Plate removal, Skin Graft Surgery and Now More??

I Don’t have a lot of time… Or useful hands to write a lot but the video and pics explain everything. I am leaving the pics in color, which I never do, so you can see the color of the incision. I will put the pics in order of how the infection and wound breakdown occurred up till what the skin graft looks like now, 11 days after I had it done. Plus, I will be telling you about whats to come… today! Just more to add to this fusion nightmare!

http://youtu.be/fsxowQDItuA  — This will get you up to date from surgery, after surgery, post op and…. NOW! Literally cause I have to go!

You can see where the screws were! The bone to the right is the ulna that came out from under my bone.

You can see where the screws were! The bone to the right is the ulna that came out from under my bone.

wound breakdown 3

Tried steri strips to keep it closed.

 

Yuck! This goo wouldn’t go away. Started to see hardware and got staph.

 

wound breakdownLet it dry out and finally scabbed but only on top. The goo was still underneath and damage was done which brings me to the wound breakdown surgery and then this one.

 

Love from the Bionic Mom!

Patience truly is a virtue, and it is one attribute that we all have to perfect in one form or  another. Instead of getting impatient, try doing a short meditation– breathe deeply and think pleasant thoughts. — Sylvia Browne

 

Under the Knife Again!

Third surgery in 2 months! This is the last thing we’re doing to fix my wound breakdown (hopefully!!). At least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now!  The next step is carpal tunnel surgery. Who gets carpal tunnel from a fusion surgery?? This girl apparently! Anyone else get carpal tunnel from a fusion surgery? Please tell me so I don’t feel like any unusual thing that could happen, will happen to me! :-P This is the first time I’ve had any complications and there are three! The ulna will be fixed later. But 8 correction surgeries and joint replacements (not counting these 2 that are to fix the wound) and a fusion causes three complications!? The Carpal tunnel is the worst because I can’t open my hand at all now so my right hand is 95% useless… and I’m right handed! Blah! Well, like I said in my last blog entry; This too shall pass…. It will just set me back on my other joint replacements almost a year! BOOOOOO! :-P

Well, hope you enjoy! If I didn’t answer any questions you have due to the much shorter length of the video, please feel free to ask or comment! Thanks everyone!

P.S. I apologize for the horrible quality of these videos. I need a real video camera ASAP! When I win the lottery! =)

Love, As always, the Bionic Mom!! =)

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face.

 – Eleanor Roosevelt

Playing Catch Up!

Hey peeps! So much has happened since my wound surgery that it’s too much to type with one hand and it would’ve been really long! Instead, I made a video that’s way too long to tell you and show you what’s going on. Sorry for the long video, sound quality, etc. I figured a long video is better than a novel of a blog entry. Now I’m not sure! I promise one day I’ll have a fun video! =) The camera shut itself off in the middle so you’ll see that when I say something like “every 8 hours”  it stops and starts again. I need a real video camera!

incision                                                                This, surprisingly, is before the infection. Had it looked at and it was bad but not infected. About a week later the scabs came off of both openings and was deep enough to see the hardware from the fusion. Whatever the gross gooey stuff was that was in the wounds at that point would not harden, go away or grow tissue. As soon as my surgeon saw that she said, “you’re having surgery Monday”. This was on Thursday.

 

right wrist wound breakdown 2-24-14 (2)BW

 

I was not happy about what was going on and at the point I didn’t know about the 6 weeks with the PICC line or that I’d have to keep the wound VAC on for a month!

 
 

Love from the Bionic Mom!

As my mom always says, “This too shall pass.” — No one knows the original origin of this quote!

Post Op 1 and 2– Holy Complications!

I haven’t posted about my first post op visit because typing is very hard with one hand so now that it’s been so long I decided to just do my first and second visit all in one. I have been dreading typing this out and now a lot has happened since surgery so I only made this harder on myself. Figures! :-P I’ll try not to make this too long with everything I have to put on here… and I don’t want to be up all night typing with one hand!

My first post op visit was 8 days after surgery. I had my stitches taken out and steri strips put on the incision. X-rays looked good aside from the wicked big blister the cast caused on the side of my wrist! not a huge problem. It popped and healed. It was HUGE though! wow! Then had to go down stairs to get fitted for a removable brace. I was aloud to take it off once a day to clean it with a baby wipe. I was also aloud to choose the color. Out of the 4 or 5 choices, I chose pink camo! Might as well have fun with it like my boyfriend and I were doing in the pic!

after (2)bwAs you can see in the photo, or better yet CAN’T see, my thumb lost most mobility because of how the tendons were stretched and moved around and how my wrist was yanked. I can’t pull it out. Just move it a little under my fingers. As my friend Allison calls hers, it’s my dodgy thumb! It will be fixed by moving a tendon when I get to my finger joint surgery. I was also still very swollen at the time. BUT my wrist is straight!

