Pinky Restoration Project: Progress Report

I was going to title this post the ‘Pinky Injury Update’, but it’s nowhere near up at the moment.

deformedpinky1

This lil’ fella is still looking like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame. And I have nothing against those of you who have a hunch in your back at all, if that’s what you’ve got. ‘Cos hey, if you’re bent you must be feeling way more spent than this whiney little pinky over here. Although in my case there’s a few things wrong with this, because firstly fingers don’t have backs and secondly, there’s no Esmeralda on her way to love it for the curvy lad it is. Just a hunch.

***

On a serious note, I have been having two hand therapy sessions a week with two different therapists from the same clinic, which has been really helpful in my recovery. I like the way they all work in a team at this clinic, they aren’t embarrassed or too protective of their pride to get a second opinion on a patient’s injury. It’s been really clear to me as a patient that my overall health and the state of my hand is of the upmost importance every time I go in for an appointment.

This is a relief for me, because normally I am not a fan of going to the doctors or any kind of specialist due to the fear that my illness or injury is not worthy enough of receiving treatment. Usually I sit there nervously in waiting rooms, trying to convince myself that I’m there for a valid reason and that I won’t be wasting the medical specialist’s time. And by the time I’m out, the first thing I tell my family is, “Yeah it went well, better than I thought it would.” Not that I think doctors and specialists are spawns of Satan, it’s just that their aloof, intelligent demeanour can be really hard to read in an appointment and I tend to sink further down in my seat the more condescending they sound.

But it’s not the case this time around! They have been really helpful and caring throughout my recovery. They have been great at informing me on how to do my hand exercises, while explaining the human bioscience behind my injury and my physical goals during recovery. Turns out injuries are great learning tools for understanding the structure of the body!

deformedpinky2

The scars are looking really good, nothing too Frankenstein-like because it’s a glass cut. Which means that the skin wasn’t cut in a jagged way, and the surgeons didn’t need to get too creative in stitching it up by the end of surgery.

I also learnt about the roles of all the fingers. The pointer and middle fingers are our fine motor skill fingers, that help us sew, write with a pen, and fiddle with smaller objects. While our ring finger and pinky finger are our P O W E R fingers. Whodathunkit.

So many people have been telling me, “At least it’s your pinky!”, but little did they know that I actually lost some power. Yep, I’m like Thor when his almighty hammer got destroyed. I just gotta figure out how to use the power of lightening now without it.

Our P O W E R fingers give us that extra lift we need while holding larger and heavier objects. You’ll notice that if you hold a glass of water with only your fine motor skill fingers, that it’s hard to hold it completely up right without spilling a drop. But if you latch those nifty little P O W E R claws on to the bottom half of that glass, you Sir won’t be spilling a drop of that water on your Gucci slides. #LifeHackswithHay

***

I’ve been out of my purple Phantom splint for a week now, and my arm has been sore a lot more because I’ve been trying to slowly get back into using my left hand again with the more simpler tasks. This is because my finger tendons are part of the same tendon going up my wrist, to my arm, to my shoulder. And at times I get a bit carried away at home doing things, forgetting that it’s not used to doing any kind of activity besides hand exercises.

Regaining movement has been the most difficult aspect during the entire recovery period so far. I can barely get any movement in the tip of my pinky, and it’s so stiff around the middle joint I can’t even fully bend it yet after 8 weeks. They think that there’s too much scar tissue attaching itself to the healing tendons, making it difficult for my finger to have a smooth glide movement. I massage it multiple times every day when I do my exercises, but I don’t see much improvement in my pinky at all. So they think I might have go in for surgery again just to clear away the scar tissue, so the finger can feel less tight and be easier to move again.

They keep modifying my finger splint that I wear at night, that helps in straightening my pinky and hopefully loosening the scar tissue. At the 12 week mark if my pinky is still very stiff and unable to move I will be in contact with a surgeon.

***

But to be completely honest with you..
Despite this jokey and informative post that I have enjoyed typing up, I have been feeling really down and disheartened with this whole recovery. I get tired of dealing with work cover, having to always ask for lifts to my hand therapy appointments from my loved ones, seeing no progress in my recovery in the past few weeks and most of all I miss not being able to work. I feel useless and hopeless on my most low days, when it’s most difficult to remind myself it will get better again.

Only from August last year I felt like a functional adult. I finally managed to overcome my fear of driving and got my drivers licence. And in October I was finally able to get a normal job at a cafe, that worked really well with my part time, school term singing teacher job (that’s a post for another time).

Main point is, I managed to get myself out of a depressive hole and now I feel like I’m back in a similar place. I only got to enjoy my freedom and independence for a few months. I have no idea what God is doing here.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Having been through a somewhat similar hand recovery experience I can tell you that in the end your pinky will be back in fighting form but it takes time. Our fingers are sophisticated and so many things packed into that tiny space, I remember marveling when it was explained to me, that it even could be fixed at all. Or how it had done so much for me all along and I never thought about it. I think you’re at that stage where discouragement is common. The original injury is fading but you’re not near normal. I remember this myself. I will keep all ten fingers crossed for you! You will get there.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I told a friend it reminded me of a long race, when I was swimming (I was a competitive swimmer in my young days and still swim now). In the beginning you are all fresh with adrenaline and at the end you see the finish wall coming and it encourages you. In the middle…ugh. You just have to keep going. !

        Liked by 1 person

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