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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


When I went under, I thought I'd awaken with pain, but no less mobility than when I got there.

Finding myself with one hand with a broken finger and one mostly useless lobster claw, I got a bit cranky with the staff. Really, it's the doc I was mad at: he does this all the time, so it probably seemed obvious to him I'd have my whole hand, more or less, immobilized.

I think it was incumbent on the good doctor to splain things a bit more in advance. But, to shut me up, he said I could come back today for a less restrictive dressing and brace instead of being utterly gimped until Monday.

While my dressings were being removed, so were the dressings of a table saw accident victim. His wife and daughters were with him, a baby and a girl I'd guess was four. When she caught a glimpse of what had happened to Daddy's finger she fainted in a heap. I didn't see the guy's hand, but just as I've been told how much worse my injuries could have been, he was told people who have the accident he had often lose more than one finger.

Just so you know, it's not comforting. The fact that it could always have been worse is no consolation. It's not like the table saw guy won a trip to Florida instead of his first choice, Hawaii.

The swelling of my hand seemed impressive to me, but at least it accounted for the pain. Before surgery, it only hurt when my hand got jostled. Now it hurts constantly. Last night, I risked an extra dose when two 500/7.5 Lortabs and 400 mg of ibuprofen didn't even make a dent. Four Lortabs, I found, stops short of anything you could label 'high,' but it did leave my lips numb as I drifted off to sleep. My hand still hurt, but at least sleep came.

I worried about Tylenol overdose, taking four, though the doc told me today that doesn't come up much before 15-20 tabs a day. I guess that's a relief, though nest time I need narcotic painkillers, I'm campaigning for the ibuprofen based version. If you need narcotic pain killers, you need an analgesic better (and safe in higher doses) than Tylenol.

Of course I've been taking both. This morning I took 800 mg of ibuprofen and then a couple Lortabs when I got to work. And it scarcely seemed to take the edge off.

Someone from Heartland called and asked how I was doing, and when I said fine except the pain exceeded the meds, she asked if I could just be off work. Which is the rub. It's not like other members of the art department can cover me, I am the art department. My boss can cover some stuff, but with the election work, we both need to be putting in overtime. It's not like the election if flexible, if we don't get the stuff done on time, it's of no value to the customer.

The less restrictive dressing at least lets me mouse with my right, though typing is still all hunt and peck with what's left of my south paw. And the wrappings are no longer so dense they prevent ice from working at all.

I'm hoping by Saturday I can get at least a short ride in, though I'm not sure I can shift with this brace on. Next week, I think I'll be back down to the finger only splint.

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