Words, Words, Words

September 9, 1999

A correction to my last entry: I only have stitches on one side of my fingers.

I've been wearing splints for about a week now. They're made by heating a sheet of plastic until it's soft, molding it against my fingers, letting it cool, and taping velcro straps to it. I need to do exercises every few hours, ranging from easy ones like wiggling my fingers to hard ones like making a fist. I've regained enough strength and flexibility to hold a paperback and sign my name. My ring finger is doing better than my pinky, but it looks like a big improvement in each. I've also got exercises for my wrist, which became completely rigid after being immobilized for four days. This gave my occupational therapist the chance to hurt me. You know those scenes where the tough guy reduces someone to whimpering just by twisting one of their fingers? Occupational therapy for wrists is a lot like that, only you're too busy gasping to plead for mercy. I think if I'd known what was coming and had a moment to compose myself things would've gone a lot better.

I no longer have a dressing on my ring finger, and only a very light dressing on my pinky, but I'm still putting a bag over my hand when I shower. I look forward to the day when I can once again shower nude. The stitches come out Tuesday, so it shouldn't be too long.

I also saw my neurologist for the first time since the operation. He verified that my strength and range of motion are much better, and got very excited. Then I told him what drug the anesthesiologist had used: "Oh! I can't give you *that*!" But there's a drug called dextromathorphan (found in cough syrup) which he claims has a similar effect, so I'll try that and see how it goes. (I found out today that his secretary was supposed to have called me with details of the dosage and stuff, and he thought I'd already started taking it. Bah, humbug.)

I'm still typing one-handed, so this entry will be a short one.

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