July 1 – Moving right along.  My hand was stabilized after surgery in a plaster cast that wrapped mostly around my arm, but left a gap to allow for swelling.  On Monday I went to the hand clinic to have things checked out and get a new cast.  I now have a fiberglass cast that wraps right around my arm.  I felt a bit claustrophobic as the cast was put on, but since the swelling has reduced each day it has not been an  issue.  It was interesting to see the incision and the metal pin that is holding the joint in position, but I’m glad I don’t have to look at that all the time.  For the first few days I had absolutely no strength in the fingers on my right hand, and there was some pain and a lot of discomfort. Every day there has been improvement in all areas.  I can drive and do many things by myself. Flossing is difficult, and using a knife and fork at the table is impossible. The fork hand is fine, but I cannot grip a knife in my right hand. Fortunately I’m still able to speak, so I ask someone nearby to cut up my food.  (Hopefully it is someone I know.) Working in the kitchen is a challenge as I struggle to keep my cast clean and dry and realize how much the opposable thumb is taken for granted.

Here’s my stylish black cast:

new cast

I should explain a bit about the cast.  When asked what color I would like, I chose a beautiful teal green – a bit unusual and I felt it would “go with everything” rather well. The cast started with a knit tube against my skin and then a batting material was layered on. The last step was wrapping with wet fiberglass tape. It’s a very artistic, sculptural process and I was fascinated with the ease and skill of the technician doing the work. The only problem was that when the fiberglass tape was unwrapped and dropped into water, it was not teal green, but bright blue. I explained that this was a problem for me, since I don’t wear blue! Fortunately there are 2 layers of tape, so I was able to get black for the top layer. That was a close call. Black is so basic – sometimes these things just work out.

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