Jun. 1st, 2016

stdesjardins: (Steven)
I've told most of this story on Twitter, but now that it's less painful to type I'll expand and preserve it in the form of a journal entry.

The main reason typing has been hard is that I tripped and fell about a week and a half ago. I was sitting at a table at Studio Theater, waiting for a play to start, and when I got up from the table I caught my foot on the table leg and tumbled over, slamming into a concrete floor. I didn't hit my head or otherwise seriously injure myself, but I was in enough pain that I decided that I didn't want to sit through the play, so I went downstairs to the box office, changed my ticket to a later performance, and went home. The worst of the impact was on my left (dominant) arm. My shoulder was extremely stiff for a couple of days, even though I was gulping down slightly more than the recommended dose of ibuprofen, and even now it's not 100% back to normal.

But the more dramatic incident came a couple of days later. One of my fingers has been bothering me for a couple of months, with occasional-annoyance levels of discomfort, and a little bump that sometimes gave a jolt of pain when I brushed against it. My hypothesis was that this was a pin from one of my old hand surgeries working its way loose from the bone, a hypothesis that was confirmed Tuesday night when the tip of the pin broke through the skin. I briefly considered trying to pull it out with tweezers—that's basically how they removed the pins that were supposed to come out after surgery—but decided that I maybe I should consult an actual medical professional, especially since I was able to make an appointment online with a doctor at my PCP's office for first thing in the morning.

Incidentally, that thing Wolverine says, about how when metal claws burst through your skin it hurts every time? Not true.

Turns out the doctor wasn't a big fan of the "pull it out with tweezers" plan. She dabbed some antibiotic cream on it, put a gauze bandage on, wrote me a prescription for oral antibiotics, and arranged an appointment with a hand surgeon. I went and got X-rays that afternoon, then went early the next morning to see the hand surgeon, who dabbed some antiseptic on, grabbed a pair of tweezers, pulled out the pin, and put a band-aid on. The pin was about an inch long, and perfectly smooth and straight, so I didn't even feel it come out. When I took the band-aid off, an hour or so later, there wasn't even a speck of blood on it.

Someone expressed surprise on Twitter that they didn't need to replace the pin. That really isn't necessary; the pin is only there to hold the bones in place until they heal. After that, it doesn't do any good, but it doesn't do any harm either, so they just leave it in there.
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