Friday, August 21, 2009

The ride continues

Quick update: 
I went and saw The Hand Guy this morning.  Quick in, quick out, no real resolution.  He looked at the x-rays and feels the bone is definitely broken.  He was non-committal about it, but I got the feeling he felt the break was more severe than the previous doctor had.  Options, they are three:
1.  Do nothing.  Advantages:  free, easy.  Disadvantages:  Potential for decreased mobility of joint, strong possibility of severe arthritis in 10-15 years.
2.  Cast, for up to 12 more weeks.  Advantages:  Cheap, not too invasive.  Disadvantages:  12 freaking weeks in a cast?  Kill me now.  Oh, and it may not actually accomplish anything.
3.  Surgery.  Advantages:  Probably the best prognosis for full recovery.  Disadvantages:  Well, it's surgery.  Never a fun or risk free proposition.
He sent me away with orders to get a CT scan and chew on my options.  I managed to get the CT scan taken care of this afternoon.  I scheduled a follow up with The Hand Guy for Thursday the 26th.  Once we can look at some higher resolution images of the break, we'll choose a plan and run with it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Every picture tells a story, don't it

I managed to talk my clinic into giving me copies of my x-rays on disc yesterday. Something like this "normally takes two to three days" I was told, but they grudgingly did it. In the first picture I outlined the broken piece of bone in red, and circled the area in yellow. In subsequent pics, the area is outlined in yellow only. So here's a picture of the original x-ray, taken back on July 2, about 10 days after my fall (click to embiggen).

And the same picture without the red, so the gap is more visible. This is the x-ray that the radiologist said was not a fracture.

Then we have the x-ray from two weeks later, on July 21. Pretty much the same from this angle.

This one shows a strange bump than neither my doc or I remarked on.

At this point I was put in a cast, because both doc and radiologist agreed it was a non-displaced fracture. After 4 weeks in the case, I had a third set of x-rays taken, on 8/19. Now I'm no doctor or radiologist, but it doesn't look like anything has changed. This is the shot that made my doctor say, "That looks like a non-union." and refer me to the hand guy.

I was showing these pictures to my daughters tonight, and Morgan said, "Dad, that's a pretty small piece of bone that's broken off. Do you need that?" And I thought, probably not. I'm sure the hand guy will totally agree.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Well ain't that a kick in the niblets?

2009 is shaping up to be the summer that never was.  It was 59 this morning when I got up.  59 in the dog days of August!  People will be wearing long pants and sweatshirts at the State Fair at this rate.  It's also been the summer of no fun for me on a personal level.  I started the spring with a lovely case of bursitis in my knee, which hampered my ability to walk around and, to a lesser extent, bike.  After multiple physical therapy sessions I started to get back on the bike, only to fall and break one of the bones in my hand, the scaphoid bone.  Long time readers are already bored with this story arc.
So, fast forward a bit.  Broke the bone in June, got a splint in early July, got a cast in mid July, and they took the cast off this morning.  Getting the cast off was more fantastic than I could believe.  I'm still thrilled with the simple act of washing my hands.  But it's not all peaches and cream just yet.  We looked at the newest xrays, and I was surprised at how visible the break was.  So was the doc.  So long story just a little bit longer, I have an appointment with a hand specialist on Friday.  My doc said it looks like a non union (nothing to do with Jimmy Hoffa), but he wasn't sure.
So, best case scenario is the hand guy says "No big deal, it's a small piece of bone, don't worry about it."  Worst case scenario is hand surgery, pin or screw, and maybe even a bone graft!  Nothing I can do about it one way or the other, so for now I'm going to chill, enjoy being able to type with two hands, and see what Friday brings.
This has been another installation of The Pete's Medical Woes Blog.  Thanks for your patronage, and enjoy the near perfect riding weather we're having!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

R.I.P. Les Paul

Les Paul was the inventor of the electric guitar and while that is what he will be remembered for, he may have made a larger contribution to rock and roll by developing multitrack recording.  Prior to multitrack, all the artists had to perform at the same time, singing into a can, and what you heard was what you got.  Les changed all that.  Multitrack allows the drums to be recorded, then the guitar, then maybe the singer.  If the singer screws up but the guitarist was hot, just re-record the singer and pair that track with the hot guitar track.  Bands didn't even need to record on the same day or in the same studio.  And you could overdub, taking one part and making it sound like "three, six, nine, 12, as many voices as I wished," according to Les.  He finished that thought with one of the biggest understatements of all time:  "This is quite an asset."
Les Paul was 94 when he died.  He had 36 gold records and 11 number one hits between 1949 and 1962.  He won a grammy award when he was 90.  R.I.P., Mr. Paul.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Merchandize that corpse

I saw an ad today for authentic Michael Jackson lithographs on TV in the breakroom at work today. I guess this will be the Michael Jackson generation's version of the Velvet Elvis. I wonder how log it will take before guys are selling these out of a van in the K-Mart parking lot.