I am a happy camper week because I got my cast removed on Tuesday! And I am blogging from the beach!!
So basically, here is the deal with my wrist…
When I fell at the beginning of June, my x-rays showed a spot on my scaphoid bone that could have possibly been a fracture. The scaphoid is an important bone because it affects blood flow in your hand, and you can do permanent damage if a fracture isn’t treated properly. These fractures are also notorious for not showing up on x-rays, so orthos like to treat situations like mine conservatively.
I’ve had 3 sets of x-rays over the past 2 months and they all show the same thing: possibly a fracture but not 100% sure. The spot on the x-ray is also exactly where it hurts to the touch. I’ve had the option of getting an MRI just to get a definite diagnosis, but I always declined because it wouldn’t have affected my treatment. I would have had to wear a cast or brace either way given the amount of pain I was in so it seemed pointless to pay for an MRI.
I went for a follow-up on Tuesday. The ortho PA was nice enough to let me get my cast off so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it at the beach.
I am officially 7 weeks out from my bike accident and my hand still hurts to the touch in that same spot and is a little swollen. It’s not throbbing like it was initially but it is still tender. So we talked a lot about what to do moving forward. The 2.5-3 month mark is really when my symptoms should resolve, fracture or not. Truthfully, I did not wear the hand brace all that much when I first got it so my hand has truly only been immobilized for about 5 weeks. So she asked me to continue to wear my hand brace for 1-2 weeks and then as-needed after that.
If it continues to improve then I can move forward with activities as tolerated. If things decline then I’m going to get an MRI to determine if I need to continue wearing a cast.
Physical Activity / Triathlon Training
The good news is that I can try out the pool to see how my hand feels and go from there. I actually brought all of my swimming stuff with me in the car to go to the Y after my appointment but ended up not having time before we left for the beach.
I think I also underestimated how my hand would feel when I got the cast off. It was super sensitive to any kind of feeling. I don’t think getting in the pool would have felt too great that day.
I still can’t do anything that involves grasping onto things or bearing weight on my hand (like a push-up). This is kind of a bummer since I am feeling really great physically. I would love to incorporate some more full-body workouts into my routine. But I know you have to be patient with injuries or else you’ll just prolong things in the end.
Funny Cast Things
Okay, so let’s talk for a minute about having a cast. I’ve had 2 casts over the past 5 weeks and this was the first time I’ve ever had a cast before. Here are some things I was not prepared for:
– Taking off the cast: I definitely felt like a scared child each time they drilled off my cast. That drill is scary!
– The smell: kind of like a dead body.
– The aftermath: I didn’t realize how gross my hand and arm would be. There was a lot of peeling skin going on.
I’ve also collected a list of things I really missed doing while my dominant hand was in a cast:
- Applying eyeliner
- Folding laundry efficiently
- Blow drying my hair. Eventually I just embraced the curl.
- Turning the key in my car
- Shaving my legs (have you ever tried shaving with your non-dominant hand? Kinda scary)
- Giving Lily good belly rubs… they weren’t quite as good with my left hand
I am excited to see how my hand does moving forward!!