Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bad Tooth Out

When you're getting anesthesia, you can't drive yourself to and from surgery. Since all my usual people were out of state, my wonderful new neighbor across the street, D, offered to take me. I didn't even ask. This guy is something else.

I had to be there at 10:30 for pre-op. I met my neighbor late and embarrassed myself. We were early to the hospital, but he was barely on time at the vet's.

(His dog went to the vet. I was the one who went to the hospital.)

The procedure itself was to start at 12:30 and take 1/2 hour. Recovery - 1 hour. Then I could go home. I told D, I'm the last patient because of the MRSA. So if there's any delay I'm the one who's gonna feel it most. Better come at 2:30 not 2:00.

The surgeon told me he may have to do some fairly extensive reconstructive surgery on that tendon. OR, none at all. When I woke up? Check the bandage. If it went to my fingertips, that meant more extensive surgery had been done. If the bandage only went to my knuckles, cool.

At 2:30, when I still hadn't even started surgery yet, D came. He left his phone # with the nurses and went home. Good boy. He is sanguine.

I woke up around 5 pm. They told me the surgery took 70 minutes, not 30.

But the bandage only went to my knuckles.


The docs were gone, no one to fill me in on the details.

All I knew was, that awful nagging shooting pain was gone. The minute I woke up it was gone. The surgery part hurt like hell and I didn't mind a bit. That heals.

I woke up feeling so much better Saturday morning, I didn't elevate it enough. The hand swelled up and hit the unyielding plaster cast. Saturday night, I finally called the doc - he'd been very, very sweet about insisting any of us do that if we had any concern at all. He always takes his own calls from his patients.

He asked me questions: I told him the whole pinkie was completely numb, most of the other fingers too, and I couldn't get the swelling down.

He said: While the tendon was in pretty good shape, there was a huge amount of inflammation wrapped around the nerve that runs through that part of the hand.

That's why it was so painful, for such a long part of the arm - fingertip to elbow. A shooting pain. The nerve was being choked half to death.

And why he'd had to spend so much time in there. He was picking diseased inflammatory tissue off the nerve just forever.

So, even though I'm supposed to keep using this hand as much as I can, it's not easy. Not working too good, and not much sensation in it beyond pain. He told me how to cut away part of the bandage to loosen it, and the swelling is better now. But whether, or how much, that nerve will recover is up in the air.

Well. Posting's gonna be iffy. And my spelling and such may slide some for now. Could be we'll look into that voice recognition software miss pepek mentioned, too.

But...I saw my neighbor Peter, as we picked up our yards a bit for the coming storm, Alberto. He studied my face and said - this extraordinary portraitist said - --You've changed. You look different. Like a person who just had a bad tooth out...This was good for you, wasn't it.

And my response, adamantly, was --Yes.


walter said...

Ha! somebody forget to mention about working with her plants. Is it just possible that the swelling was a result of using that hand just a little to much?

k said...

What? Who? ME????

I was picking up the yard a bit. Just like I said.

Meaning, I guess, moving some plants around.

Cause that's what's in the yard.