Friday, October 23, 2009

You Da' (Carpal) Boss, Jeff!

Jeff has had constant serious pain in his right wrist and shoulder for years. He doesn't complain about it because he's like that. It's been bad enough though that at times he's had to take days off work because he can't even mouse-hand due to the stab.

He's had x-rays and nerve tests and yadda, but last week he went to a hand specialist about what we thought was a ganglion cyst. It ended up being a carpometacarpal boss, or essentially, a series of bony protuberances something like spurs, growing at a nerve junction.

Jeff was admitted to UVRMC (the hospital where Bridgette was born) for same-day surgery. We were there about 5 hours. His surgeon, Dr. Curtis Johnson, sliced an entry point then used what he called "nippers" to cut the extra bone out.

Dr. Johnson reported a successful surgery with no surprises.

Except for wisdom teeth removal, this was Jeff's first experience with full-anesthesia surgery. He mentioned early in the day that being in the hospital as a patient is very different from being a visitor.

Jeff was a good patient though, easy to help & non-complaintive. He wasn't too loopy as he came out of anesthesia during post-op, he just kept repeating himself a lot. His three favorite quotes of the hour, each stated 10-20 times:

1) "The last thing I remember is two big bright lights and they put a mask on me. Then I don't remember anything else."

(He didn't realize how true that was...)

2) "Did you have a good lunch with Ann-Marie? How are they doing?"

3) "I can wiggle my fingers!"

Jeff got special booties to keep his size 14's warm. And yes, I know what you're thinking right now. And you're completely right. I really should have been a graphic designer... or maybe an entomologist.

This looks worse than it is. That's mostly iodine all over his pillow. Then again, we're not allowed to remove his huge bandage for 10-14 days. So possibly, this looks much better than it is.

One perfectly lovely aspect of the day was seeing my dear friends the Bott's. Ann-Marie and I were college roommates during our undergrad years. She and I have both had non-traditional and challenging experiences when it comes to having kids, so we're able to relate in a way that many women can't completely understand.

Four weeks ago, she birthed adorable identical triplet girls. You can read about their crazy journey here: Bott Family Triplets.

The girls are all in the UVRMC Neonatal ICU, same place Bridgette went for a few hours before being taken to Primary Children's. Her babies are beautiful and growing nicely and we wish them all the best.

Ann-Marie and Anthony have a tremendously hectic schedule caring for their infants and their 5-year-old son, so seeing them has been impossible. But since we were all at the hospital today, we got to eat lunch together!

Sorry about the washed out picture... I'm still figuring out how to control the flash on my fancy-pants new camera.

It just so happened that on the same day we saw them (today), their triplets were featured in a Daily Herald article. The article is primarily about Dr. Stephen Minton, chief of neonatology, who has helped shape the NICU over 30 years of service.

I really like this man. He was the first at UVRMC to instantly recognize the need for Bridgette to be moved to PCMC, and he made all the arrangements for her ambulance transportation, Life Flight crew, admittance, etc.

It was such a whirlwind day, I didn't know who he was and haven't known who to thank. But I would recognize that haircut anywhere! Now I know his name and can send a long overdue thank you card.

Here are the scrumptious, tiny Bott babies and a link to the article on Dr. Minton: Neonatal ICU Doctor.

And here is Jeff being wheeled like a champ to the car to go home after a long-ish day (but nothing compared to our other hospital stays this year!)

At the moment I'm writing this (about midnight), his pain block is finally wearing off and he's starting to feel the fire of having his bones snipped out and sanded down. Here's to hoping we all get a little sleep tonight! :)

p.s. - To help control the spread of H1N1 (which is somewhat rampant here), UVRMC isn't allowing anyone 14 years or younger through the doors, unless they're a patient.

p.p.s. - My extreme thanks to my good neighbors for watching Bridgette in shifts today. She was well-tended. I was overly nervous about leaving her for the day, and I really appreciate the kind help.


Anonymous said...

Jeff, I hope you recover quickly. How long will you have to stay out of work?

I enjoyed your last post, too. What a cute picture of Bri and the spider!

It is great to see her and all of you looking so happy.


Heidi said...

Twins really can't do "firsts" themselves, can they? :P I hope Jeff's recovery from surgery is as quick as Jeremy's last month. :)

Jacqueline Miller said...

Wow - never a dull moment. I hope he's recovering well and that you have some "uneventful" times coming soon :)

Smith Family said...

That's so fun that you got to get together with Ann-Marie! I hope you're husband's healing nicely! What a neat place for B to have her play therapy!

Maximum Inc. said...

Thanks for this post. I have one too- mildly painful, but fully irritating..any idea how much it costs to have it excised?

Kel said...

@Maximum Inc -- Sorry we don't know the cost for sure. It's been a while, and we were fortunate enough to have insurance to help pay. Since our daughter has so many medical needs, I'm quite sure we had met our deductible by then. It's at least the cost of a same-day hospital stay plus two specialists (surgeon & anesthesiologist). So, we're guessing some number of thousands -- 3? 4? If you get your metacarpal boss ID'd by a hand surgeon s/he can give you an estimate.