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I had my penultimate orthopedic visit today. It went very well, and I'm on track to have the pins removed on May 11. Yay!

There was only one hiccup. The doctor had initially intended to remove the cast and put me in a splint for two weeks. This would have the advantage that I would be able to take showers without wrapping a plastic bag around my arm...and not much else. I wouldn't really be able to take off the splint otherwise, and would have to be very, very careful so as not to break the pins in my wrist. I am not a very, very careful person. When I expressed this to the doctor, he asked, "Well, do you just want another cast?" and I said, "That would probably be best."

So, I have Bright Pink Cast #2 (they didn't have purple or yellow, the other two colors that Boo had requested, so I reverted to the number one color choice). It hasn't been too bad wearing the other casts, and I would certainly rather put up with two more weeks of plastic wrap in the shower rather than risk breaking the pins. I'll have the cast on for two weeks, then I'll go to the doctor and get it removed the Wednesday before the surgery. Presumably I can go for five days in a splint without damaging myself. We'll see. :)
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I got a new cast today. It is, as the subject line suggests, green (at the request of Her Booness).

Boo had decorated the pink cast with kitties, sunshine, a flamingo and family portraits. I made sure to take pictures, because I was pretty sure the cast would be too unsanitary to keep around. As it turns out, though, the unsanitary inner layers of gauze and stockinette could be peeled away and discarded, allowing me to preserve the fiberglass part. If I can find my camera cable, I'll try to post the pictures.

They did more x-rays, and everything still seems to be in place. The doctor says I'll be in this cast for three more weeks, then in a splint for two weeks, then I'll have one more surgery to take the pins out. The pin removal is apparently miles simpler and less painful than the first surgery, and I should be ready for physical therapy within a couple of weeks. Physical therapy should take six months to a year, so in the shortest-case scenario I'll be finishing up my recovery a little over a year after I first fell. Next time, I'm landing on my head.

Details, details )

Onward and upward. :) I feel that I can do everything that's really important (well, okay, almost everything :)). I certainly can find plenty of ways to be occupied and happy. The good things are getting better, and the bad things are diminishing. Can't ask for more than that.
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Note to self:

If you haven't driven in a month, and therefore haven't drunk your regular post-school-delivery regimen of coffee, it's entirely possible that when you do test your cast-impaired driving ability by going to the coffee shop and drinking a large coffee at four in the afternoon, you will find yourself writing journal posts at 5:45am.

Just FYI.
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Five Ways In Which My Life Has Improved A Lot:

1. I can type using up to nine fingers with minimal discomfort (for some reason my pinkie is taking a while to get back in the game). Only short periods right now, but considering that on Friday I couldn't even press the keys, this is pretty darn stellar.

2. I can open bottles, cans and other food packaging. This means that my husband no longer has to leave a cooler of sandwiches and a certain number of pre-opened bottles of water for me when he goes to work.

3. I can go up and down the stairs as I darn well please. Free access to the kitchen is good.

4. I can take a shower almost all by myself, instead of having to have the assisstance of my entire family. If I could just figure out how to open and squirt out the shampoo with one hand (okay, and wrap my own right arm in plastic), I'd be golden.

5. I am taking about half the amount of pain medication I was taking last week. It might *sound* fun to spend six weeks stoned on various members of the -codone family, but the reality is that I can't wait to get off the stuff. Obviously, I'm choosing to continue to take it because, well, pain sucks, but I feel that the pain is also approaching the point where I can see the end of it.

In short:

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I have a new cast. It's about half the size and a third the weight of the post-op splint/cast. It is also bright pink because my daughter asked if I was getting a pink cast and I said no (because I seriously had no idea that casts came in pink.) I'll apparently be getting the chance to experiment with other colors as well, because the cast will be changed every couple of weeks.

Healing seems to be proceeding. The doctor took out the stitches, and x-rays showed that the pins seemed to in the right place. The new cast leaves my fingers completely free, so as soon as I work out the post-op swelling and stiffness I'm hoping I can return to two-handed as opposed to one-fingered typing.

I'm still having to take quite a bit of pain medication, but I can also tell that, as promised, the post-op pain is rapidly dwindling. I'm hoping to be off the pain meds sooner rather than later, and I also hope to be driving again soon. All in all, things are looking up.
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My surgery is scheduled for March 2, two weeks from Monday. I am very pleased. :)

It seems as though everything is going to go pretty much as I described in my earlier post. I'll be in a cast for about two months, then I'll have to have a second surgery to remove the pins. After that, it will, hopefully, be merely a matter of recovery and physical therapy.

