Sunday, 14 June 2015

learning to be sinister WARNING!! Graphic content!

I think the warning is overstated, but you can never tell what will upset people.  It's my hand, and the photos don't upset me, so there!

It's been a challenging few weeks for me.  On Tuesday, 26 May, I had a bit of an accident while giving Erik his bath.  I had the water running, at a nice lukewarm temperature, when Erik decided to pull on the faucet handle to turn the water up to scorching hot.  Acting before thinking, I leaned over to turn the water off before Erik did himself any harm.  However, I ended up resting my weight on the soap dish, which collapsed under my weight.  

The soapdish turned out to be ceramic, so when it broke, it basically turned into a very sharp blade,  sliced through my fingers and only stopped when it hit bone.  It cut a tendon on my pinkie and nerves on both pinkie and ring finger.

I immediately shouted "bugger!" loud enough to get Ellis' attention (and she confirms that was the word which used and not anything stronger) then I wrapped my hand in a towel and applied pressure. There was minimal blood splatter, just a few drops, not enough to upset the boys.  I got Ellis to pull Erik from the bath and then call me a cab. I left Ellis in charge and went to Lion's Gate Emergency.

Turns out that if you show up to emergency bleeding, they send you straight in!  Either that or it was a slow evening for them.  Of course, once I got through the doors, I had to wait while the nurses got through a shift change.  The doctor on duty saw me in the hallway then I was moved to a room for treatment, which turned out to be having my hand cleaned and frozen, followed by an uncomfortable number of stitches on two fingers.

And they sent me home.  I had cut my fingers at 7:15, and was home around 10:00.  The morning after, I called the surgeon's office, and my appointment was set for the following Monday morning.

I made it through the following week glorying in my stitches and with my floppy pinkie and two numb fingers.  The first three fingers were still functional, however, so I was still able to function with my right hand, including writing and driving.  And then on Monday, the surgeon examined me and let me know about the damage:  of two tendons in the pinkie, one had been severed so that I cannot bend the lower joint of the finger, and of two nerves in each finger, one had been cut in each of the ring finger and the pinkie.  These could all be reattached with surgery, and he booked me in for surgery with Dr Saunders the next day.  I think I surprised him when I asked what would happen if I skipped the operation but he convinced me that a couple months of recovery time would be worth it in order to regain full use of my fingers.

So on Tuesday afternoon I reported to Lion's Gate Hospital for day surgery.  Ellis and the boys came to the hospital with me and saw me safely checked in.  (Arthur had a tumble out of the stroller just as we arrived at the hospital and got a nasty bump on his noggin - which made for a bit of a distraction!)  We booked our babysitter for the afternoon, but she was only available until 6:00, so had arranged with family friend Annemarie to pick me up after the operation if it went later than that.  

This was my first time under a general anaesthetic.  The operation was delayed in starting, and then took a while to complete.  I regained consciousness around 9:00 (I think).  I was pretty woozy and took a while to regain my senses.  In the end I think they just kicked me out so that they wouldn't have to transfer me to an in-patient ward!  But I was definitely happy to sleep in my own bed.
This is how my hand looked after the operation.

A week later, I had my first session with the physiotherapist.  For now, no movement with the hand, and that's the way it will stay until early July.  They want to give the tendon and nerves time to regenerate a bit before working them.  That means the hand is out of commission as any gripping with the index or middle fingers will affect the other two.

Here's my first view of my hand after it was unwrapped:

And here's the contraption I get to wear for the next several weeks;

Arthur is very interested in it, so I need to keep him from grabbing it.

I am now learning to do almost everything with my left hand.  This has slowed my productivity down considerably.  I can type, slowly and with more than the usual number of errors.  Handwriting is atrocious but unavoidable in some cases (like signing medical consent forms!).  Doc says I can drive but Ellis and mum are vetoing that for the present, so I'm rediscovering public transit.  This means more time for reading, and I'm almost finished 'And Quiet Flows the Don'!  Recommendations for my reading list accepted in the comments below.

All for now, best wishes for all.