*Squeamish Warning: Pictures of a sutured wound to follow.*
Wednesday, I slept in, having stayed up late and then not slept very well Tuesday night, and did not get around to removing the pressure dressing until after 4 p.m. that afternoon. The wound was clean and dry, as they say, and there were no undue signs of redness. The sutures looked good. I washed it with antibacterial soap and water, again as instructed, and patted it dry with a clean towel. I had a piece of Adaptic left over from my shoulder surgery, so I used that as a wound dressing, reinforcing its “not supposed to stick to a wound-ness” with a glob of petroleum jelly (generic Vaseline), as instructed, and put some gauze on top of that. I tried to re-use the Kling wrap left over from the initial pressure dressing to hold the gauze in place, but ended up having to tape it shut. I couldn’t get the tape to stick, and when I went to bed I just ended up taking the Kling off and taping the gauze on with cloth tape.
I stayed up way too late catching up on my blog reading last nigh and didn’t get to bed until nearly 5 a.m. However, the white one was such a pest, whining and “digging” on cabinet doors and otherwise making noise and being a little diva, that I had gotten hardly any sleep by the time the alarm went off at 9 o’clock. When I went to get the mail yesterday, the maintenance guy said he’d try very hard to get by today to put the weather stripping on my front door, so instead of sleeping in like I really, really want to, I’m awake, and very, very crabby, not listening to music, or having the TV on so I can be sure to hear the maintenance guy knock. Since you can see daylight around the edges of my door, some weather stripping would be nice, especially before cold weather sets in.
When I changed the dressing this morning, the wound was still clean and dry, and without undue redness. The suture line is intact. I smeared a glob of petroleum jelly on a really big Band-Aid, and that’s what I’m using for a wound dressing this morning. Naturally, I had the cat box to clean up. The container needed emptying, and I needed to vacuum up the litter they’d tracked all over. I have a box of those disposable gloves, and put on a pair of those to take care of that. Now I’m blogging and find I’m typing rather more easily, it being less painful today to pronate my wrist.
To the left is what it looked like Wednesday afternoon before I washed it off with soap and water, two days post surgery, and to the right is what it looked like this morning, three full days post surgery. I have to say, the doctor is not going to win any prizes for neatness of sutures. I’d think a dermatology specialist, even a resident, would know some plastic surgery suturing techniques to leave a less cosmetically problematic scar. Still, this is the VA, so my expectations are not as high. Frankly, I don’t care if I have a big scar, (I’ve got a 4-inch long scar on the ball of my left shoulder from my shoulder surgery, about an 8-inch long scar across my left knee from when I broke my kneecap and had the pieces wired back together, and a scar from navel to “never mind” from my emergency appendectomy surgery. So long as the scar tissue doesn’t cause any problems, like having a keloid form or being tender, I’m OK with it. Even though the cyst was only about the area of a fingernail, the incision had to be longer so she could get down to the base of the cyst and close it off to minimize the risk of the cyst recurring. I’ll get the stitches out the 30th.
So far, so good. If the wound continues to heal without signs of redness or drainage, I will be a happy camper. While there is no good place to have an infected wound, the wrist would be a very problematic area, especially this part of the wrist, since the carpal ligament is just below it, and underneath the carpal ligament is the infamous carpal tunnel where all the finger flexor tendons as well as the median nerve pass through to go into the hand proper. What most people do not realize is that the muscles that close the fingers and provide the “grip strength” of the hand are actually in the forearm. They are connected to the fingers by long tendons, one per finger, all of which pass through the carpal tunnel together with the median nerve, which innervates the thumb, index and part of the middle finger. It is the inflammation caused by the constant friction of these tendons moving back and forth through the carpal tunnel that cause the repetitive stress injury known as carpal tunnel syndrome — any activity during which the fingers flex repeatedly, such as typing, playing piano or guitar, flute, clarinet, or other such keyed musical instrument, etc., if done often enough and for long, sustained periods of time (like 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week, in the case of medical transcriptionists) can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
I don’t know how deep the incision goes, but I don’t think she got into any tendon sheaths or near the carpal ligament. I’ve not been babying my wrist, and I’ve deliberately been typing and using my hand. “Babying” my hand might have let scar tissue form that might “bind down” a tendon or ligament. This scar tissue would have to be broken down (painfully) in order to regain total use of my hand and wrist. I’ve been through that whole issue with my knee and shoulder. Since nothing is broken and no ligaments or tendons were cut during the procedure (unlike with my shoulder and knee surgeries where the joint had to remain immobile for a period of time to allow healing of bones, tendons and ligaments), I’m not worried about using my hand this soon.
Just a couple minutes ago, there was a knock on the door. It was the “bug guy” to spray for bugs. They say that stuff they spray is safe for pets, but I’m always leery of it. Dogs don’t lick their paws and fur like cats do, and I worry about the kitties licking the spray off their paws and fur. I’ve got them shut up in the “back” part of the apartment until the stuff dries. I’m actually going to put some socks on here in a minute, as I’m leery about walking barefoot in it. The maintenance guy that was escorting the bug guy said he was going to try to come back this afternoon and put the weather stripping on my door. Hopefully that will happen. We’ll see.