Life Post-Cast: Brave New World, Again

person right hand
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My cast came off! I started therapy. I had lots of questions:
Would I use a splint or brace? (No).
Would I need more time in a new cast? (No).
What would my skin look and feel like? (It was scaly, dry and brownish).
Did I ‘lose’ muscle? (No, just flexibility. My muscles were Very tight!!)
What exercises would I need? (Lots of painful stretches).
How was my range of motion? (Wrist had some. Fingers, there wasn’t much. My fist was non-existent.)

I still had to ice my wrist and hand regularly and both were Very swollen.  I didn’t need the sling anymore except if there was pain.  Mostly, that wasn’t a problem, at least not in my arm. My hand and wrist were another matter.

I tried not to worry about how this would turn out, but I did wonder, a lot, about the end result. Would I get my hand “back” and when? Both in-office therapy and home exercises hurt, A LOT! And this would go on for 12 weeks, three times a week.

I had to keep doing the exercises, regardless of the pain. Otherwise, I might not get back to full function, and that was definitely a concern.

woman holding never stop working print notebook
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Take a Number, Be a Number

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I was at my orthopedist’s office not too long ago. I heard him say as he was talking to one of the residents, in my presence, “Have you checked on number 17 yet?” I was shocked at this. He didn’t use the patient’s name but rather their room number.  If he didn’t want to use the patient’s name in front of another patient, then he could simply have taken his conversation into the hall.

Is that all we patients are to clinicians like this, merely a room number to be checked off? What a shame. And truly shameful behavior on their part. Now I realize that they have multiple patients to see and care for in a day. But that’s what they signed on for. To reduce the people in their care (us) to numbers is depersonalizing and unkind.

I didn’t say anything at the time – I guess I was too speechless. I had observed a careless “bedside manner” to say the least. I was told I would be getting a survey to fill out to tell them about my visit. I will no doubt be detailing what I thought of it. I only hope it has some effect and isn’t tossed off like some other annoyance like the “numerous” patients they are responsible for treating.