A week later and nary a peep from me here. It’s become somewhat difficult to write about riding when I’m not riding. I’d feared this point when I started writing back in the summer, knowing that winter would arrive one of these days, putting an end to my daily dose of the bike. It wasn’t winter that stopped me admittedly, but the timing couldn’t have been much better as the past week our weather has been miserable to say the least.
My visit to the hand surgeon on Wednesday was fairly uneventful. I have a bone “flake” – thereby giving credence to the notion that I’m flaky. This is not any old flake however – it’s a flake from the pisiform bone, complete with tendons still attached. Or something like that. The terminology used by the doctor escaped me to be fair, right up until this: “it will take a long time for the pain to go away”.
He poked and prodded my wrist, confirming the conclusion he’d already drawn looking at the X-ray. He was kind enough to run through things a couple of time though – No pain here? No. No pain here? No. No pain here? No. Some pain here correct? Yes. And highest pain here. The last one was more of a statement than a question. This was good as the bolt of lightning shooting through my wrist, arm and brain at that moment obscured any more eloquent answer than “mmpphaarrrrgh”. He seemed to take that as agreement though.
“A cast for 6 weeks is what we normally do” he proclaimed, “but if you’ll promise to be faithful and wear it all the time, we’ll put you in a splint instead”. I nodded in agreement as he still had his thumb dangerously close to my flaky pisiform. He ushered me off to the splint lab, spoke briefly with the tech, promised to come back with a card so I could make an appointment for a follow-up in two weeks. He left and never returned with his promised card which left me a little disappointed. Not to mention that after showing me how painful my wrist was and telling me I’d be suffering pain long into the future, there was no discussion about pain management. Thankfully I had several percs left from my trip to the emergency room.
The splint process was quick and painless but not fully covered under Alberta Health. Half way through the process she remembers “oh yeah, the splint isn’t covered – you’ll have to pay for it”. At $21 it didn’t exactly break the bank but it still caught me by surprise. At any rate, the emergency room splint was in fact more comfortable and more rigid but lacked the ability to be removed and re-installed. It was also large enough to make typing a single-hand + single finger affair. My new plastic splint makes my hand and arm sweat and is woefully uncomfortable but it has two advantages – I can remove it to wash it (and me) and it allows the use of most of my typing fingers. There’s a catch though – because it’s all plastic and removable, it doesn’t really prevent me from doing the dishes any longer. Ah well – was a nice break while I had it.
In truth it feels pretty good these days. I spent a couple of hours cleaning the kitchen and mopping the floor and that left me hurting a little, but not nearly as bad as earlier this week. I’m no longer driven to distraction most of the time which means I can be at work and actually do something productive. At least in theory.
I snuck out to the garage last night to grab some tools while hacking a KVM switch and took a moment to gaze wistfully at the Rescue Bike. Of course I thought immediately about going for a ride. I swung my leg over and grabbed hold of the bars, checking the fit of the splint to the grip. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective) the absolutely freezing, miserable wind and snow made that a wholly uncomfortable proposition and I quickly returned to the warmth of my basement. Not without a firmly planted seed. Must get some studded tires first. And I bet I could ameliorate any of the more serious fitment issues with an application of my heat-gun and some patience…