Yesterday was the day! It’s been two weeks now since I had my left hand sliced up and then sewn back together! I have been living with Pain and Agony for quiet some time now, even if there are those who don’t quiet believe me! I have tried my best to keep this blog of my torturous experiences as near the truth as can be expected by someone who is in constant Pain and Agony!
My appointment was at 3:05 pm. I was there just a little early, even though I knew that THIS appointment was going to be extremely painful. All 3,000+ stitches were going to be ripped from my hand today, in one single setting! The last time I had this done, about one year ago, I clearly remember the stitch removal process as feeling like a thousand needles being plunged into my already sore incisions! I vaguely remember lots of blood gushing from my hand after the stitches were removed; or maybe not! I know today that I’m going to experience the same kind of torture!
Little did I know though, that the doctor had a new method of prolonging my intense anxiety. My appointment time of 3:05 came and still I sat in the waiting room. I sat there listening to the wailing of all the other injured and wounded patients sadly awaiting a doctors attention that was to be a long time coming.
And I sat more. The anticipation was driving every one around me into delirious catatonia (ha, two big words right together!)! Yet, I was outwardly showing a calm and cool exterior knowing full well the terrible, terrible pain that awaited me if I ever got to see the doctor.
Finally, around 4:30 my name was announced, my doom was sealed. I slowly walked through the door to the doctors treatment room. At that moment, I realized that I had not seen any other patients come out of that door! Who knows what happened to them. I only hope it was quick but unlike my coming experience, I knew it wasn’t painless.
We came to my treatment room and were directed to our chairs. Cold, unwelcoming plastic and steel constructs that reflected the rest of the room. I noticed the room was encircled by medical supplies, mostly bandage material and padding used to soak up blood. I wasn’t sure if there was still enough padding to soak up all my blood that was to come!
Now, we sat and waited for the doctor. Unfortunately, the other rooms around me were occupied by patients that were also being treated for probably some terrible and gruesome ailments, although I didn’t see any. And we waited for the doctor.
After awhile, he finally showed up. My doctor was wearing a white coat that was surprisingly bloodless. I didn’t think that would last long. We slowly unwrapped my hand. When it was fully exposed, I believed the doctor himself was aghast at his handy work. He mumbled something like, “This looks just fine for such an extensive procedure. I want you to see a hand therapist twice a week for about 4 weeks.”
Now I had proof of just how badly mangled my hand had become. If my hand were normal, I wouldn’t be seeing a therapist! Then he said more terrifying words, “My assistant will be in to rip your stitches out. I hope your hand stays together.” Or at least that’s what I heard. My Wife may have heard this differently.
So now I wait some more. They have this tormenting routine down to a science. Let the subject/patient wait and think about what is soon going to be done to them. The mental anguish can be almost as painful as the physical torture. I know! I’m sure others with less intestinal fortitude than I would have surely almost gone insane by now! But not me. I am still showing the same outwardly calm demeanor.
All of a sudden, in jumps, well walks, the physician assistant. He has his instruments of torture in his hands. He places an extremely large blood soaking pad on the table covering every inch so as to leave no evidence of my coming excruciating procedure. As I am calmly sitting across the table, he grabs my hand and says, “Let’s get started. We have a lot to do.”
He grabs these enormous steel scissors that have very sharp points and stabs towards my hand. In his other hand he has a pair of huge tweezers and clamps on a stitch knot on one side of one of my deep incisions. He snips the stitch and with the steel tweezers and yanks on the stitch knot ripping the entire stitch from my hand. The pain is indescribable! He continues doing this with each of the 3,000+ stitches, not aware of my torture. I’m not sure if I can let this continue.
Finally, he gets to the final largest stitch that I know is still holding my largest incision together. Without so much as a thought, he cuts the stitch and begins pulling it out. I believe there was at least three or four feet of steel stitching being pulled from my wound. I did mention that my hand was stitched with steel wire, right? Well, that’s what it looked like to me! He’s pulling and pulling on this stitch all the while I can see the incision starting to open up. I can see through the cut all the way down to my wrist bone. Surprisingly, it doesn’t bleed. I show it to my Wife, but once again, her sight is deceiving her and she says my incision looks just fine! HA!
At last all the stitches are pulled out. My hand is lying there while I try my best to keep it together. I know my fingers want to fall off and my wrist is about to split wide open. Gruesome, isn’t it? By some miracle of medical science, my hand is holding together. And here is the awful results.
Actually, it doesn’t look or feel too bad. Removing the stitches wasn’t all that painful but it’s only because I have such enormous courage and a high pain threshold. I can almost make a fist and with the hand therapy that I didn’t do last time, my hand should be back to normal but pain free in just a few months! The stitch tape on my lower palm is just there to try and push down one of the incisions that is still a little swollen. I need to start using some lotion and massaging my incisions on a regular basis as well as squeezing a rubber ball. Surprisingly my hand doesn’t really hurt much. I don’t have a lot of strength in my fingers so my grip isn’t that great and I certainly wouldn’t want to shake hands right now, but it’s going to be fine pretty soon.
Uh, don’t get me wrong. I still live with Pain and Agony. Some people just never get enough sympathy to ever make them go away!