Thursday, 5 September 2013

Pointing the perfect (broken) finger

A broken Mallet finger... 12 weeks plus in the mending and still counting!

A bad thing happened to Jimbob in March, he broke his mallet finger catching a ball in a tennis lesson. I know, I know I asked the same question...

"Why were you catching a tennis ball during a tennis lesson ...
Isn't that what you've got a racquet for?"
  • The most obvious sign of a mallet deformity is the drooping of the tip of the finger, with an inability to straighten the finger by itself. Tick
  • Symptoms of mallet finger can include pain and swelling around the top part of the finger, near the outermost joint. Tick
  • These symptoms can occur right after the injury. Redness and swelling develop soon afterward. Tick, Tick

Yep, our Jimbob had all these but...

 


A broken mallet finger, small injury, big problem!


Weeks 1- 3 No action taken...


But aside from this bloomin' obvious question, the next question was Doctor to Wren...
"Why did it take three weeks to get him to a Doctor?"
Wren's excuses...
"Well it was a combination of timing, just before a long weekend, we were away' and... tailing off and running out of excuses... 'basically lack of complaints"....
Isn't this how it happens in most households? Jimbob reminded me that it took several days to get his broken wrist sorted out previously... And before I get reported to Child Services, we've got him some assertiveness training, that kid is far too easy going and uncomplaining about everything...

So hours before we left to go on holiday last Easter we're having an x-ray and yep it's broken, and yep I'm worst mother in the whole wide world... which is confirmed by our very stern Hand Therapist, who points a perfectly manicured straight finger at us and says...
"No!!!!!!!"
When we both ask couldn't we avoid a whole load of fuss by letting nature doing it's thing and basically leave well alone? And NO to...

"Can he do sport...soccer?"
"No"??? we both repeat in unison
"You're not a professional player are you?" She asks. 
"Err no..."
"Well then, suck it up!"
"If you leave it as it is, the next joint will be brought out of alignment and then that will probably lead to arthritis in old age and..."
Blah, blah, blah ... Just amputate the finger now, I mutter...
''Now what colour do you want?"
Asks the Hand Therapist, reaching for an array of brightly coloured plastic sheets...
Jimbob chooses black to match his mood.

She makes a finger splint out of moulded plastic with such precision and style that we know it is the arts and crafts element of the job that really appeals...
We are given instructions not to take it off ... except to dry it after a shower, when the finger is to remain supported and straight at all times

"even one second out of alignment will mean that you have to start all over again...'
We head off to Malaysia, full of doom and gloom for Jimbob's ruined soccer season ahead. Luckily it is in Penang whilst in a visit to a Buddhist temple that our guide says
"Do you have anything you'd like to pray for?   Well yes!
"Just one small thing"...
I say, feeling bad about not suggesting I pray for World Peace, an end to Global Poverty, saving the endangered Northern White Rhino and the like, but worth a go...

'Dear Buddha,
Please fix it so that Jimbob doesn't need surgery
... and he can play soccer this season.
Amen'

I wasn't exactly sure whether 'Amen', was the right thing to say to Buddha, but threw that in for good measure, and hope he recognised that it was meant in good faith...

The monk presents each of us with an orange friendship bracelet he has made and we buy a cheerful pink candle, in a vain hope to influence things further.
"We're not taking these bracelets off until your finger is better" I say...
 

"And this candle can go in your bedroom"... 
 "I'm not having that my bedroom"Jimbob replies pointing indignantly at the pretty pink candle...
 "Can't it go in the Sitting Room?"
Realising that a family tiff about the pink Buddhist candle, in front of a solemn group of Monks is probably not furthering our cause. We retreat outside...


 


Weeks 3 - 6 X rays, Finger splint, appointments with Hand Therapist and Hand Surgeon


So it is with trepidation that we are referred to a Hand Surgeon for his expert opinion - Can you see the $$$$'s just floating out of my hands into his? That's the magic of a Hand Surgeon!


It was money well spent because having had another X-ray, he was happy to take a conservative approach thankfully avoiding a hospital visit, surgery, a pin in the finger etc etc We're loving the Hand Surgeon and Buddha's not bad either!

Returning to the Hand Therapist she modifies the splint to add in some velcro as the swelling has now reduced, making the splint loose. The splint is worn continuously until week 8 when it is removed.

Weeks 8-12 Night time wear only and physiotherapy exercises to complete three times daily

Jimbob is given physio therapy exercises which involves a lot of bending and straightening the finger and told for the next two weeks to take the splint off at night time.

Weeks 12 - 16 onwards wearing of the finger brace for sports only and night time wear

Weeks 16 - 20 night time wear only

We are now on week 20 +++ and the finger is not perfectly straight but Jimbob says it will do.
He is grateful to have played a full season of soccer...Thanks be to Buddha
It's my birthday week and for those wonder what on earth's got into me, I decided that to celebrate my first Blogoversary (Yesterday) I would blog each day for a week and have fun meeting other Bloggers - do not fear I will not have the stamina to keep this up. You'll see I'm sure I'll be back to my usual spasmodic blogging next week (if I don't collapse with exhaustion before!!!)

Today I'm participating in Alphabe Thursday thanks to Jenny and her Alphabe-Thursday blog.  
 The instructions were to link a "P" post


 Jenny Matlock


Little Wandering Wren













 





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