Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July #writemotivation and Surgery Wrap-up

The blog post wherein I am taunted by a coffee maker, am turned into a canvas by a maniacal surgeon, am stabbed with needles, am given a liter of fluid in half an hour, learned that a Bier Block is not a reference to alcohol, am sliced and diced and given pain meds, woke up with Oompa Loompa fingers, and sleep for 3 days.

But before all that, let's talk about July's goals. Somewhere along the way, July came and went. I wrote, I read, I cheered, I flailed, I had lots of feels about flailing, and I slowly got back into a groove before getting disrupted by surgery.

The last few days have been a blur...literally.

July Goals:
  1. Try to write every day or do something involving writing (really didn’t do that in June and ended up flopping around like a dying goldfish) I did some writing, did a lot of reading, and did some critiquing.
  2. Finish up my critiques. Yup.
  3. Cheer my #writemotivation pals on. There was some cookie slinging going on.
I'm doing my best not to feel bad about my writing this past month. I struggled a lot and the last few days have been hard physically and emotionally. Who knew surgery would take so much out of a person.

August Goals:
  1. Write every day. This will be hampered by the wrist surgery, but still something I need to strive for.
  2. Blog once a week.
  3. Cheer on my #writemotivation tweeps
  4. Read two books
  5. Participate in the Pay It Forward Giveaway (see button on the side-bar)
Now on to the insanity.

It started with the taunting coffee maker. I was dying by this point. I had not eaten since the night before and I had to sit and stare at the coffee maker at the surgery center's waiting room. It was torture.
The coffee maker...it taunts me.
There were two IV ports inserted into my body. One went into my left arm that delivered antiobiotics, fluid, the general anesthetic, and other meds as needed. While waiting for the surgery before me to finish, the nurse accidentally left the saline bag all the way open and pumped a liter of fluid into my body in about 30 minutes. Needless to say, I had to use the restroom a couple times before the surgery.
I've been marked. I wonder if I could sell his signature on eBay...
The marking was important because they needed to make sure the Bier Block did not interfere with the surgery. No, not Beer...Bier. A Bier Block is pretty cool. The put a tourniquet on your arm and an IV in the other end and numb the arm completely. The ended up putting the port on the inside of my wrist. The nurses loved my veins as they were nice and large and easy to poke.

The surgery went well. The doctor repaired the small tear and cleared out what he called "debris". I wasn't conscious, so I'm not sure of the details. I see him in a couple weeks, so I should get the details then. When I woke up, I had Oompa Loompa fingers as my hand was swollen and covered in orange surgery prep stuff. If I had been more conscious, I would have snapped a picture.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that I dreamed that someone was playing Journey's Don't Stop Believing during the surgery. Reality they weren't. It was still weird.

I did get some Diet Dr. Pepper, but my stomach was not up to coffee at that point. And I actually didn't have any that day.

FYI: My arm isn't bent awkwardly, that is my knee in the lower left hand corner. My arm is resting on it.

It's hard to see in that picture, but my fingers are orange and very swollen. I was also pale and feeling icky. Mostly nauseous from the meds and stuff as well as fuzzy from the Hydrocodone. I slept for several days.

It's only a flesh wound! Had worse!
It doesn't look that bad here. Mostly because it is covered by something called a Steri-strip. I have to change the dressing once a day (the Steri-strip stays until it falls off or the doctor removes it). I'm learning to do things one-handed as most things are not possible or difficult with the right hand. You don't realize how dependent you are on everything working correctly until your without. I'm getting better, but sometimes I forget and over use the hand and it hurts.

The pain has been constant, but not overwhelming anymore. I took my last pain pill Sunday morning with Tylenol and the occasional Aleve filling in the gaps. I wear a sling when I'm icing it. Thursday, I see the physical therapist and I should be out of the brace in two weeks.

I'm lucky. We caught it early. If I had waited too long, it could have caused irreversible muscle and nerve damage. Something I'm learning is, if the joint isn't stable, there is something wrong. You would think it would be easy to remember, but I'm a guy and like to think I'm tough.

Oh, and the other hand has a nice bruise on it from the IV port...
Yes, it hurts to touch.
Anyway, looking for August to be a little better. Typing is only affected when the hand hurts too much, but that part is getting better daily.

'Till Next Time.


  1. Andrew--

    1. Stop talking to yourself by being the first one to comment on your blog post.

    2. Ha! I was told I was going to wear my splint for "one week" and then be mobile. Really, it was more like 6. That's just what the doctor says so you actually go through with the surgery and don't run away.

    3. STOP USING YOUR RIGHT HAND! Completely. Fingers OK to hold light stuff, but do. not. move. your. wrist. or. hand. Don't put any pressure on it, either.

    4. Stop taking pictures of coffee, especially if you can't have it. Just sayin'.

    ---Your wife (who has had FOUR...yes, four...surgeries from the same doctor and knows what she's talking about).

    1. 1) I never comment FIRST! ;-p

      2) Yeah, I figured it will be longer. A man can dream can't he?!

      3) I can't help it! It's like attached to my arm and I have been using it for 40 years!

      4) In my defense, the coffee maker was taunting me. You couldn't hear it, but it was. It was saying all sorts of mean, nasty things. It needed to be publicly shamed!

  2. <3 this post and <3 your wife! *giggles*

    See you next month for more cookies and flailing!

  3. Wow. Sounds like surgery was a blast. ;) I don't think I'd be too cool with having my whole arm numbed. I don't like being numbed in general - makes going to the dentist interesting.
    Congrats on your July goals too. =)

    1. Yeah, it was weird. My thumb was numb for several hours afterwards. Glad that part is done with.

  4. I can't believe you were back on social media AT ALL the day of your surgery - bad andrew, bad! my hubs is a nurse so i've picked up a few things, like that "signature" on your wrist was to verify it was the correct one to do surgery on. don't want the right leg amputated when it's supposed to be the left, you know what i'm saying? orange stuff? iodine. journey playing? maybe, maybe not. my hubs has worked in recovery and plays music when recovering people because it helps them wake up better with less stress. there are studies. all in all, i know surgery sucks and i hope you feel better soon. but think about this: chicks dig scars.

    1. LOL. :D I was typing one handed and only to let people know that I didn't die. :D

      As for the music, I'm sure it was just a dream. I have vivid dreams even under anesthetic apparently. :D

  5. Glad surgery went well, and I'm sorry the coffee maker was taunting you!

    And... well... there are WORSE songs you could have been imagining. :P

  6. Ouch! A Beer Block would have been more fun. Or less fun, if it were blocking beer... Confusing... Glad you're safe and sound and typing snarkily.

  7. Great goals for August and I'm glad you are starting to feel better and that the surgery went well.