Full Disclosure Section (with bonus whining) )

In the meantime, I've cheered myself up with a little self-pampering: painting my nails. So far, they have been wine-red, purple, orange and chartreuse. (My toes are pink and sparkly, but I assure you that it wasn't self-inflicted. I merely point to this as evidence that I love my daughter. ;))

In closing, I'd like share an exchange I had with the stewardess on the plane I took from Wyoming around the first of the year:

Stewardess: Did you hurt your arm skiing?
Me: Sadly, no, nothing that exciting. I fell on the stairs.
Stewardess: Oh, dear. Are you right-handed?
Me: Yep. And, of course, my favorite things to do are knitting, crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles.
Stewardess: Have you taken up drinking?
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When I went to the physical therapist last week, I'd increased my range of motion by about 30 degrees. This is very, very happy news. :) We'll see how it goes with the surgeon Thursday.

My new nimbleness did not, however, keep me from losing my grip on my debit card and sending it sliding over the dashboard and neatly into that tiny, tiny gap between the windshield and the dashboard. Seriously, it freakin' disappeared down there. Fortunately, I was using an ATM at a bank branch, so after I'd spent about two minutes realizing that there was no way I would ever get it out of there (barring the invention of a Plastic Magnet), I walked into the branch and got a new card. Luckily, the glass below the dash is tinted, so I don't have to see my card wedged down there mocking me.

Side Note: Part of my physical therapy excerises are done with a ball, so I bought an inexpensive substitute for the squishy rubber one they had. Boo, of course, feels that the purpose of a pink, blue and purple swirled toy ball is to be played with, so we laid out the rules about the ball never leaving Mama's room, and always being returned to Mama's chair. Naturally, the first time I turn around, my *husband* has nicked the ball and is playing with it in his office.

Also, a memo to Torchwood fandom: Glenn Miller. G-L-E-N-N.
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I am highly medicated, so I am typing for my own little self.

I consulted the surgeon today. He was a nice, funny, confident and eloquent person who gave me Lortab. I like him. :) Although the MRI results weren't terribly conclusive about whether or not I had a torn ligament, further x-rays showed that I have a tilted scaphoid bone. Misalignment of that bone usually *is* the result of a torn ligament, specifically the Scapholunate ligament. Given the length of my (non) recovery, the kind of pain I'm in, and the site of the pain, the clues do seem to point to a torn ligament. (To use the surgeon's analogy, if it looks like dog poo, and smells like dog poo...:))

There are a couple of things I can do about this. )

To sum up for those who wish to skip the icky medical details under the cut: I'm going to do physical therapy for two or three weeks, then I will probably choose to have surgery to try to repair/replace the damaged ligament. Surgery recovery might take 8-12 weeks, then it might take as long as a year to recover completely. I'll probably lose some flexibility in my wrist, but the doctors say that I *shall* knit again. :)

PS--The pictures I've linked to come from a helpful and informative article called Ligament Injuries of the Wrist.

Arm Update

Jan. 26th, 2009 08:43 pm
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This is being typed by my helpful husband.

As I mentioned in my last entry, two months ago, I fell and sprained my wrist over Thanksgiving. I have just been back to the doctor for a third follow-up and my options are apparently surgery or waiting--again--to see what happens. Since my arm does not seem to have gotten any better in the last two months, I suspect surgery is in my future.

I wanted to update to let people know why I haven't posted. I know that this isn't exactly unusual for me, but I have been reading and following and desperately wanting to join in the conversations. Hopefully I'll be back to typing (and knitting and writing things and being able to using my right hand) before too long.

I'm consulting a surgeon on Thursday and I will dictate any pertinent details to my minion for transcription when the time comes.

Take care everyone! :-)
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This is one of those good news, bad news posts.

Good news. I have no broken bones.
Bad news. I missed the bottom step over thanksgiving, broke fall with right wrist and still can't use right hand.
Good news. I had finished nanowrimo 5 days earlier.
Bad news. Crosswords now hard to do with crappy left-hand writing.
Good news. Sudoku.

(Bad news. Capital letters hard one-handed.
Good news. Textwrangler "capitalize sentences" function.)
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Today is mine and Albert's 18th wedding anniversary.

Here's Keith Olbermann to explain why I won't be taking that fact for granted again:

Special Comment on Proposition Eight--Gay Marriage is a Question of Love )

Transcript )

Yes, I Did

Nov. 4th, 2008 12:45 pm
jinjifore: (Default)

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lunaris1013 for sharing the graphic. Get yours here.

(Okay, I voted two weeks ago. But I still got a free coffee at Starbucks today.

Not that that was a consideration.)
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Well, crap. I made an appointment to donate blood this morning, but instead I woke up with a sore throat. I did wallow around in denial for a while, but then I sucked it up and admitted to myself that the Red Cross doesn't *want* my infected blood, even if it is O-.

