Thursday, August 27, 2015

Post-Surgery Update, and Potential Plans for More Surgery

It's been 9 days since I had surgery on my broken left arm, and things seem to be progressing as expected. The surgery to insert a metal plate and screws (not sure how many) went well (only took an hour), and I'm back in a hard splint, held up by a sling. I have full use of my fingers, which is a good sign, although there's a very small, persistently numb spot on my index finger. Even if it's permanent, it's not a big deal.

I took the day after surgery very easy. I took pain meds every few hours. I've since resumed full-time work and am only taking pain meds when needed, which is right before bed and occasionally one during the day, if I've been a little too eager to use my left hand (like today, for example).

My first return visit to the doc who cut me will be on Monday, Aug. 31st. He'll most likely remove the splint to take a look at how the incision is healing. Hopefully, he'll put me in a shorter splint so I can bend my elbow. We'll see. He won't be putting me in a traditional hard cast, though, which is nice.

The itching under the splint has been more annoying than the pain, but even that seems to be subsiding. My other cuts and scrapes are healing nicely and have formed some of the biggest, thickest scabs ever seen in the free world. The looks and reprimands I've been subjected to for picking at those scabs is terribly unfair. I's so satisfying!

I still need help doing many things, although I've taught myself some tricks and shortcuts, and have become more dexterous with my right hand. I can button and zip my pants all by myself, like a big boy, but I still need help making my meals and washing myself. I hope my wife doesn't get suspicious when I still ask her to bathe me a year from now. "But honey, the doctor says that this is the last skill to be redeveloped after such a violent break. It could be five, ten years before I can bathe myself...and even then, it's dangerous."

Yeah, I doubt it, too. A guy can dream, though...

As for my activity level, I can do a few exercises, some 1-arm dumbbell work, and walking, as long as I don't get too sweaty under my splint. Going from 150+ miles of cycling per week to zero has confused my body, both from an exercise perspective and a dietary one. I still want to eat as much as I was pre-accident, but I'm trying to keep the intake in check. It took too long to drop last year's excess weight. Don't want to go through that again.

Now, the even more interesting news. Since my insanely high insurance deductible of [insert Luxembourg's GDP here] has finally been met, I now have full coverage. Imaging is included, so it might be time to get my left knee checked out. I at least want an MRI to determine what's going on in there. Then, if there's a chance it could be fixed, perhaps surgery would be worth it. If so, here's what the next few months potentially looks like for me:

AUG - arm surgery
SEPT - root canal (9/3)
OCT-DEC - knee surgery?
JAN 2016 - beg wife not to leave me

It would be a royal pain to go through all that in just a few months' time, but if I can get an MRI and knee surgery for essentially no cost out-of-pocket, it would be a shame not to do it — especially if it would allow me to run again. I'm not getting my hopes too high just yet, but who knows?

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