Hand jobs and facials – but not the preferred kind

I thought it was about time I posted a wrap of the past three weeks since I was involved in a road accident, so here it is.

Week 1
The first seven days are summed up in this video post. Not much more happened after I left the hospital, where I spent 12 hours shitting myself in the ICU and three nights in the neurology ward wishing I was anywhere else. Eventually I got home, made the video, and spent the rest of the week resting as best I could. I was cleared by the neurology guys on the Friday, four days after the crash. I had multiple fractures in my skull, but essentially everything was in the right place. Apart from not being allowed to blow my nose for two weeks (this can expand the fractures and cause air to leak into the brain cavity) everything was good.

Week 2
This week started with a trip to the trauma clinic to have a check on my broken left hand. It was x-rayed again, and puffed up like a rubber glove filled with water. I was told the fractures seemed stable, but to revisit in another seven days to see how it was progressing. The swelling was a concern, so I was re-plastered and sent home to rest further. Scabs were disappearing and the face was recovering nicely.

Facial progress

Foraggio facial ... progress from week one to today.

Week 3
Back to the hand clinic, where things took a turn for the worse. I had another x-ray and the hand specialist discovered the fractured knuckle on my left ring finger was malforming, which essentially meant the bone was growing down instead of straight. That prevented my finger from moving correctly, and the only option to fix it was surgery. Since they were going in, the surgeon said he’d fix up the two busted metacarpals on my index and middle finger, too. Surgery was scheduled for two days later.

I went back in for the surgery, which was a weird experience. I was told to wait in a room until my name was called. Since it was “emergency surgery”, I was informed that once called, I’d be moved into one of Royal North Shore’s 10 operating theatres within 10 minutes. I waited for three hours and then I was called. The heart rate rose, the panic set in. I changed into hospital fatigues, waited in my bed and then a porter arrived to wheel me to the theatre. I was left in the staging area, with people in scrubs all around, before my surgeon, the wonderful Dr Mark Hile, came to say hello and remind me of what we were doing. After a reassuring pat on the shoulder, he made way for the anaesthetists. They wheeled me into a side room, where they prepared me. Still fully awake, I was taken into the theatre, bright lights and trays of instruments in full view. The last thing I remember was a mask going over my face.

I woke up three-and-a-half hours later in the recovery room, my hand back in plaster. I felt groggy but giggly. I couldn’t believe it was all done. After another 30 minutes of regathering my senses, I was wheeled back to the ward, where I was told to rest. Eventually, the surgeons said I could go home if I felt up to it, which I duly did. Another night in hospital is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy.

A day after surgery, the pain in my hand was something else. Aching, pulsing, sharp pains the like of which I’ve never experienced. Painkillers, legal and otherwise, and the love of my amazing girlfriend all helped to dull that in the first 24 hours.

Hand progress

Hand progress ... from week two to today.

Today, I sit with my hand wrapped like an Egyptian mummy – see above – after another post-op check-up. It’s all designed to reduce the swelling. I’m due back at the hand physiotherapist again next week for further manipulation, which isn’t pleasant but is necessary if I’m going to get my hand back in full working order. As a drummer and guitar player, I can tell you I’m very determined to make that happen. I’m getting there, quicker than I thought, and that spurs me on more than anything, although patience is as vital as all the exercises I’m doing.

For those wondering if I’ll get back on the bike, stay tuned. That’s a decision I’ve yet to make. For now, all I want to do is concentrate on my hand therapy. Anything more complicated than that just isn’t worth my time.

This post was typed using only my right hand and took bloody ages. Thanks to all that have cared for me over the past few weeks, visited, delivered and made food, sent messages, love and more. I’ll see you all soon, I hope, to say thank you in person. Collectively, you’re the reason I fought so hard to stay alive.

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5 thoughts on “Hand jobs and facials – but not the preferred kind

  1. Jus says:

    Awesome work Tobes… let me know as always if ya need a hand with anything… no pun intended, I assure you.

    Kind of reminds me of a story from Tom Petty, and the ensuing song he wrote, ‘The Waiting’.

    See you round soon enough.

    Jus

  2. Locky says:

    Tobz – you’ve got to get back on your bike mate. You love it, just like I do – the ride to and from work helps keep me sane.

    I assume you saw the crashes on stage 9 of le tour? Those guys continually inspire me. Head first into a barb wire fence and then straight back onto the bike for the rest of the race.

  3. [...] 19 Jul Today I saw the x-rays of my hand after it was operated on a week ago. For those that don’t know, it was broken in an accident, which you can read more about here. [...]

  4. flesh says:

    hey there i feel your pain i broke all my metacarpels in my left hand including two fingers in a motrbike accident i have twenty three screws and four small plates its now just over a year
    and i through on some boxing gloves and gave the old bag some beating must say its holding up pretty strong so u should ride again

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