Monday, June 6, 2016

That Scar

I have quite a few scars. Unfortunately I develop keloid scars. That means the surface of the scar tends to be raised and in my case stays purply color.  There is a gel patch I ask for when I have surgery to put over the incision site to reduce the raising and the color.  They work!  It is a beautiful thing.

The scar I will write about is the one on my left wrist.

When I was in high school I was in the Marching Band. I was in the Bandfront; I twirled flags - Large Silks. I loved it. I was able to start with the band in 8th grade and did it through 12th grade. I even continued with it for two years in college. I decided at the end of the football season my second year in college to put down my flag and retire. My wrists were constantly aching and at one point I could not even move my wrists. Once I stopped twirling, the pain went away.

Over the years my wrists would ache occasionally but would dissipate quickly. Then I started noticing that my left wrist would ache when it rained. A few years ago we had continuous days of rain/thunderstorms, humidity and my wrist was throbbing. I was beginning to think there might be a bigger issue. Then one day I put my left arm on the window of my car while driving and I got a shooting pain in my arm.  It was time to call a doctor.

Eventually I found my way to Dr. Peter Hutchinson. We did occupational therapy, steroid shots, and a brace over about a year's time. It eventually got to the point I was in my wrist brace 24/7, only taking it off for showering. There were times it was painful showering and getting dressed. I was at my wit's end. I didn't mind easing up on chores or resting it throughout the day, but I was drawing the line at having difficulty taking care of myself. I went to see Dr. Peter in August 2013 at the end of my rope. He was completely perplexed. An MRI had showed that I had 2 slight tears in tendons on the top of my wrist but that wasn't where I was experiencing pain. The pain seemed to be under my wrist. When he would examine my hand there weren't any "hot spots" when he touched them, but afterwards my wrist would throb for hours. At this august appointment he took my hand again, flipped it over and started pressing.  He pressed down on the right side of my wrist where a bone is. I yelled. We finally found the spot. He had me go across the hall to get an x-ray. Within minutes he could see the problem.  My pima form bone was worn away from arthritis. He said he could remove the bone, it would not affect the use of my hand at all. He would also "clean up" the tendons on the other side of my hand. Sign me up Doc. When can we do this?

He asked me if I was okay with being operated on Friday the 13th - September 13th. I said yes, let's do this. A month later I had my surgery and two weeks after that my stitches came out and I started occupational therapy. The pain in my wrist was gone. Sure I had pain, but that was strictly from the surgery and just my hand healing. We had bouts of rain during this time and there was no pain. Finally after about 3 years of doctor visits, injections, therapy, and wrist brace my pain was gone, I was healed.

So yes I do have a scar on the underside of my wrist, but I love that scar. It is proof of healing.