For the last 5 or 6 days I have felt an aggravating pain under my cast. I was pretty sure the cause was the end of the metal pin that had been inserted to stabilize my reconstructed carpo-metacarpal joint. There were 2 options for how to deal with it. The first involved booking an appointment and going to the cast clinic, having my cast cut off, having the pin readjusted and getting a new cast put on. The second option involved moving my hand as little as possible and taking Tylenol and Advil again, and toughing it out till Monday. I chose to tough it out. But I was really looking forward to my appointment on Monday. My memory of my cast removal last July was pleasant – a relatively comfortable procedure, aside from some mild discomfort when the pin was removed. I don’t remember any bad after effects. This time was definitely different.
I arrived at the cast clinic in the best of spirits as I anticipated the removal of my cast. After a very short wait, the vibrating wheel was put to work and voilà – the cast was gone.
Tape was removed from the incision. Dissolvable stitches left a clear view of my surgeon’s beautiful handiwork. Low and behold there was the short end of the metal pin digging into my hand – exactly as I’d imagined. I cleaned the skin and met a new doctor working with Dr. Beveridge for the day – Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown actually pulled out the pin, with a kind of “tear the thing out quick” approach. Worked like a charm. If I hadn’t had my camera out, I’d have missed it completely!
So far so good. I had dreaded the pin removal but it was so quick and painless that I was shocked – in a really good way! The doctors checked my hand, said something about it looking good, and then they both disappeared. Then things started to go awry. I needed to have a temporary splint made, and the nurse who made it had no personality and was totally insensitive. I say this because the minute she took my hand and pressed the splint against my thumb, I nearly went through the roof. I was in such pain that I was lifting out of my chair. I made a gasping sound as I tried to catch my breath. I didn’t understand how or why I was such pain. The nurse looked me straight in the eye and said, “I’m not even moving it.” Now, I’m not sure exactly what she wasn’t moving, and I didn’t really care. I just wanted the pain to stop. I was nearly in tears, and the nurse just ignored me. I think I have a high pain threshold, so this was very difficult for me to deal with. I was feeling quite shaky by the time I left the clinic – probably shouldn’t have driven but I had to get home.
I took Tylenol as soon as I got home, and had a long nap in the afternoon. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I was hurting when I moved my arm and I had no strength in my fingers. I couldn’t use my left hand at all. It was ugly. Fortunately things are improving rapidly, and as of today I’m feeling pretty good. Still not over the trauma, but getting there.
I want to say that on my various visits to the cast clinic I have had absolutely excellent treatment from nearly everyone on staff. But I don’t like the nurse who did my splint so I’ll leave her name out of this.