Saturday, September 18, 2010

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

This is the current state of my left hand.

For more perspective, here are both of my hands.

Isn't it lovely? . . . and HUGE? I seriously feel like my hand is encased in a brick. It's that heavy.

For those of my blog readers who don't know the story, here it is.

On August 1, we just returned home from the Tetons, and while getting the boys ready for their baths, I noticed a card game that had fallen onto the floor in their closet. I reached down to pick it up to put away, but hit the leg of their clothes hamper in my attempt. For a normal person, this would probably cause a jammed finger for a minute or two, but for me, I heard a "pop" and my hand instantly began to swell and throb. I made my way into the living room to ask Brian to finish baths. He asked me why, and why I was holding my left hand. I told him what happened, he told me he was sure it was broken, and that we needed to go to the Emergency Room.

So, he bathed Bradley, I finished our bed time routine with the boys. Brian's mom came over, and we went to the ER. We waited a lot, saw a nurse, waited some more, saw the doctor, were sent to get x-rays, waited a lot more, and then the doctor came in to splint my hand, tell me he was baffled, and refer me to a specialist. I should mention that we were not surprised at all by this development. I broke the same bone in another unlikely action 9 years ago, so we were aware of a problem.

The next day I called the specialist, but they couldn't get me in to see him for over a week. The Physician's Assistant was available the next day, though, so I made an appointment to see him. He looked at my x-rays, splinted my hand in a better brace, told me the fancy medical name of the tumor that was in my bone, and scheduled me to come back and see the surgeon three weeks later.

When I returned to see the surgeon, he talked to me as if we were in the middle of a conversation and just needed to iron out the details for surgery. Evidently I had a giant cell tumor in my bone (a diagnosis that is 1 in a million a year, I truly am unique) that had expanded and thinned the bone, making it easy to break. He explained that they needed to cut a window in my bone, scrape out the tumor, and then scoop out bone from my wrist to graft into my hand.

So, that brings me to yesterday. For the three weeks between first meeting with the surgeon and the actual day of surgery, I continued to wear the brace and treat my hand gently. Then yesterday, he performed the surgery, bandaged me up in my brick, and sent me home with a noodle of an arm, and some pain meds to take when feeling returned.

It was a long day, but don't ask me to remember it. I can't tell you much. They poked and prodded and drew on me. They numbed and knocked me out. The doctor told me I should wear their lovely blue caps more often, because it really made my eyes vibrant. And then in the whirlwind of instructions once I woke up, I heard a thump on the bars of my bed and felt like I dropped something, only to realize that my arm slipped. I thought it was funny to watch my arm twist and bend like Elastigirl from Incredibles, except I had no control over it. To leave the surgical center, I had to keep a firm grip on it with my other hand.

Now, however, that numbness is all gone, and I am writing this in the fog of pain medication. I hope it makes sense.


Unknown said...

I'm sorry for your pain and the hassle but it's good to know the tumor is gone. We're praying for a speedy recovery - and helpful, happy boys!

P.S. - We already knew you were 1 in a million! :)

Kim B said...

Thank you for the pictures and further explanation. Not bad for pain med fog!

We wish you a quick recovery!

{Jason and Elan} said...

your story made perfect sense. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. Hopefully you don't experience too much pain!

Kristen said...

That sounds like a fun 3 weeks for you with yet more fun to come while you recover! I hope you have a speedy recovery and if you need anything I'm only a few minutes away.

Rachel said...

Sorry you're dealing with all that. Let me know if I can do anything. Seriously. Hugs.