Interesting things I found along the way-you never know.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Blog #12



THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND

From a right-handed mystery writer

New beginning
          My right hand is doing rather well! Typing now for 15 minutes at a stretch. My hand feels tired but no pain. I use an egg timer to be sure I don't go over the time allowed to type. I've begun our next Skylar Drake Murder Mystery, Game Town (temporary title).


          After several weeks of intense range of motion therapy, I can almost make a fist but only with little resistance (still no squeezing). I can do most chores around the house except for chopping foods and lifting heavy items, i.e. laundry hampers, grocery bags, etc.
           I've been busy with our new book, and working on my hand therapy, basically ignoring Refrigerator.  Lefty has been feeling ignored and looks for avenues to get my attention. Why Lefty actually felt pain in its thumb all week, maybe it's trying to get my attention... it worked. I used heat on Lefty's thumb and massaged it. Lefty seemed to feel better. At least Lefty isn't plotting with Refrigerator for some type of revenge. You just can't be too careful with these cold, rigid, aloof edifices like Refrigerator.  And I noticed it's been very quiet this week. Not sure what's up.
          After several weeks of intense range of motion therapy, I can almost make a fist but only with little resistance (still no squeezing). I can do most chores around the house except for chopping foods and lifting heavy items, i.e. laundry hampers, grocery bags, etc.

           I've been busy with our new book, and working on my hand therapy, basically ignoring Refrigerator.  Lefty has been feeling ignored and looks for avenues to get my attention. Why Lefty actually felt pain in its thumb all week, maybe it's trying to get my attention... it worked. I used heat on Lefty's thumb and massaged it. Lefty seemed to feel better. At least Lefty isn't plotting with Refrigerator for some type of revenge. You just can't be too careful with these cold, rigid, aloof edifices like Refrigerator.  And I noticed it's been very quiet this week. Not sure what's up.



Sunday, July 8, 2018

Traumatized Hand #11



THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND
From a right-handed mystery writer
Continued Occupational Therapy

          I've been receiving OT for two weeks. Righty is feeling better with less pain and less swelling. Still unable to do many household chores but slowly getting a few things done i.e. folding clothes, washing dishes, sorting laundry, etc. I call them simple but necessary chores. I am able to type 15 minutes without fatigue and pain in my right hand.
          I work with my new OT twice a week including, warm paraffin wax soaks, juggling metal Chinese balls in one hand, putting pegs in a mat, and electrical stimulation with icing. It seems to be working
          My home program consists of alternating hot and ice water soaks, and specific range of motion exercises. Unfortunately, this home program takes up a lot of my day, but it's worth it for better use of my right hand.

          Lefty is getting tired of helping with most of the chores and has been indiscriminately talking with Refrigerator more often. I know this because Refrigerator occasionally disguises itself, but I know a cold-hearted job when I see one. I need to figure out a way of getting rid of Refrigerator before Lefty has swung to the other side and it's too late.
          I found some moldy green bread in the back of the refrigerator. I know it was Refrigerator's doing. Imagine ruining two innocent pieces of bread still in their lovely package!!


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Traumatized Hand #10


THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND

From a right-handed mystery writer

The search for another Occupational Therapist

          I started Occupational Therapy with another group, the therapist is much better, spends at least 20 minutes with me at the beginning and checks in with me at the end. Her Certified Occupational Assistant (COTA) is extremely knowledgeable.
          She said the exercises I was doing were too advanced for someone 3.5 weeks post surgery and switched the exercises. No wonder why I was in constant pain day and night!  Therapy is now focused on riding me of several sprained muscles and range of motion.  I'm trying hard to get my right hand working again. I can now type for 8 minutes without pain, do dishes by hand in warm water, and fold clothes. I am also icing my hand more often than previously.

          Left and Righty are exhausted after each set of exercises at home. I'm also icing Righty more often which is decreasing the swelling and pain.
          At this point, I honestly do not think refrigerator gets the misery it has caused me. It just moves on with its job and relaxes at night. It just moves on with its life as if nothing has happened. Totally unaware of my pain and time I spend trying to get my right-hand functioning again. Refrigerator is so unfeeling, I don't remember how I got involved with it in the first place.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Traumatized Hand #9

THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND
From a right-handed mystery writer

Saw the Doctor for third post op

          The doctor examined my hand.  He felt my ability to move my hand (make a fist without tension, third finger movement side to side and up and down, and wrist flexibility) were coming along nicely. However, because of constant pain in my entire hand, he felt I had an overall sprained hand.
          I explained that I was unhappy with my Occupational  Therapist and was looking for another. I showed him my exercises and therapy plan from my current Occupational Therapist. He said that they were too strenuous for being so recent post op and agreed I should find another therapist.
          I only had 4 treatments with this therapist which had I continued with him It would have been detrimental to my hand. I am so glad I stopped seeing him 2 weeks ago. Looking forward to starting with a new OT.
          The doctor suggested I stop all exercises and alternate heat and cold treatment for a few days while I am waiting to be seen by the new therapist.

