Always tweaking something!

The progression

Day 2955, Surgery +10

If a picture is worth 1000 words, I’m about to drop 5 or 6k in your lap. Words, not $$. IT would take some fierce bartering to get $5K out of me right about now.

Anyhow. In the beginning. A severely damaged biceps tendon lurks beneath the surface: (Click to embiggen!)

My arm and a little office space. Morning of the surgery.

About 30 minutes after getting home from surgery:

Me and Sponge Bob, hanging out at home immediately post surgery. My right hand and arm are still profoundly numb at this point.

What the wrap looked like without Sponge Bob:

The wrap/cast without Sponge Bob. The whole mess weighed maybe 3 – 4 pounds.

This one may be considered slightly graphic. I’m leaving you some room so you can decide to fast forward through this one:

13-ish stitches out. I had anticipated only the cut along the creases of my inner elbow. The two running up & down my arm were for a fishing expedition. Had to go find the tattered remains of my tendon.

My stylin’ new splint!! All decorated for our trip to New Orleans in 12 days.

My Mardi Gras splint. In real life the colors are much closer to green, purple & gold. Really. Hoping to barter it for free cover into a decent jazz lounge.

I’m enjoying a slightly greater degree of freedom. The new splint can be removed for showers, and I can get the incision wet. Unfortunately, I can’t go hot tubbing yet as there is a corner on the cut that isn’t quite healed yet. Once it scabs over and that scab then clears away, I’m ready for a good soaking.

Also have to admit that the pain hasn’t been too bad. Some things hurt, like that reactive reach for something that’s falling. I’ve done that 2 or 3 times. Not fun at all. My current weight limit is a cup of coffee. Some days, it needs to be in a styrofoam cup, other days a ceramic mug is fine. It’s all about the angles.

Still have to eat lefty. Because of the splint I can’t bend my elbow enough to get even a long fork to my mouth. Consequently, I’m eating slower. This will have benefits, I’m sure. Other stuff hasn’t been as difficult as I feared either. Shaving is a challenge, but I’m getting better. Getting deodorant under my left arm is surprisingly challenging. Hadn’t anticipated that.

One other thing really surprised me. My surgery was scheduled for early afternoon. For this surgical center, that meant there were a dozen or so people (at least) that went through ahead of me. When I was done in recovery and it was time to get dressed, the nurse asked my what I brought for pants. Here’s what I remember of the discussion:

Nurse Chapel, “Time to get dressed. What did you bring for pants?”
Wonderful patient (that’s me!), ” I thought about this last week! I brought sweat pants.”
Nurse Chapel, “Really! You’re the first person who had hand or arm surgery today that didn’t bring button/zip pants!”
Quizzical patient (me again!), “Really? How did these people think they were getting dressed?”
Nurse Chapel, “It was a struggle, I’ll tell you! Now what did you bring for shoes?”
Wonderful patient, “Slippers”

I thought she was going to kiss me. What the hell are people thinking? You’re going in to get your arm fixed, you have to anticipate that you’re not going to have the use of your arm for a few days, how the hell are you going to fasten the button on a pair of jeans?

Seriously? I bought 3 pair of dressy scrub pants. That’s all I’ve worn since the surgery. Well, sweats around the house, but scrubs to work. Going to try jeans/khaki’s tonight, see if I can muster the oomph to button them. I REALLY need to get back on my better eating plan. Especially now that I really can’t exercise.

Last funny part. Well, to me anyhow. The gal that fit my splint asked me how I was with rules. I told her she better make her rules as conservative as possible, because I have a tendency to search for the limits. She also asked how I was on equipment. I laughed and told her heck, I ripped up my tendon GOLFING! I’m rough on everything, including me!

My splint is made of the thickest material they had on hand.

Ok, one more funny part. Again with the splint gal. The way things worked, I pretty much had my arm stretched across a table with her on the other side. As she was fittting and trimming my splint, she’s moving around, getting to the best spot for leverage, etc. I felt a quick brush of fabric early in the proceedings and looked up from what she was working on. That brush of fabric was her smock, right at the lower edge of her rib cage (I think). Had I lifted my hand, I’d probably been rewarded with a face slap. I can’t count the number of times I had to curl my wrist, just to avoid getting a handful of boob as she worked.

There was a Red Cross Blood donor gal that did the same thing to me once.

Oh, the things I’ve had to suffer!!:)


6 responses

  1. Glad you are on the mend!

    September 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    • Brian

      Why thanks Rox.  The arm feels surprisingly good, all things considered.  It takes a conscious effort to not do too much.  Then something will happen, like a purely reactionary move, and I am reminded just how far from healed this thing is.  Golf in April is a good target.


      September 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

  2. It’s tough being nursed. (catch that double entendre?) Hope you are back to golfing and groping in no time.

    September 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

    • Brian

      Ha!  That whole “tough being nursed” is a post unto itself.  I will admit that I am a lousy patient and generally have a hard time accepting help and prefer to figure stuff out on my own.  Having the constitution of an ox is both a blessing and a curse.

      You still hanging out in D-Land?  I gotta go visit!


      September 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

  3. Hi,

    Just wanted to say how amazing your scar on your arm is looking!

    Im looking a the pic 8th down from the laminate floor, the first of a bunch of 3 (the other two youre in a splint).

    How long did it take to look like that? Did you have to do anything special for it to heal so well? You can hardly notice it!

    Ive got two scars that i wanted to have removed but because theyre on my inner elbow they wont operate because it’ll just open up anyway and make the whole thing pointless.

    Hope youre good,


    June 10, 2013 at 10:01 am

    • Brian

      I think the pic you’re referencing is pre-surgery. Now, 10 months after surgery my arm definitely does not look better than the shot I showed just after the stitches were removed. The cross cut in the elbow crease is fine, but the cuts going lengthwise have grown into 1/2 cm wide scars. Normally they’re a nice mellow pink, but if I get working hard they turn an angry purple. Just a reflection of the increased blood flow I suppose.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

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