My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
It has been a while since I have written anything, but I had been feeling rather low. My fingers are always very painful during physiotherapy sessions, but the pain medication that I was prescribed had been causing such severe side effects that I was sure I had a serious issue with my gastrointestinal tract. At first I didn’t make the connection, and so I was freaking out that something was really wrong with me. I made an appointment to see a GI doctor, but he stood me up and so I never got closure on that issue. Thankfully, we put two and two together and I quit the pain medication, and though it took a few days, the strange side effects stopped and I started to feel better. Great news, right? Yes, except for the fact that I have been attending physiotherapy sessions with no pain medication whatsoever, and the pain has been bringing me to my knees. With every bend of every joint of every finger I feel such pain that I can’t even stand it; I want to jump out of my body and run away and never return to physiotherapy each time. You can see how that might dry up the will to live, much less write about it.
Up until yesterday I was feeling really down about my pinky finger too. With two metal wires sticking out of it, one shaped like a hook, getting ready for bed has been a huge drain on my energy. I couldn’t just fall into bed like I used to do, I had to do a whole antibiotic cream, bandage wrap, bandage tape, and splint routine so as not to permit the wires to catch on a blanket in the night. It also makes pulling on long sleeve shirts rather challenging, and of course this has been an anomalously frigid spring. Finally, I know my husband thinks I am clumsy, but you’d be amazed at how easy it is to bump or catch something in a painful way when it’s sticking out like that. Let’s not even talk about the hazard children present to something like that!
The surgeon had said that the wires needed to come out, but of course, the hold up was the insurance authorization. It finally came through on Thursday, and wouldn’t you know it, the pinky started to hurt and look red. The pinky itself was begging to be released from its stainless steel overlords. I told the doctor this and he managed to book an outpatient surgery for 2 pm yesterday.
I was told to be there for 1:15 pm to get things in order, and it’s a good thing we were. The admissions clerk seemed very capable, but he had a hard time tracking down where I was supposed to be and whether or not I was even scheduled for surgery. Sitting there watching him go through the motions of calling around to surgery areas to figure out if and where I belonged was one of the most suspenseful things I have ever endured. I wanted this foreign material out of me. Fortunately he finally determined that it was an outpatient surgery, a whole separate department, and away we went.
The changing and preparation area was very strange, it was directly adjacent to the waiting room, and my husband could hear the anesthesiologist and I talking from where he sat. When the door was open, which it often was, new patients checking in with the secretary could practically see my feet on the end of the gurney. I was soon wheeled into an operating room and it wasn’t long before I was out. Half an hour later I was awake again and my pinky finger had a new look.
I still haven’t been brave enough to peek inside. I will have a follow-up appointment this coming week, and I am sure the reveal will happen then. All I know is that I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The surgeon also confirmed that he was able to move all joints when my hand was under anesthesia, so that means achieving a wider range of motion is possible. My physiotherapist and I were both starting to be unsure, thinking that maybe the titanium plates were restricting the range of motion of my first joint on two of the fingers. There is a painful road to recovery ahead, but at least I don’t have metal wires and hooks sticking out of me any more. You have no idea what a relief that is!