          I feel like punching out the Refrigerator with my good left hand, but then I'd have to have surgery on Lefty! So Lefty has been trying to convince me to let it go for now. Righty is really upset but is now taking it in stride, "So... what else could go wrong?"


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Traumatized Hand #8


THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND

From a right-handed mystery writer

Not Happy
          I am very unhappy with the way my therapy has been going. I've had one evaluation and four treatments so far. The therapist is not listening to me and really doesn't seem to understand what I need. He is more focused on scheduling 6 people an hour and servicing all six at the same time plus take business calls, (He manages the practice).
          It's not that I want individual attention 100% of the time. I just want him to review my exercises and make sure I am doing them correctly.  Also,  I've been getting numbness and "tingly" sensation in two fingers. He can't seem to figure out why. All I get is, "I don't know", and he heads off to the next patient.
          Then I find out that the therapist is also the manager and director of the hand clinic. Now it makes sense that he is more concerned about money, and profits than his patients.
          I've decided to see a different Occupational Therapist. I'll call my physician and get another referral.
          Lefty has been very supportive of Righty and unhappy with the therapist. Righty has to remind Lefty to be polite otherwise Lefty would punch him in the nose. Whereas Lefty was content with giving the therapist raspberries every time I went in for treatment.


          Meanwhile, the refrigerator stands there and continues to be cold, silent and rigid. I choose to ignore its indifference and continue with my healing.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Traumatized hand #7


THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND
From a right-handed mystery writer

Occupational Therapy
          Nine o'clock Monday morning the long-awaited Occupational Therapy (OT) began. The OT did the evaluation and taught me exercises to improve strength in my hand, wrist, and forearm.
          It hurt like the dickens but the heat and cold relieved a lot of the pain during therapy. As a retired Speech Therapist I understand the patience it takes to work on muscles and ligaments that have been immobile for a while. I came home with a list of exercises for Righty. Now, Lefty is feeling left out since Righty was directed to attempt more activities, i.e., dishwashing, folding clothes, driving etc.

          So, instead of moping around, Lefty is helping Righty with strengthening exercises in spite of the disparaging looks Refrigerator is giving it.

          While spending more time in the kitchen, Refrigerator stands firm, fixed to the floor, now with a sharpened stare, focused as always on its next move, it's next attack. If I had only thought to take pictures of the attack when it happened I could use it to barter...maybe even for protection money!  After all, something bad could happen to that Icebox...y'know?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Traumatized hand #6


THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND
From a right-handed mystery writer

The Bands
          After another ten days, I saw the doctor. He announced that it looked good, "Now time to move onto therapy."  Hurrah!

          He gave me what he called a Buddy Band to hold the two involved fingers together. My hand felt free, finally. Even though the two fingers were tied together, it felt wonderful.
          I had already asked around and found an Occupational Therapist (OT) who was a Certified Hand Therapist and made an appointment for the following Monday. (Yes, even before the doctor told me to do so).
          The doctor also warned that the exercises the OT would give me would be painful but to stick with it. Good encouragement?

          The next 4 four days Lefty, Righty and me had several conversations regarding the need for both hands to work together. I specifically had many of these conversations in front of the refrigerator. To provoke it into anger, to challenge it into a knockdown fight to prove its guilt. Yet it's defying, stiff, stand never wavered.
          These four days waiting for OT to begin are long, and I'm bit apprehensive.






Thursday, May 24, 2018

Traumatized hand #5


THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND
From a right-handed mystery writer

The Brace


          After ten days of the splint, I saw the doctor.  he removed the five stitches and gave me a brace. It was custom made to fit my swollen hand and very comfortable if I say so myself. I was warned by the doctor, nurse and brace maker to go lightly on my two fingers that were involved. "No typing, meal preparation, dishes or anything that will cause the newly repaired tissue to separate,"they explained in so many words.

          Both hands were present and they heard the warning. Yet slowly the fingers and wrist of my right side began to move,  just a little at a time but got stronger with each day. The wound was fresh and painful at times but the swelling decreasing by the day. Lefty also continued to grow stronger and more efficient. My right wrist was unable to move from being in one position for ten days.  All of the muscles in my hand, wrist, and forearm lacked tone and strength. Righty convinced Lefty to help with wrist exercises and slowly both worked to improve Righty's wrist movements.

