Wednesday, December 22, 2010

September 26, 2010-Post Surgery

As hard as it is to find the time to type this out. I am finding it to be rather therapeutic. I actually think it is helping me get over the post traumatic stress.

I woke up wondering how long I had been out. It felt like a few minutes, but I later learned it had been about 17 1/2 hours (1046 minutes). Th first hing I heard was, "Okay, you have all your fingers and you are a mom."

I thought, "Wow! I have ALL my fingers--NEAT! And, Of course I am a mom. I have two sweet little boys, and I am going to have a girl soon. . . (as I reach down to feel my middle). . . Oh, I am a mother of three now! I can't wait to see my new sweet little girl!"

I laid in the recovery room for what felt like an eternity, it was actually about 45 minutes. I just sat and processed everything that had happened. there was no one to talk to, and I couldn't really talk anyway, due to a massively dry throat. Eventually they wheeled me upstairs, I saw my family, asked for water and was told "No.", then Dr. Fryer came and looked at my fingers. He examined them, said he did not like the coloring of my index finger, so I was re-prepared for surgery, and I went back in for about 3 1/2 more hours (192 minutes) of surgery.

I went through the wake up/recovery process again, then made it back to my post-op. room again. I had a lot of family coming in and out of my room to see me and say "Hi". It was rather overwhelming for me. I remember feeling desperate for some water because my throat was so dry. I was only allowed ice chips for several hours after surgery. After a while it became a very difficult production just to swallow. I felt silly when I had to ask a person to pause whatever they were doing to me just so I could focus all my energy and chi on swallowing, but it really was that hard for probably the whole first day or so. Then some fabulous person brought me some chicken broth. After sipping a couple big cups of that, life was good again.

Okay back to Sunday night. I had a lot of people coming in and out of my room and calling on the phone to check on me. It was a little overwhelming. My room was really hot too(yes, like a sauna)! The Dr. ordered a sauna like atmosphere to keep all my blood vessels dilated so my fingers could heal at optimum level. Then, the room started vibrating, or so I thought. My pulse jumped up to about 160 beats per minute. I was vibrating, my chest started hurting, and my vision had become blurry. I was scared. I asked my husband, dad, brother, and brother-in-law to please give me a Priesthood Blessing. After the blessing I felt a little better and the tightness in my chest decreased, but I was still vibrating. That lasted a long time. I want to say half a day to a whole day. (I don't have a great grasp on some amounts of time in the hospital because I had no watch, and I couldn't see the clock very well from my bed). My vision stayed blurry for a few weeks.

Without going into much detail, I will say this; After all the visitors left and my husband fell asleep for a little while. I was left mostly alone, and my body told me it was exhausted. It had been "raked over the coals" and did not want to do this any more. My spirit made a choice at that point. That choice is what gets me through my difficult days. I am so grateful for my family and my support system, especially my husband and my older sister who coordinated everything for me for such a long time after I got home. I am eternally in debt to them. I am out of time, but I want to post this. I will continue on with stuff soon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mostly Pinless and Oranges

This is what my hand looked like 8 weeks after my accident.
I got all the pins out of my finger tips at 10 1/2 weeks. This is what my hand looks like today:
It kind of looks like it did before my accident. I am amazed at what modern medicine can do! (I still have one pin in my thumb that I will get surgically removed in January). When Dr. Fryer removed the 6 pins from my fingers he did not numb anything. He used some surgical pliers (they looked similar to thick scissors) to clamp down on the pins. Then, he just twisted and pulled/yanked each pin out. It was quite painful.

It has been/is still a hard adjustment to get use to my new hand, but I am grateful for what I have left.
There are so many things I am having to re-learn. I have had a hard time peeling oranges since this happened. One if my main concerns with citrus fruit right now is getting juice in the sores on my finger tips. Today, I successfully peeled an orange without getting any juice on my finger tips.
Lemons and limes, here I come!

May you all enjoy lots of yummy oranges this Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

September 25, 2010--Hospital, Life flight, etc.

Wow it has been a while since my last post. Where does the time go. I am definitely feeling like a terrible blogger. I think it may be due to the fact that most daily activities take me longer to complete now that I have a lower functioning hand, and an adorable little baby to occupy my time. Here I go on part two on my life changing experience:

We got to the hospital and the Paramedics took me in the VIP Entrance (Very Injured Persons). Then I was hooked up to some stuff; more IVs (medicine too!), nasal cannula (for oxygen), and a baby monitor. The X-ray tech. took some pictures. Here is one picture:
Ryan and my dad arrived at the hospital right around when I had started feeling overwhelmed with my situation. They gave me a priesthood blessing and I instantly felt calm again. Several hospital employees kept coming in and out observing different things about my situation, and I remember listening to my dad tell all of them to "spare no expense to save my fingers".

I kept thinking, "Uh, that is not true. My dad won't be the one paying the bills. My sweet husband and I will be doing that. Oh boy! This is going to be so expensive. What have I done?!?"

(these next details are in no particular order)
I was given a nerve block (a massive shot) in each finger for pain. Two of my moms came to visit me in the St. George E.R. and fret about everything. The plastic surgeon came in to talk to me. After observing my situation, he said he would definitely be able to close up my pinky, repair my thumb, and possibly save my ring finger. He said he did not think he would be able to save my other two fingers, my best chance for that would be a life flight ride to Salt Lake County. After a couple hours of coordinating, waiting, and stressing, Ryan and I were flown to Salt Lake. I recently learned they were not going to life flight me, because I was so pregnant. One of the life flight nurses stepped in and said she was confident that I would be okay, and she would be willing to chance it for me. (Just one more miracle/blessing to add).

The hospital was going to fly me to the U of U hospital, but then they checked our insurance coverage. We had better coverage at Intermountain Medical Center, so that is where I went. It just so happened that the best plastic surgeon in the state (who also specializes in hands) started working there in August (yep, another blessing to factor into the miracle of my hand and having a healthy daughter).

I am so grateful it was a beautiful and sunny day. It made the life flight as pleasant, smooth, and fast as it could possibly be. I looked out the window a lot and tried to mentally prepare myself to wake up from the unknown future (I had never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect) with my current stumps sewn up.

We arrived in Murray and I was taken to another triage /pre-operation room. Shortly thereafter my little brother, Jesse, tearfully greeted me and asked if it would be possible to do a finger transplant. He told me he would give me one or two of his fingers if they could perform the surgery. I was very touched but I laughed at the thought of ruining a perfectly beautiful hand because of my mistake/accident. I did not cry then, but I cry now whenever I think about what my sweet little brother was willing to sacrifice for me. The doctor chuckled too when my brother asked him. Once we established that a finger transplant was not an option, I reassured Jesse everything would be okay. Everyone, except Ryan and I cried a little more, then I was prepared for surgery.

Before I went into surgery, a member of the staff explained to me that I may have to have an emergency C-section. If they could prevent it, then they would. She reassured Ryan and me that they would definitely keep a close eye on our little girl. Then they transferred me to a new bed, wheeled me down the hall, into the operating room, and shortly thereafter I was out. . .