about a week after this appointment, I somehow twisted my wrist and it hurt so bad I immediately grabbed it and realized I had a bump that wasn’t there before so I thought a pin came loose! I went back to my surgeon and got x-rays. Turns out the ulna that she saved down to use as bone graph, popped out from under my wrist bone. If it didn’t hurt we’d leave it alone. Of course it hurts like…. well like a bone popped out of place! I can see it move up and down when I exercise my fingers with my other hand since I can’t move my fingers on my own but I’ll get to that!  So, since it’s causing a crap ton of pain, it needs to be put back. We’re going to wait until my incision heals. That’s my first issue I had…

Soon after that the steri strips came off and a couple weren’t ready so a friend happens to have some and put a couple back on. I was getting blisters between the steri strips the whole time but didn’t think much of it. They popped and came back every time. I’m now allergic to the glue on them. Never was before! Took the strips off when I found that out and the part of the incision that’s right on my wrist kept getting wider and opening more and more. The other few inches healed perfect. It was bad and looked infected. soooo back to the Dr just to be safe.

Luckily It wasn’t infected despite the goo in them! That was the part of the incision that she had to cut at an angle because that was where my wrist was turning to the right, hence the fusion. After cutting the incision she yanked my wrist straight and messed with the tendons so she said there was a possibility of the incision having a hard time in that area. She said she did bad things in there to get it right so that’s also why I was still numb in the fingers with no movement. Haha it was a joke but she did say it was really bad when she was in there. So she said to use topical triple antibiotic and non stick gauze pads so the scab wouldn’t get pulled up.

That just made the scab shrink and go away. Underneath where the scab was, well it was nasty! It got so bad it was about an inch wide and very deep with no skin on one of the openings. The other is smaller but just as deep. The inside was too gross to even mention. Some people couldn’t look. All gooey! I was able to see a hint of, what I could only guess was, the metal plate. So, very deep wound! It wouldn’t scab at all when I covered it so I started leaving it open everyday and eventually it scabbed on top but there was something leaking out all the time. Underneath never hardened or healed or whatever it was supposed to do. Soooo that finally brings me to todays 5 week post op visit.

First of all the incision. A small part of the scab came off last night so my Dr. was able to see inside. Its still liquid underneath. She took a swab with peroxide and cleaned it out all the way to the bottom and low and behold, we could see my metal plate. I said, “now I really am the bionic mom!”  However, now that the plate was exposed, it was contaminated. Not to mention I lost so much skin, she can’t close it and stitch it. Not my fault or hers. Just luck of the draw and it’s me! So, of course that would happen! haha All joking aside, she immediately said I need surgery to fix this…right away. Monday i’m having another surgery now! It’s now Thursday. It would be tomorrow but after surgery, if she can’t just close the wound and stitch it which she most likely can’t, I’ll need a machine on the wound that I have to carry around. She wants to make sure she gets the machine on time so i’m not in the hospital all weekend waiting for it when it’s an outpatient procedure. The part of the machine on the wound after surgery will suck up any leakage like i’m having now! It’s a wound dehiscence or wound breakdown for an easier way to say it. Not sure what exactly will be done or what that totally means accept that its so deep the metal plate it contaminated. If that wasn’t there, we’d see bone. That’s how deep it is. Awesome!

THEN, I told her I still can’t move my fingers and a good part of each finger is still numb. After the surgery on Monday is healed, She has to do another surgery because it could be my carpel. She has to mess with my carpel and at the same time she’ll fix the ulna by tying a tendon around it and putting it back under the bone. So before I can move on to my next surgery, wrist replacement on the left (that’ll heal better!) and the 6 or more surgeries after that, I have to get these two surgeries to fix the complications from this one. I love my surgeon luckily. She’s the best hand surgeon around. She’s funny and talks to me like a person! And she was amazed that I am able to do my makeup, especially eyeliner, with one hand and not my dominate hand. My mom is as well. haha

Well, I think I’m caught up now! Surgery Monday then another as soon as that heals. BLAH! Of course this would happen. I had a plan as to when each surgery would be and that’s out the window! Oh well! My hands better be perfect after this! ;-)

After Fusion

 

Here’s a before and after photo. I’ll fill you in after Mondays surgery of course! Sorry this is so long! A lot has happened in the last 4 weeks!

 

Until Then, Love from the Bionic Mom!

beautiful

 

 

Right Hand Wrist Fusion Surgery

Here is a link to my video blog of my wrist fusion surgery that took place on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014. I apologize for my appearance, my rambling in part of the video and the quality and sound! haha My boyfriend fixed the sound and video quality as best as he could so it’s definitely a lot better than before! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtBe0ubT7MA

I was very excited about this surgery because I have been waiting to get my hands fixed since I was very young however I was also very nervous about this surgery and the other hand surgeries to follow.  Having use of only one hand made me very anxious because of all of the help I will need.  Luckily I have two awesome people, my mom and my boyfriend, helping me out a lot and making it less stressful than it would have been without them.

