Thursday, June 23, 2022

Last Visit to the Hand Surgeon

Yesterday I went to the hand surgeon to get my green cast removed. They took another set of X rays, and the surgeon looked them over. The news is good. Bone has grown across the screws that connect the plate to the bone. In the X rays taken four weeks ago I could see the screws, and yesterday, they were not visible in the X rays.

I left the office with my hand and wrist in a soft splint, a removable splint, with the reassurance from the surgeon that I could soon do everything I once did. I need to not lift anything heavier than five pounds for the next week, but then I can go at my own pace.

Of course, I will need physical therapy. I left with two prescriptions:  one for South Florida, and one for the next place where we move.  With luck, I will not see the hand surgeon again, as he will be on vacation in the first part of July, and I will be moving in the later part of July.

I had been a little nervous about this visit. Four weeks ago, when the purple cast was removed, the site of my stitches was a little soggy.  The hand surgeon asked if I had gotten it wet, and I hadn't, but I had gotten a little sweaty. I live in South Florida after all. The hand surgeon said there was no sign of infection, so no need to worry, but of course I worried a bit. I'm happy that it looked OK yesterday.

I am also happy to have soft splint to cover up this car from where my stitches were. It's still fairly scabby and ugly. I'll wear this splint when I go to lunch with people. No need to gross them out.

I left the doctor's office feeling fortunate. I have often said that if this had happened to me in 1885, I would be completely out of luck:  a female with a non-functioning dominant hand.  Happily, it's 2022, and my hand surgeon had skills needed to fix my fairly complicated break.

I have been thinking about how the bones of our bodies can grow again, about how they know where to grow and when to stop. I asked my spouse if he remembered from our high school health or biology classes anything about bones and how they know. My philosopher spouse told me that he objected to the premise of the question, that bones can't really know anything in an ontological way. In some ways, we see the world so differently--but not incompatibly.

I have also been thinking about the woman that I saw in the waiting room when I left after getting my purple cast on, back in May. That woman had a cast on both arms, and I thought about how tough it would be to break both wrists. I've been grateful for my spouse’s help, which makes me think about all the people who don't have any help. I've been grateful for decentish health insurance, and I've been oddly grateful that I don't have to be navigating all of these doctors appointments with a full time job.

At some point, I will get back to walking further. I've had to limit myself because of not wanting to sweat into a cast and because for much of the month of May, I had an adverse reaction to the antibiotics, which meant my walks had to be shorter, so that I wasn't too far away from the bathroom; happily that reaction seems to have gone away now.

Let me get out for a walk now, before my physical therapy appointment and before the sun gets much higher in the sky. I don't have a cast to worry about now, but I still like getting my walk done early, when there's any hope of less intense heat.

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