I'm especially bummed because between the three bouts of bronchitis, the feeling crappy after the bronchitis, the feeling crappy before the bronchitis and in general feeling crappy between the bronchitis, it's been well over a year since I donated. Still, there's always next week. :)

In the good news department, my service appointment for my car only cost me $425. You may wonder why this is good news. I will tell you )

ETA: Finally located the thermometer and took my temperature. 99.7. I don't think the Red Cross wants me today.
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Okay, so I'm way behind the news on this, but the other day I decided, on a whim, to re-read Elizabeth Peters' last Vicky Bliss novel, Night Train to Memphis which led me to think "Hey, it's been a while since her last book, let's check Amazon, see if there's a new Amelia Peabody book."

There wasn't a new Amelia Peabody book.

There was a new Vicky Bliss book.

The first new Vicky Bliss book in fourteen years.

Now, the Amelia Peabody books are awesome, but the Vicky Bliss books are freakin' rare from this woman. Well, okay, comaparatively rare, as in a mere five books (now six!) instead of eighteen Amelia Peabody books, not to mention the other gazillion books the woman has written.

The other good thing is that the book comes out the day after my mother's birthday, and the CD version *also* comes out the day after my mother's birthday, instead of later as used to be the case. This is good because my mother doesn't actually read books anymore. Instead, she listens to them. All the time. (Seriously, all the time. She has two iPods.) I have, therefore, ordered the audio CD for her. Unfortunately, she has an annoying habit of keeping up with this stuff herself and ordering things on her own, so I'll probably have to spill the beans to keep her from buying it.
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  • 20+ hours of astronomy, baseball and sports-related podcasts saved up on iPod--Check
  • Entire Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings loaded on iPod--Check
  • Binder of DVDs--Check
  • Fifty billion pieces of wooden railroad track and heap of accompanying engines, suitable for multiple reenactments of railway accidents--Check
  • (Yarn and needles even though I still can't knit--Check)
  • Stack of trashy cowboy/pirate romance novels, fresh from Amazon--Check
  • Sudoku and crossword books--Check

    I am ready, beach. Armed with my sunscreen, my hat and my rubber beach shoes, I stand ready to face you. As soon as I finish loading the final season of Man From UNCLE onto my iPod.
  • jinjifore: (Default)
    In general, we feed the cats whatever food is available where we're shopping, and is cheap. The cats have always happily gobbled up whatever we put in front of them, so we never worry too much about brand names and what-not.

    Last week, however, my husband bought some Kroger brand cat food. The cats, to a feline, refused to eat it. Not only our cats--both indoor and outdoor--but the two neighborhood cats, the skunk and the possum who also feast uninvited at our back door left the food bowls untouched.

    I admit, I didn't really catch on until second or third day of the strike, when Mimi kept pawing at the deck door even after I'd put out fresh food and water for her multiple times (despite the fact that there was food still in the bowls). It wasn't until the third day, when I realized that *none* of the food had been touched by any creature, that I understood that I had a full-blown hunger strike on my hands.

    Yesterday we bought some of the usual cheap-o Wal-Mart Special Kitty cat food, and they fell upon like ravening beasts. Today my home has fat, full kitty bellies, and all is well.

    Yet, I still have to wonder what the heck was in the Kroger food that even the possum wouldn't eat it...

    ETA: Until I responded to [livejournal.com profile] vickita, I'd forgotten that one subject detected no difference in the cat food: "Well, when I fed the kitties I licked some off my fingers and it tasted the same," reported Boo.

    There you have it.
    jinjifore: (Default)
    One day, I will post about this stuff before it's nearly all over. Honest.

    So, for the last couple of months I've had some nasty carpal tunnel symptoms. I haven't been able to knit at all, *sob!* or type more than a few sentences at a time (you will possibly note that nearly all of my posts of late have been heavily comprised of copied and pasted templates). I went to the doctor about three weeks ago, and he said that I had all the classic symptoms of carpal tunnel...except that my outer two fingers were also becoming numb (though not at the same time as the thumb and first two fingers). To make sure that he knew what was going on, he ordered a nerve conduction test to determine which nerves, if any, might be damaged. The results would determine if I a) had carpal tunnel or b) problems with my ulnar nerve or c) both and d) possibly give some indication of whether or not I needed surgery.

    Well, the test results came in yesterday, and they were negative. My nerves were in tip-top shape, no sign of damage. I will add that the test hurt like a son of a b%$#@!.

    (I was going to say something else, but my mother reads this journal and despite what I heard her say the other night while she was dealing with her audio software I would like to maintain the fantasy that she still thinks I don't swear.)