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“Just Hug Me If I Need A Good Cry” – Great Article!

This is an article written by another great blogger as a way of helping friends of parents with a sick child. This advice Is amazingly great and can be related to Arthritis to a tee! I was going to write a blog about being there for someone you know, whether they are a relative or friend with Arthritis and how to deal with it in a positive and helpful way. Honestly, I couldn’t have said it better myself so this amazing women, Kim, said I am more than welcome to share her article. The more readers the better! The 15 do’s and don’ts in the article are a great way to show people who don’t have a chronic illness how to deal with it.

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Let the Joint Replacements Continue!

Finally! It’s been two years since my last joint replacement and that was when I did both total hip and both total knee replacements in 9 months, a year if you count healing time. This is what we are shooting for with my next set which will be my WRISTS and HANDS!! YES!! I have been waiting to get my hands fixed for over 20 years. Back then it was because I was embarrassed about them. Now, well, I don’t like looking at them, I’ll admit, but they don’t work good and most importantly they hurt! Yes, I am in remission thanks to my diet and I think even more, thanks to my supplements! However, the Dr. said that they are still going to hurt and get stiff due to the deformities.

Right hand and wrist.

Right hand.

When I first met with the hand surgeon, who I never met, she actually said, “your hands are terrible, but I’m sure you knew that.” I couldn’t help but look at my friend and laugh. She was super nice. I really liked her and I picked her because I heard she’s like an artist when it comes to orthopedic hand surgeries. This is what I need with how difficult my hand surgeries will be according to my regular ortho surgeon.

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Who’s A Public Speaker Now? This Girl!

Sooooo…. I have this great friend I’ve known since middle school, Mika who knows that I’ve struggled growing up with JRA. Now, she’s been keeping up with my blog and I guess she’s also been doing her own research and found the lack of non profit organizations for Arthritis compared to so many other health issues. She has also found a lot of facts about Arthritis that shocked her and the lack of awareness was shocking to her.

Mika contacted me a few weeks ago and started discussing this with me and felt she needed to do something about it. She decided she wanted to start a non profit organization for JRA and RA and of course it will include any type of Arthritis. After A LOT of texting and discussing names and events and board of directors and fundraisers and a three year plan she came up with, etc. she filled out all the necessary paperwork for the state and sending it in, we are about to be up and running! We are just waiting on one response which is the approval to accept donations. That’s a pretty important one! So until we get that we can’t take donations. But for now the website is being worked on, the facebook page is up and already has a lot of supporters in the last three days!

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Don’t Forget!

Hey all! Just a reminder that there are still a few fundraisers going on! Christmas is right around the corner! They end soon so if you’re interested, grab something soon and help the Arthritis Foundation and my hospital bill. I’m officially a single mom again. My husband moved out and the divorce will be final in the next week so money is really tight. So, paying my hospital bill is low on the list when it comes to what bills to pay. Mortgage and electric and food, etc are obviously more important right now.

Anyway! Just wanted to send a quick reminder to those of you who were waiting for certain companies to be posted back up there. Thanks a bunch!

Much Love As Always, The Bionic Mom

Rheumatologist- Good news for once?!

Hey everyone! So, I’ll cut to the chase. I had my appointment with my Rheumatologist a few days ago to get my blood test results. I was getting a little concerned at first because he didn’t say anything. He just kept looking at me, down at my hands and back at the computer and maybe occasionally I’d here, “huh”. Then he said, “do I have the right persons blood tests?” Finally, I said, “umm I don’t know… Why? What’s wrong?” Naturally, I was a little worried! He finally told me all my test results came back fine. I was like, “ok, well that’s good.” But he didn’t just mean they were better than usual.

Apparently, my blood results showed NO inflammation, NO rheumatoid factor, good immune system results, a great vitamin D level and thyroid was good. He was baffled. He couldn’t believe it and again, kept looking at me, back at the computer and didn’t know what to say accept, “if I didn’t know you had arthritis and it didn’t show, i’d think this was a healthy person.” WHAT? I mean, I obviously have Arthritis. I’ve had it since I was 18 months old and have deformities in every joint. But, at the moment, the results don’t just show that I’m in remission because usually then they still show some inflammation and some RF, they are showing NO RA! I still get stiff in my hands and shoulders and my ankles still hurt really bad but that’s from the deformities or over-doing it. If I stick to my diet and at least add some blueberries or other anti-inflammatories in my diet, I don’t wake up stiff.

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