Monday, January 9, 2017

Knitting Withdrawal Day Five

Hello all! Did you have a great weekend with loads of knitting in wonderful fibers? Do tell so I can live vicariously through you.  The best (though not all) I have to offer you today is my exciting new Broken Finger Mug Shot.

... and front view.

This cast is ... not as beautiful as my snowy-white splint. To say the least. But it will work and when it comes to mending broken things function is MUCH more important than form.  It's also extremely heavy, and it impacts all four fingers on my left hand instead of just the two broken ones, while leaving my whole hand more flexible and accessible - but I am getting ahead of myself.

After sending me for X-rays, the hand surgeon who saw me on Friday said that the emergency room reduction (aka putting my bones back where they belong so they heal straight) was not a huge success.

Then he gave me two choices, neither of which was the terrifying "Surgery to insert metal bars that stick out visibly for four weeks before being removed again OW OW and EW."  I was so grateful! but it was a hollow victory because the choices were these:

1/ Do nothing. Take off the splint, get fitted for a removable cast, start straight into physical therapy (OWIE), and move on with a life in which the two now-broken fingers work well enough but never again go all the way straight or contribute meaningfully to the making of a fist.

2/ Do another reduction. Take off the splint, get just two more needles but in the wrist this time (AIEEEE), have the bones straightened back out properly, wear a plaster cast for three weeks, do physical therapy, and end up with a somewhat better outcome, maybe even a perfect one.

Obviously I chose option two but it was REALLY hard to say so. The eight needles I got in the emergency room were some of the worst pain I've ever felt, and I've been through some painful stuff.  But, as I'd just been reminded in Emerg., you often have to make a fist for a blood test. Or to clutch a cane effectively, or prevent your opponent from stealing a look at your cards while playing Euchre. What if I live long enough to regret disregarding my long-term fist-making needs?

And what are two more needles after you've had eight?

Well let's be honest, they are the world, but I'm the kind of person who is ashamed to tell a surgeon who rescues people at risk of losing all hand function after surviving some horrific accident that I will gladly take reduced hand function for life just to avoid a couple of measly needles.  Shame ate me up for about five minutes, all I was willing to waste of this man's very precious time, and when I had established that it really was as simple as not wanting to have to be brave, I decided I had to be brave.

And you know what?



As he was looking over my bloated corpse hand he said Hmmmm, looks like they injected straight into your fingers... we don't do that... and I was thinking PLEASE TELL THEM THERE IS A BETTER WAY.

After the second reduction he sent me off for more X-rays and when he'd reviewed them told me my pinky should straighten completely and my ring finger, almost completely. Even surgery with scary pins would not have been an improvement over that.

And now I just have to get through the rest of the three weeks.  Just 21 days. Probably only about 18 evenings I might have been free for knitting.

I lasted one.

I mean honestly, can you blame me? All four fingers move, my doctor told me to practise curling them downward, I can even put a little pressure into the grip between my thumb and forefinger, and strictly speaking that's all you need to hold a sock needle.  I had to rest after 16 slow stitches but my tension was good.

By the time Lynn responded to my brag message with a warning that I might regret it though, I already did.  See, I forgot it's not the grip - it's the twist!

My whole left arm is already under tons of strain from holding a 2.5 pound cast up higher than my heart (on the off chance it helps the swelling go down - no sign of success yet). I didn't even get through a single round, but after less than the length of one movie my arm was doing that crazy painful spasm thing you get sometimes in the middle of the night in your leg.

So: I am not knitting again anytime soon. But I did paint something nice, so at least I have something pretty and non-cast-like to show you another day... another day when I have about ninety minutes to type a whole blog post with one hand, that is. I am really going to have to figure out how to post from my phone. Smaller keyboard = my friend.

Take care of yourself in the meantime, okay? and tell me about your knitting!


yvette said...

My best wishes for a speedy and successful recovery.

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks Yvette... I would settle for speedy at this point!!

Laurinda said...

Well it does sound like you're in a better place than you were! Do you have it up in a sling? & are you putting ice on it periodically? I meant to mention those before...
My knitting is in timeout, because it's colorwork & I'm not good at following charts yet

Mary Keenan said...

No sling Yvette... just propping it up whenever possible. It's getting a lot better now that I've learned not to aggravate it! Love the idea of knitting getting a timeout for not behaving nicely :^)