I was feeling pretty good while I waited at the Fracture Clinic this morning. Seeing people at the start of their fracture recovery reminded me just how well my wrist has mended. So I sat there, reading some notes, then playing Spider solitaire on my ‘phone, while Lorraine talked on the television screen. Occasionally I did one of my wrist exercises.
The clinic was running late. It always runs late so far as I can tell. A notice reminds you that you should allow two hours for your appointment. There is a constant stream of people who have broken bits of themselves and a finite number of staff to deal with them. Still, most seem fairly accepting, knowing that their turn will come. In the early stages there are new x-rays to be taken, the plaster room to provide fresh strapping, the clinic physio to see. Today I was just waiting to see the consultant for the last time.
My turn came about an hour after the appointed time. The consultant was smiley. He looked at my x-rays; said again what a bad fracture it had been – the word smashed was used, not for the first time; he looked at the x-rays of the metalwork. I asked if I could photograph the screen as I am still waiting for my CD.
So here they are. Or at least some of them.
First up, my perfect wrist, x-rayed some years ago before I had surgery for carpal tunnel.
A fine example of delicate bones fitting nicely together to make this wonderfully articulated joint.
Next, my post break x-ray. It is taken from the other side of my hand, so you may want to reverse the image. However, you’ll see how things no longer line up neatly, and one bit of bone is protuding where it definitely does not belong.
Now for the x-ray which the consultants drool over, showing nifty repair work with plate and pins to join things up again and restore functionality. It reminds me of an old broom where most of the bristles are missing.
And finally, the repaired wrist again, but this time in profile. The alliterative shot.
So far so beautiful. But I left the clinic less happy than when I arrived. My bubble deflated, though not entirely burst. The consultant wanted to see my range of movement. I showed off my progress. He was impressed. I glowed proudly.That’s when he dropped, what was to me, the bombshell. He told me that he didn’t expect my range of movement to improve beyond where it is now. That is not in my plans. I want much more range and flexibility and my jaw dropped.
He did say that he would always err on the side of caution when forecasting how well things could go, and he would be delighted if I prove him wrong, also I would not be the first patient to do so. But again, he referred to the extent of the damage and how the cartilage and soft tissue is now also scarred. Basically, he primed me for acceptance.
I am reminding myself that when I was first in A&E they feared there was nerve damage. There isn’t. It could be much worse, but do hope the consultant is wrong, and a year from now I shall have full rotation and the block of wood feeling will be long gone.
Fingers crossed. And yes, I can do that.