          The refrigerator did not like what it saw and jeered at the cooperation among the hands. Divide and conquer was not going to work for Refrigerator so he started plotting more cunning ways to taunt me, all the while maintaining its unyielding stance of mockery to my injury.




Thursday, May 17, 2018

Traumatized hand #4

THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND
From a right-handed mystery writer

The Splint

          On the fifth day, I started to wean myself off the pain pills but remained primarily in bed. I was told to keep my hand and elbow above my heart to decrease the swelling. It was easier to do by laying down and propping up my elbow and hand with pillows than walking around with my hand resting on top of my head and elbow above my heart!!

          When I was well enough to walk around I peered into the kitchen, the refrigerator saw me but it remained aloof. It had changed again in the eight days since my surgery, but not sure why or how. Never the less I looked at it with a chip on my shoulder. My mind began to plan my defense with a crime report and pictures of the crime location.

          My useless left hand, Lefty,  slowly became tired and overworked. It was my only functioning hand. But Lefty took the challenge with zest and zeal, showing off its strength and coordination. Righty was too sick to notice its doppelganger, plus it was hidden from the world by bandages.  Lefty took this opportunity show Righty off. Now was Lefty's chance!
          Lefty also joined the refrigerator to conspire. Refrigerator aptly plotted and planned, outshining even Lefty with its cunning.

         


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Traumatized Hand #3


THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND
From a right-handed mystery writer

The Surgery

          The day of surgery came fast. Since I wasn't allowed to eat past midnight, last night, I had no reason to interact with the evil refrigerator. I refused to give it a last moment of amusement.

          Surgery was set  for 8:30am, check in was 7:30am. I was put to sleep to the music of Hawaiian Slat Key Guitar music (my surgeon is from Hawaii). I woke up in recovery with what looked like a cast but was a full splint. My doctor came by to tell me that he found a second tear and he repaired it as well. That blasted refrigerator!
          It hurt, but with pain pills, I didn't seem to care. Bill did a great job caring for me and my wound. The refrigerator had no opportunity to mock me since it had no communication with me.
          So I have to admit I slept through most of the next 3 days blissfully on pain pills very aware of the huge splint that went from the first knuckle of my hand to the middle of my forearm. Heavily padded, the splint weighed a ton.



Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Traumatized hand #2

Traumatized hand  #2

THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND

From a right-handed mystery writer

The Tortuous Journey

          I was sent home with a full arm splint. The refrigerator continued to stand there rigid and silent even after it saw my condition!  Not a word or movement. It had changed, somehow, since I left for Urgent Care. Like it didn't care. It just went about its business.
          After two weeks of the silent treatment from my refrigerator, I got used to it. I realized something was wrong with the diagnosis of a sprained hand. So I checked around and found an Orthopedic Surgeon who specialized in hands and wrists in Culver City.
           It took two weeks to get an appointment because the doctor is so good. Another two weeks of not knowing what was wrong with my hand and facing the unrepentant refrigerator. I was tempted to call the police since it was acting so strange. It had to be guilty of plotting and instigating the attack.  But who would believe me?

          The doctor took one look at my hand and announced that I had torn the ligament off the bone between the first and second fingers of my right hand.  "This will require surgery,"  he proclaimed.  
          After getting my head wrapped around the idea of  "surgery", I scheduled an MRI with a consult the same day. Another week passed.
          The day before the MRI my doctor came down with the flu! Fortunately, the Physician Assistant was in and met with me to discuss the findings of the MRI and discussed surgery. We then scheduled surgery for...two weeks away. That makes it seven weeks since the incident. I'm sure the refrigerator is pleased with itself.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Traumatized hand #1

            
THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF MY RIGHT HAND

From a right-handed mystery writer
The Incident


Some of you may have heard that I have hurt my right hand February 14 in a vicious attack from my refrigerator. The alleged attack occurred while extending my hand into the refrigerator and talking to my significant other. The shelf intentionally stood rigid, and cold;  plotting the attack.
          In excruciating pain and after quickly covering my hand with ice packs I grabbed my coat and headed for the nearest  Urgent Care Center. All the while the refrigerator stood silently mocking me and my injury, enjoying the agony it has caused.


          Convinced the refrigerator had broken my hand the x-ray showed no broken bones. The doctor sent me home with a diagnosis of a sprained hand, and shoved a huge split on my arm, "Give it six weeks," he said..."at your age maybe 8 weeks".
          So, not only am I in pain, and angry at my refrigerator, I've been insulted as well.

          I sneered at my refrigerator when I got home.