Sunday, January 4, 2015

Foiled by a Fingertip

I know my tiny broken fingertip is nothing compared to OPPs (Other Peoples Problems). 
At least I got to choose a color!

However, as I've said many times before: there is no competition in caregiving. This isn't a contest of who has it worse (or better).

On the other hand, this is a broken fingertip!

I know how ridiculous that sounds and cannot get that thought out of my head.

Yet . . . Hold on . . . Let me take a second to get something out of my system: WAAAAAAAA!

Phew! I feel better now. 

Well, not really.

I don’t mean to feel sorry for myself – I really don’t.  But here I am, five days into a cast (yes, a cast), and nine days after the injury and I am sooooo ANNOYED!

I wasn’t even going to see the doctor but my husband and daughter would have dragged me there themselves so I went to appease them. I refused to go to the ER on Christmas but wore the splint my husband bought at CVS (note to CVS: hey, thanks for being open on Christmas! I appreciate it and hope your employees weren’t too unhappy working on the holiday).

The day after Christmas we were having another round of Christmas with family we didn’t see on Christmas day.  Soooo, no, I was not going to the doctor then either.  But I called! 

I was able to get an appointment and an x-ray on Saturday – a day I had planned to recover from so much Christmas. The x-ray was first, the weigh-in was second (um, thanks, Christmas) and the blood pressure check was third (I obviously needed my day of rest but am at the doctor!!).

Yes, my attitude stunk from the beginning of this ordeal.

The nurse was friendly and uttered, “colorful” when I removed the splint and showed her why I was visiting the doctor. My finger had turned varying degrees of black and blue from the tip to the bottom of the finger.

I put the splint back on.

The doctor didn’t mention my weight or the elevated blood pressure and went straight to reviewing the x-rays. He looked at all the images and said what everyone seeing the doctor wants to hear, “I have no good news here.”

Um, sheesh, how bad could it be?  It’s my fingertip!! 

Apparently, a “displaced fracture” is complicated. The doctor showed me the x-ray and pointed where one piece of my bone was off to the side at an angle, nowhere near the other part of the bone.  Ahh.  That doesn’t look good. 

So, I suppose I have to tell my husband he was right about me coming to the doctor?


He printed out the x-ray for me and said I had to see an Orthopedic specialist. 

For a fingertip.

I am really getting annoyed.

Three days later I was seeing the orthopedist.  He debated (himself) for a minute, consulted with the orthopedic surgeon and then told me I needed a cast.

WHAT?!  Did I mention this is my fingertip?  Not my arm, not my hand, not even my whole finger.


He sent me to the cast room where the cast tech gave the doctor grief about him repeating himself and I ended up telling him to be nicer to the doctor! 

The doctor said to put the cast over three fingers and to extend it past the fingertip so as to immobilize the fingers.  Sheesh! How am I supposed to do anything with the fingers casted? Then he instructed the tech to go midway up my arm! Woah! Doctor – what the heck! Maybe you forgot but I just broke my FINGERTIP.

The doctor explained he has never seen a break like this in his twenty years of practice.  He said the tendon usually tears before the bone breaks.  Yay. I have unusually stretchy tendons.  Then he said the tendon needs to be immobilized so the fingertip can heal.  Otherwise, I will have to have surgery and have a pin put in the finger which means a risk for infection . . . .


At the rate he’s going, I will walk out with a body cast as a friend suggested. It already feels like it!

I seriously considered taking my chances and seeing if it would heal with a splint but relented and decided I would listen to the expert.

It doesn’t make me any less annoyed.  It’s amazing how much a person uses both hands.  I have the use of my pointer finger and thumb on my dominant hand.  Opening jars are a pain if not impossible; turning on my car using my left hand is interesting; writing is frustrating!  I have mastered my signature which says more about my bad handwriting than anything else. 

Typing is actually not too difficult – I’m just a little slower than usual. I think that is what frustrates me the most.

Everything is slower!


For two seconds I had the Pollyanna thought that this was a sign for me to slow down and smell the roses.  Are you kidding me?  I have things to do!

Most everything has to be adjusted.  I am naturally right-handed so now I have to put my left hand to use.  This actually will be a good brain exercise but I refuse to be happy about it.

Still annoyed.

The most difficult task so far is putting on Robert’s briefs.  I am struggling getting them tight enough but, with patience (from both of us), I am getting there.

It is just slower.

Which drives me NUTS.

I am sure I will get over being annoyed soon enough. After all, I have to wear this thing for sixteen more days (but who’s counting?).  I can do anything for a short period of time but must I do it slower?  Apparently.

I know people have much worse things to deal with but, for the moment, I am allowing myself to whine and be annoyed. 

Yes.  About a fingertip.

1 comment:

Other Brother said...

I'm impressed you were able to type this with your ginormous cast. Hope it heals soon!