Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

"With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable"

Sunday, 6 September 2009

I'm totally OVER Phil's thumb saga!

Geez, how long ago was it that Phil returned from a trail bike ride nursing a broken thumb? July 12th to be exact. The rule of thumb (pun intended) is, or was when I was learning these things, 6 weeks for bone union, 12 weeks for consolidation...give or take of course depending on health, type of fracture etc etc.
So here we are 8 weeks later and where are we now precisely in the healing process? nowhere near where it should be. Phil's back in hospital on an IV drip for 48 hrs of flucloxacillin (an antibiotic).
To recap, the saga goes like this...# 1st metacarpal and is referred to hand surgeon. I assume that his motor biking trip to Alaska (travelling there 10 days later riding at 3 weeks post #) will be delayed/postponed/cancelled. However Phil doesn't want to cancel and the young surgeon (YS) agrees, so he goes into hospital the next day and YS puts in an industrial strength titanium plate and 3 screws and says yes, no probs go on your holiday, ride your bike, it'll be fine. Ha!
Phil tootles off to the US of A, land of hideously expensive health care, does his ride and returns weeks later. I ask how his thumb is and he shows me his hand with a red, swollen and misshapen thing sitting where a thumb should be. My response is unladylike.
An xray shows that his thumb has crumbled under the plate so, despite the fact that he reports no specific trauma, instead of 1 clean break, there's now quite a few breaks held together by the plate. YS takes out the now useless plate and screws and puts in a U shaped piece of metal as a traction device which is then attached to via a pair of elastic bands to a plaster back slab on his forearm(see pix in previous post).
Phil struggles with this device; it's uncomfortable and the bands and wires stick out and are easy to knock.
At the beginning of this week, YS tells him to unleash the traction for a day or two, which he happily does, but when it goes back on again the problems re-surface even more. Once away from the confines of the plaster shell his hand will have swelled and when the device went back on again it was too small causing a major constriction around his wrist resulting in odd sensations in his hand plus increased swelling causing the holes where the wires poked through to gape... a major infection potential.
A phone call through to YS Friday night at 8pm found him still operating and since he was going to be be there til at least midnight(!), Phil was directed to come in to his rooms yesterday prepared to go into hospital for a course of IV ABS's +/- taking the wire out.
So, with Phil being a patient in a bed, instead of racing the State TT titles today, I am the hospital visitor. Actually I could have made it up there, although driving up and back on the same day (5hrs+) plus racing would have left me exhausted. Also my last TT was raced during the weekend Phil was having the plate removed and I discovered I don't TT well when distracted, so I decided a DNS was the only option. In cycling, racers having a bad day say they've had "un jours sans" (a day without), I think I'm in the throes of "une annee sans" (a year without)..and I know there should be an accent there but can't work out how to do that!
PS Do I sound irritated and annoyed? Yup?..well, I think its justified and if there was an "irritated and furiously annoyed I told you so" font I'd be using it. But despite that, I have managed not to say the actual words "I told you so, you should have listened to me" directly to Phil (said it to everyone else!). Nevertheless I think he's got the message! Actually I'm more annoyed at YS since he really had the final say.

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