week 1 / cast time again

Five days after surgery I was off to the cast clinic for a check-up and a proper cast. I gave some thought to the color to get, but all my deliberations kept bringing me back to black. So basic. I’m going to try to do some artwork on the cast, and at least a black background always looks good. Don’t worry, I’ll post anything I manage to add to the cast. Are you surprised?

The cast clinic runs a bit like a factory assembly line with four people sitting on either side of two beds waiting for their turn with the surgeon. Very efficient for the doctor, less efficient for the patients, but what’s new? After waiting an appropriate and boring length of time, my partial cast from surgery was removed and I was able to wash and touch my arm. That felt good, especially knowing that soon enough those two activities would be unavailable to my poor left forearm. I was surprised to see how swollen my hand and wrist were since they felt pretty normal. For some reason I developed a HUGE amount of bruising after surgery. I’m talking wife-abuse talk-to-social-services kind of bruising. Fortunately no one even seemed to notice. Apparently it’s fairly “normal” even if I didn’t get it last time. Good thing I like color. You don’t get the full effect here – hospital lighting is so useless! I think you can get an idea of the effected area. Even my palm turned purple! I forgot how creepy the pin sticking out of my hand would look. (Think Frankenstein on a very small-scale.) Probably because the mind is good at forgetting things that are unpleasant, and I classify this pin as “unpleasant”. (I decided against a close up shot of the pin because I thought I might make you sick.)

hand comparison

bruising

more bruising

creepy pin

Eventually met with Dr. Beveridge, had a brief conversation and confirmed that everything is looking good from his perspective. This is important to me. Usually I try not to concern myself with what other people think, but in this case I’m willing to concede that he probably knows more than I do. At least with regards to surgery. I’ll bet I know WAY more than he does about, oh let’s say – baking. So there.

Time for the cast. Pam created this masterpiece. She did my last one as well, and it was a treat to watch her work. There is an art to getting everything smooth and comfortable, while still protecting an injury in the correct position. It wasn’t easy taking pictures with one hand, and I would have liked even more, but there’s a limit to what I could do while trying to also sit still and not mess up my new cast!

stocking sleeve

cover for thumb

starting to wrap

more wrap

all ready to cover

start of fiberglass layer

fitting around the thumb

nearly done first layer

cloth folded back on first layer

finished cast

I think this cast is longer than my first one, and my thumb peeks out a bit. I was told not to fall on it (my thumb). I’ll try not to. I had cut back on pain killers, but I’ll take them again for a few days. My hand feels a bit rough after being handled during the cast process. Interestingly I had some sympathy pain in my right thumb during the afternoon. In yoga we learn that the good side of your body can teach the not so good side. Must send out that memo again. There’s a description of my first cast here. (My right hand is better with the camera.)

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5 thoughts on “week 1 / cast time again

  1. Christine says:

    I love you but ewww TMI with those first few photos!

    Like

  2. Pam says:

    I think nurse Pam must be an ACAD sculpture grad! Beautiful work. Not so beautiful… the bruising. I liked your comment about how it felt good to feel your hand and arm. Nice reconnection for you. How long is the cast on? 6 weeks? Or do they redo it in a few weeks?
    Thanks for taking the time to write on your blog with right hand! It’s nice to hear how you’re doing. Keep up the good healing!!!
    And I agree black is a good, versitile cast colour choice! It would especially look good with your RED boots!!

    Like

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