Friday, August 31, 2012

Not waterproof yet

So back on Sunday I broke myself. Fairly seriously.

This apparently looks much better than before it was set.

I had my appointment with Dr. Markus Bischoff, the happy-go-lucky Orthopedic Surgeon at Milton District Hospital. The x-rays above and below were taken at the beginning, through the hated splint and elastic bandage. I'm told they show that the radius (big, broken bone) is in what the doc says is pretty good position, but he was a bit concerned about the gap between my ulna (thinner, unbroken bone) and the little bones at the bottom of my hand.

Bad ulna! Play nice with the other bones.

He said it was a "borderline" case for surgery; they could go in and pin the radius, which had been shortened by the impact, to bring the joint into better alignment. I was told without surgery, I might have discomfort and a big lump at the outside of my wrist...but I also might heal just fine, with no pain. I've opted to go non-surgical and see how things go. The doc said they can always go in later and shorten the ulna (as in surgically remove part of my skeleton? *gulp*) if it's a problem.

So, I requested a waterproof cast. I've only been able to go for walks so far and hadn't showered, because Dr. Hassan had told me I'd be sent home in something that wasn't waterproof. He apparently lied, as that splint was just a couple of pieces of fibreglass and some fuzzy stuff underneath the elastic outer wrap:

..and I mean TIGHT outer wrap.

Request denied. Despite diligently having taken my anti-inflammatory meds (Naproxen) as prescribed and keeping the idiot thing elevated as much as possible, there was still too much swelling. I was told the Gore-Tex waterproof lining doesn't have as much give as the cotton batting they use for "regular" casts, so I couldn't have one until at least my next appointment the following Wednesday (September 5th). I would, however, be given a fibreglass cast, which would be a little lighter than plaster.

Was there any doubt what colour I'd pick?

I was given instructions for showering, urged to keep it elevated as much as possible, and sent on my way.

This probably isn't acceptable.

So we continue to go for walks only (ok, with occasional additional activities), and while I now have the use of my left hand fingers again, there are still many tasks that are just too bloody painful. I tried driving our only car - a 5-speed - yesterday. I can clearly do so well enough to fool even Tanker in the shotgun seat into believing I'm fine, but the pain in my hand and wrist when trying to signal or turn right tells me that I'm probably not ready to drive myself down to Michigan for the rally this weekend, and certainly in no condition to ride my motorcycle down.  

This is most likely frowned upon as well.
It never happened, though. Just clever photoshop. Really.
Stop looking at me like that.

For the record, I did actually finally get in for a shower. Good lord willing I won't need more than one additional wash up before my next appointment, since this is an almighty pain in the ass.

Funny looking produce.

Hopefully next week will bring a waterproof cast so I can actually get back in the pool and set up a bike on the trainer without fear of ending up with a manky, possibly moldy, sweat-soaked cast liner. The best news so far comes from last night's walk; for the first time, I didn't have to step very carefully to avoid pain from jarring the wrist, so I'm one step closer to being able to go for a run! 

To add insult to injury (ha, ha), though, the swelling dropped yesterday. I now have a rather disturbing amount of space inside the cast:

This probably shouldn't happen.

With so much extra room, the wrist isn't as well-supported as it could be, which leads to aching. Oh well, at least it gives me a great canvas to advertise my own idiocy!

I can write better upside down than I thought!

I just have to keep telling myself it should be less than a week before I can start some kind of training again, but all walking and no swim/bike/run makes K something something..

I even started my very own Tumblr..

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