no hands.
Well, It SUCKS!!!
You lose your independence and your caregivers have to do everything, but chew your food for you.

Tuesday was the unveiling of my hand

The Hand-v3.0 (with pin)

Dr Chang was like a kid with a new toy except this was my hand and some of the contortions really hurt.
Then Carolyn (PT)  repeated the demo even while I was deciding if I was going to throw up or just pass out.

We left the clinic with just enough time to make it to SF where I got to try on

My new arm
The fitting was a strange experience.
My immediate reaction when he brought in the arm and started to hook up the harness was - "I am disabled"
I don't think I've ever felt this (or at least this strongly) even while struggling in San Diego.
Was it the shiny metal hook and cables?
The odd shade of pink plastic?
The weight?
The tightness of the harness?
I don't know, but the feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day.
I wouldn't say I'm at peace with being disfigured or being limited to 2 1/2 fingers, but I have always known (minus a few panic attacks during the hip-to-thumb process) that I'd be ok. 
Would I have felt the same if someone had strapped this on me in Sept or Oct of 2011?
I don't know.


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    Useful info. Hope to see more good posts in the future.

  2. Wow John, I can't imagine being in that much pain. I hope this part of it transitions to better things soon!

  3. I'm with Lynn on this one John. So sorry you have felt so much pain recently. No, I CAN'T imagine having to deal with any of this, especially now being with out that useful two-fingered hand. Soooooo much love your way John!!!

    Peace Friend,