Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hand Saga 3: Three nights in Hosp of Joint Diseases - I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else

Puncture wounds are always relentlessly risky. Septic conditions… that is truly frightening. I have 2 contractor friends who have both nearly died from precisely this type of injury. I hope all is well with you, please be careful!... email message

Sending love and healing....
 From my good pals at Change the Stakes

A get well photo to Norm from 3rd Ave

i'm at the rally - sort of
I'm writing this as a lessons to learn multi-part saga. The first 2 parts:
After i got home from the hospital friday i saw mike, the contractor who does work next door, using a Passlode gas powered light nailer and told him my story. He said he had to go to the hospital on 3 separate occasions with similar injuries, once with an entire nail through his hand with the head butting up against his skin - he pried it out with a plier. ugh! Who knew about this stuff?

Let me take you back to Tuesday afternoon, March 24. I was going to pick up the high school newsletter in Flushing at noon but it was delayed until 5. My hand kept getting worse and I called Dr. M. He said I had to go to a hand surgeon who would open it up to drain it and gave me 2 names, both in the same office.

One didn't take medicare and the other - Dr R-  did - so i called his office and was told he was leaving the next day for a major orthopedic convention and would not treat a patient while out of town. The other doc was also going. So i tried the doc at maimonides who did my wrist - and he was also going. i managed to get an apptmt with his associate for thurs at 2pm -- too long to wait as this thing was getting worse by the hour.

Then i called the hand therapist who worked on my wrist for 9 months - he works with the surgeon who operated - he said he could try to find someone but that convention makes these guys scarce this week. he said go to an emergency room if it keeps getting worse -- but not in Rockaway (he now lives here) - better to Maimonides (where my wife worked).

I put in another call to my primary -  Dr. M and they said he would call me back. I still wanted to pick up the newsletters and at 4 set out for Flushing. Van Wyk was packed and the doc called me back - i pulled to the side - he tried to contact one more surgeon but he also wasn't around. Emergency room was the only option. When i said maimonides - where he used to be affiliated he said "Don't fool around - go to joint diseases which specializes in this - they will have someone who can take care of this - regular hospitals - it's up in the air" -- and he is also affiliated so he could monitor things --- it is so important to have a primary doc you trust. This advice was as important as anything.

I made a u-turn, went home. I had a feeling i might be admitted and grabbed some books and my charger -- what else do you need? I changed my underwear (luckily) -I shoulda grabbed a pair of spare - i had to leave the ones i wore since tues shredded in the garbage when i left on friday - my wife mercifully brought me a spare when she came to pick me up.

We got to the Joint Diseases version of an ER - called Immediate Care at 7 - even with only 5 people in front of us we had to wait until 9:30 before being called in -- though one of the residents had come into the waiting room and after looking at my hand - which was uglier than ever - said i would probably be admitted.

I was looked at by  few docs - the one who decided to admit me said a hand surgeon would stop by soon. And here is where my story turns a bit miraculous. An energetic guy in street clothes comes in and introduces himself as the hand surgeon - the same Dr R whose office i called that afternoon. He said he would try to do the op early next day - i said aren't you going to vegas for the convention - i am he said - if necessary i'll take a later flight.

And so he did early the next morning (weds). "i'm taking the red-eye fri night and if you're still here sat morn i'll be in to see you." holy shit - could i be there sat morn?

His team monitored me every day and he called me thurs morning to see how i was. i have an apptmnt to see him tues, i also had a few visits from primary dr m.

The care i had was amazing and the caregivers i met from aides to docs were awesome  - i'll detail some of that in a follow-up. Now my right hand is killing me from all this typing - but i want to get the story out before it slips away.

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