June 24, 2014

getting handsy

I never realized how much I used my hands until I was relegated to using only my non-dominant hand for basically everything. Even now, approaching three weeks post-op, I have limited mobility in my right hand, due in large part to not being able to bend my ring finger, and a deep, still-healing wound in my palm. Brushing my hair and teeth, typing, and cutting food have all required serious adaptations. But I'm single-handedly managing okay. 

Saturday night marked the end of my thrice daily IV treatments, and I finally had my PICC line removed last night, meaning that I can shower without saran-wrapping my arm. Hygiene FTW! Instead of a huge bandage with a long tube hanging out of my body, I just have this little guy. 

see? almost normal

I haven't been given the all-clear to exercise, so I'm mostly limited to this:

Do to the intense concentration these take (I'm actually not kidding; my brain says move and my finger does nothing), and the usual pain associated with them, I manage to break a sweat. Any real cardio will have to wait.

The timeline for healing I was given was 2-3 months before I gain full use of my hand. I'm sure it won't be that long until I can exercise, but I have a feeling there will be a lot of lower body/core as opposed to anything upper body related, at least for the next few weeks.

Here's to killer quads.

June 17, 2014

who knew? cat bites are serious

First, if you've Googled your way here via cat bite research, go to the hospital right meow. For real.

Second, if you're a regular reader and have been wondering where I've been for the past two weeks, settle in for another long, so-weird-I-can't-believe-it-happened-to-me injury story.

As I mentioned in my last post, we brought home our new dog that Wednesday (the 4th). If you follow me on IG, you saw that her meeting with Carl was not very smooth, but Carl settled onto our countertop out of her reach and seemed content enough. We figured they'd both get over it.

Fast forward to 6 P.M.: Carl had just finished eating in our pantry, and I opened the door, thinking that he'd saunter out and up and on to our counter before the dog noticed. Wrong. Before I knew what was happening, there was a tangle of fur and fangs at my feet. Without thinking, I pulled them apart and threw Carl into the pantry and the puppy into the bathroom. My hand and legs were bleeding, and Carl was bleeding from his paw. The puppy was fine but was angry to be locked in the bathroom, and let me know by peeing on the floor.

My worst wound seemed to be on my right ring finger, where I had to puncture wounds on either side of my knuckle. I washed it twice with soapy water and figured I'd be fine.

3 A.M.: I woke up with a very swollen finger, popped some Advil, put an ice pack on it, and started counting down the minutes until Urgent Care opened.

8 A.M: Urgent care. The doctor looked at it, told me a round of oral antibiotics would clear it up, and laughed at me when I asked him about the study that said 1 in 3 cat bite victims ends up in the hospital. Also, I got a tetanus shot.

3 P.M.: My finger was increasing in size and pain.

8:30 P.M.: Same as above, in addition to a call to my nurse mother who told me to go to the hospital. I told her I'd go in the morning.

8:45 P.M.: John tells me he just got off the phone with my doctor uncle, who told him to take me in no matter what. John had already called his sister to pick up the puppy.

9:45 P.M: Urgent care boots us to the ER, where we don't even have to sit down in the waiting room. Within a half hour, a hand surgeon determines SURGERY is needed to flush the infection.

11:30 P.M.: Pre-op room, waiting for a blood test to confirm that I'm not pregnant (so they can give me the good stuff). I get the all clear, kiss John twice, and that's the last thing I remember of pre-op.

1 A.M-ish: Post-op with my mom and John there. I can't stop shaking from the pain (there are a bunch of nerves in your hand or something) but they've given me the max on meds, so much so that I'm not breathing consistenly, prompting everyone to say "Hannah, you need to take a breath right now!" to get the machines to stop beeping.

The next 36 hours were filled with IV meds, assisted bathroom breaks, lots of naps, and several doctor visits. I was finally discharged on Saturday afternoon, after getting a PICC line implanted in my upper left arm so I could continue IV meds at home, every 8 hours, for the next two weeks.

I'm now nearly two weeks post-op, and I get the stitches out tomorrow. I should be done with the IV meds on Saturday, so the PICC line will come out then. I also have to go to hand therapy twice a week for the foreseeable future because they cut through the tendon sheath in my finger.

In puppy news, she's been re-homed to John's sister, who fell in love with her while babysitting and refused to give her back. Carl is still living at home and meowing apologies.

In husband news, I have the best one ever. He's been so, so great with everything, and can even put my hair into a semi-decent ponytail. I'm one lucky lady!

And finally, here's an evolution of my injury from an hour after it happened to what it looks like splinted.

June 3, 2014

big news! (not a baby)

I feel the need to clarify in any post that I am not announcing a pregnancy. Among life FAQ's, "How's married life?" barely tops "Are you pregnant?" Good and no, respectively. Thanks for asking.

But back to our big news: We've been trying to adopt a dog for a few months now, but have always been beaten to the punch by other families for the last three dogs we've applied for (all rescues). Because we live in a two-bedroom duplex, a larger dog would make things... busy. We also wanted a dog that didn't shed a ton. With these things in mind, our options were surprisingly limited.

On Saturday I was driving home from running errands, and I passed the Minneapolis Animal Control building, which is near our house. Outside, a volunteer was walking the cutest dachshund mix, and it was love at first sight. I knew nothing about MAC, or if they even adopted animals out of their location, so I drove home and told John that I had just seen "our dog". He was in the middle of  putting the final latch on the fence he just built. Perfect timing!  While he was finishing up, I Googled MAC to find out that yes, they did adopt dogs out of their building, and that they were open until 3:30 that day. We were on our way minutes later.

When we walked in, a volunteer asked us what we were there for, and I told her about the dog I had just seen, and asked if "it" was available for adoption. She knew exactly who I was talking about, and confirmed that she was available. We walked past cages of barking dogs (so sad, I wanted them all!) but came to find "our dog" sitting quietly in her kennel. She licked us through the gate until the volunteer opened it.

It only took a few minutes in the play room to realize that she was perfect, and exactly what we'd been looking for.

What we know about her: She's roughly 8 months old, not fully house-trained (yikes!), was surrendered by a family that could no longer afford her, and is currently named "Sassy" (yikes again!). She had not yet been spayed, so that's happening today and we'll be able to get her tomorrow.

Now, instead of just cat pictures, you can expect to see some of our newest little lady, and probably an epic video of her introduction to Carl, who will likely just stare at her from the highest perch he can find. We're still working on his social skills.

Pet name suggestions? Potty-training advice? Go.