Thursday, December 29, 2011


It's been three weeks since surgery. Four left before the pins come out. The stitches came out last week. The scabs on the incisions are almost completely healed.

I don't wear my splint at home. Only when we go out. Just to make sure everything stays protected.

The healing process of seven weeks seems long and daunting. I have plenty to keep me busy in the way of magazines, books (both on my iPad, of course), tv, movies, games, fur-babies and naps. Yes, naps. I still find myself taking a nap most afternoons. Sometimes two.

You'd think after all these years, I'd be used to the napping. I'm guessing, since it's been this long and I'm not used to it, that, maybe I never will.

Oh well, this seven weeks of healing time is perfect for napping.... It's not like I have a ton else going on!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Triple Arthrodesis

Surgery is over. We're back in Tampa. It has been a quiet weekend. I've spent it watching tv, researching, and sleeping. I've come up with plenty of ideas for things I want to make. Lots of projects to work on .... In 7 weeks or more, when my right hand isn't essentially useless. As much as I'd like to say I can figure out a way to do anything I need to and continue on as if nothing has happened, that's just not the case. Fortunately, I've planned to do nothing until the end of January when these pins come out and this splint comes off. Even then, there's going to be a period of awkward clumsiness as I learn how my magic new fingers work.

In the meantime, I'll be catching up on some reading!

The experience was pretty pleasant from the get go. They didn't give me a hassle about hubby tagging along to help me change into my awesome hospital wardrobe. The nurse was able to get my IV in on the first try.

From what I understand, the surgery went off without a hitch. There may have been one mall issue with compromised circulation in one finger, but the doc was able to go back in and fix it right up.

I was in my own room pretty quickly and able to spend the night with no roommate. Hubby and my friends were able to hang out all day and I was relatively pain free until late the night of surgery.

Then, the pain came on like a freight train and I had to use the pain IV every 15 mins or so. When I wasn't doing that, I was trekking to the restroom or the nurses were checking my vitals. Needless to say, it was a sleepless night. Then in the morning, all the pain meds I had been pumping throughout the night, made me nauseous and vomit.

Really, that was the worst of it though. By the time I got back to our hotel and was able to take my first pain pill, things were pretty much under control. The pain has not been predictable. Sometimes I can go up to 7 hours pain free. Other times, it's as little as 3 hours. It's all been fairly mild though. I won't say it hasn't hurt, but it's nothing to cry or freak myself over.

So, what DID they do? They go in and "cut" away all of the calcified, damaged knuckle until they get to clean, undamaged bone and then they fuse the bones together with a screw going lengthwise through both of the bones and sticking out of my finger just above the nailed. The pin is then bent and has a little ball on the end -all to put the pin in a position so that it won't get caught or bonked until its healed. They cut out any knuckle ulcers I was having and removed and thinned Scleroderma skin and stitched me back up. Then, in 7 weeks, the pin will be pulled out.

I will now have "straight" fingers instead of bent ones. Before I couldn't straighten my fingers, now I can't bend them in the middle. They still bend at my hand and my little joint is still bendable.

Will it be worth it? Will it be too much of a struggle? Who's to say? Not having 90 degree angled fingers to hit on everything WILL be worth it. Not getting ulcers on my knuckles that last months on end WILL be worth it. Not having aches those joints just because they are there, WILL be worth it. The pluses FAR outway the minuses.

I'll adjust. And I'm OK with that.