    "WTF?! Am I going crazy and making this up?" thought I.

    "WTF?! Go see a specialist," said my doctor.

    So, at 8:15 this morning I went to an orthopedist. He told me that about 20% of carpal tunnel patients have normal nerve conduction tests (Ah ha!), and the good news is that those patients--if they do have carpal tunnel--can often be cured with a shot of a steroid cocktail. "Shoot me up," I said.

    The doctor says that I should feel some improvement within a couple of days (?!!!), and I'm scheduled for a follow-up visit in four weeks.
    jinjifore: (Default)
    I realize that I haven't been updating lately, but I have two very good reasons. Really.

    First, I've been doing a lot of knitting )

    Second, many of the people who are getting knitted gifts read this blog )

    The good news is that I am, in fact, done. I finished the last hat on Friday, so any other knitting that I get done will be a bonus. And the first thing on my bonus knitting list is a sweater for my daughter. I have been a crappy knitting mommy because I haven't yet made her one at any point in the last five years, but I really, really wanted her to have a nice wool sweater for her first skiing experience.

    I'm using a pattern from Cabin Fever's Top Down For Toddlers, and I now feel doubly guilty for not having done one before because it's so easy. I started it on Friday, knitted a lot on Saturday, and now (Monday) have 10 of the 13 body inches done. I'm working it at a slightly larger gauge than the one called for (5 stitches to the inch instead of 5.5), which means that I'm working the pattern for a size smaller than what I actually need, which means that I'm doing a wee bit less knitting than I might otherwise have to.

    I have also made a serendipitous discovery, which is more or less what inspired me to make a post today. I had 16-inch and 32-inch 3.75mm needles, but the body of the sweater is only 28 inches around. Not wanting to have to stretch the body around my 32-inch needles, I bought a pair of 24-inch needles. The only 24-inch Addi needles available were Addi lace needles, and I figured it wouldn't make much difference.

    I was wrong )

    Yeah, probably should have asked for a Patternworks gift certificate for Christmas...
    jinjifore: (Default)
    The LibraryThing process is proceeding. I've entered 3,000 books now.

    I've moved from working from the card catalog to the actual books. While I was unable to get up and down the stairs, the cards were very useful. I could just lie in bed and work off them and when I got sleepy--bed! But since the catalog isn't complete, and since the CueCat scanner makes it about 10,000 times easier to just scan the barcodes rather than typing off crappy dot-matrix printouts--where I may or may not have written down the correct ISBN ten years ago--I learned that it was quicker to just work from the shelves.

    I have all the hardbacks done now, except for the oversize ones and the ones that are mixed in with my husband's books. I did the hardbacks first because I have a lot of old and unusual books that I knew would require more research and possibly manual entry. From there I've moved to the one bookshelf I have of non-science fiction, non-mystery paperbacks and paperback-sized hardbacks, for pretty much the same reason.

    Some observations: I have close to a hundred books that aren't shared by any other members, and about two hundred and fifty others that are shared by fewer than ten others. Some of them aren't suprising. Dante, Chaucer, and the Currency of the Word : Money, Images, and Reference in Late Medieval Poetry is a good example. I'm a bit surprised that no one else shares The Writings of Medieval Women : An Anthology, though. And I'm kind of sad that no one else has The Alps as Seen by the Poets or Billy-Boy because they're both beautiful books and I'd like to think that someone else has had the opportunity to enjoy them.

    According to my stats, my median book obscurity is currently 107, and my mean book obscurity is 590. This means that, on average, I share books with 590 other members. But half of my library is shared by 107 members or less, and half is shared by 107 or more. Kinda cool.

    This will also be an interesting exercise in Total Book Estimates. For a while now I've been tossing around 4,500 as the number of books I have without having any real idea about the true totals, and now I'll have the chance to see how close I am. Based on how many books I've entered, and how many I estimate I have left, I think it's going to be pretty close.
    jinjifore: (Default)
    Daily pill intake: 27
    Books entered on LibraryThing: 409
    Number of times cursed at crappy dot-matrix library catalog printout: 409
    Items checked off on "When to Call Your Doctor" bronchitis fact sheet: 4
    Secondary bacterial infections: 1
    Pneumonias: 0
    New prescriptions: 3
    Stargate episodes watched: 10
    Crappy fanfics read: 90234857

    Bronchitis: 1, Jinjifore: 0

    The good news is that I have approximately 4,000 more books to enter on LibraryThing, so it's not like I'm going to run out of things to do from bed. Also, among the numerous new pills I'm taking are antibiotics and steroids, which should hopefully help me feel better sooner rather than later. Here's hoping. :)


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