What I Learned From Comminuted Distal Radius
The comminuted distal radius is a condition where the wrist joint is fractured from multiple places into small pieces. The article is about the post-surgery conditions of this fracture.
Life is dear to all of us. We all make every effort to be sure that we are safe and sound. But things happen at times that we hadn’t expected. There is always something to learn from everything in life.
In October 2016, I was trying to put a cover on the indoor unit of my room AC when the ladder slipped and I fell straight to the floor on my right wrist. All of a sudden my right hand was swollen. The feeling of pain was so much that I was about to faint. My family rushed to help me and offered me water to drink. That was helpful to some extent. I was carried to a nearby doctor who as first aid, put support to my wrist and advised an x-ray. I felt some relief after that support because I couldn’t lift my right hand without any support before that.
The next day, I consulted an orthopedic surgeon with an x-ray of my wrist. He suggested surgery due to the condition of the wrist which in medical terms is called the comminuted distal radius. I underwent surgery where k-wires were inserted in the wrist to join all the broken bones together. The next two months after surgery when the arm had to be kept in the cast were the most difficult for me. K-wires were then removed and a wrist brace was given to wear for another month.
When the cast was removed, the skin under it was all dry and ruptured. It was just washed away with the first wash. The hand was quite stiff to move and a wrist brace was helpful in this condition.
It was after four months that I could do some small activities with my right hand. But still, the hand was not strong enough as compared to my left hand. The recovery is expected to take about two years to fully recover. The doctor mentioned that even after full recovery, my right hand wouldn’t be as strong as my left hand. This made me think about a lot of things. Here are a few things I ponder these days.
Our two hands are a great blessing. We divide our work routines unconsciously to be done by either of our hands or by both. When you are unable to use one hand and have to perform all activities with the other one, then you actually realize its importance. One simple example is using a computer mouse with my left hand. It took me a week to learn how to use it.
We have the liberty of sleeping in any posture we like when we are healthy. Often we don’t realize how big this blessing is until we are deprived of it. When my hand was in a cast, I was advised by the doctor to always keep it elevated above my heart height.
Otherwise, the blood flow towards the hand would increase and would result in swelling which would be painful and would slow down the healing process. So I could either sleep straight or on my left side while keeping my right hand elevated with the support of a pillow. And this was for at least two months. Then I realized how big is a blessing to be able to sleep in any posture you like. Also, I realized that we take most things for granted and don’t realize their importance until we lose them.
Squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube looks like quite a petty task but I came to know its importance when I was able to do this after my surgery. This was my first achievement with my right hand after surgery. I was overjoyed at this achievement.
I believe our body is like a memory device for our life. From childhood to old age, it captures all the experiences of life. This deformity of my right hand has now become a part of my body and will continue till the end. Thus at the end, our body is full of the experiences we had throughout our life.
The pain of the bone fracture was my first experience. When my hand touched the ground and became swollen at once, the inner bone was vibrating at a greater speed which continued for quite a long. During that time I felt a strange kind of heat in that area. I was not aware what bone pain could be like.
When the dry skin of the arm was washed away after removing the cast, I realized the importance of water and fresh air for the skin. When it is kept covered for a long, it loses its softness and becomes hard and dry.
One of the times I felt relaxed was when someone came to ask about my health. Everyone was encouraging me to get well soon. It was really comforting to have people around with such feelings. The lesson I learned from this is that whenever is someone sick in your family or friends, do visit him or her and console him or her. It would really help in recovery.
Every day we learn something new about life. This is how life is.