What a Week

On Saturday, Tom and I officially moved out of our apartment. It was so strange to see it empty! We definitely could not have made the move without help. Tommy, Patti, and Ben McFarlin, Eli Stevens (Tom & Ben’s cousin), and Will Hooper were such a HUGE blessing to us by coming up and helping to move us out. I don’t think either of us realized how much stuff we had collected during our first year of marriage. We are still trying to unpack it all. The most progress has been in the kitchen, but even it is not all unpacked yet.

Saying goodbye to apartment life in our emptied out first home together.
Saying goodbye to apartment life in our emptied out first home together.
Goodbye 44106 Mill Creek Avenue!!
Goodbye 44106 Mill Creek Avenue!!
We had a lot to sort through, and this is just two rooms' worth!
We had a lot to sort through, and this is just two rooms’ worth!
YAY! We love our new fridge!
YAY! We love our new fridge!

On Sunday, the McFarlins came up to go to church with us, and then we took them out to eat for Mother’s Day at Bahama Breeze. (My mom and dad were in Savannah, so we got my mom a different present.) We had a great time visiting with them, then we went home and did some more unpacking.

It was a bright, beautiful Mother's Day. A little too bright for this picture, actually.
It was a bright, beautiful Mother’s Day. A little too bright for this picture, actually.

That night, Tom and I did some grocery shopping. When we got back, I was in the kitchen putting up the groceries before going to bed, and I took out the lock we bought for our fence. It was tightly bound to the cardboard with zipties, so I got out the kitchen scissors to cut it free. The first one cut away easily, but the second one was much tighter. I had to push the scissors hard to get it underneath to cut the ziptie. Unfortunately, the scissors slipped and went into my hand. Suddenly, I was on the floor, screaming, crying, and pretty much oblivious to anything but the pain in my hand. Tom came downstairs and found me holding my hands together, blood coming out of my clasp. When he told me to show him, we were both pretty grossed out to see a hole in my hand. The pain was so intense, I began to gag and felt as though I would pass out. He got me a wet cloth to hold against it for pressure, put me in the car, and drove me to Northside Hospital. That was about all I could say when he had first come downstairs. I got out, “take me to the emergency room” and “Northside.”

By the time we arrived, my hand was swollen, and the hole looked more like a slit in my hand. No one else was in the ER waiting to be seen, and I was seen to immediately. I told the PA who treated me, Kyle, that my thumb felt strange, like I had damaged my nerves. He had me close my eyes and prodded my thumb with a “U”-shaped piece of metal, telling him if I felt one or two prongs poking my thumb. On the outside side of my thumb, all I could feel was pressure, so I just said “one.” On the inside side of my thumb, I could feel the prongs distinctly-one or two, not just pressure. Kyle said I had damaged the nerves, and I needed to see a hand specialist. He also had to numb the wound to look inside it to make sure there was no foreign debris left inside from the scissors. Basically, he gave me shots right at the wound while I cried and squeezed the mess out of the nurse’s arm.

Kyle then squirt a ton of fluid into my wound and prodded around to check it and clean it, following that up with, “you’re quite a bleeder, huh?” I looked over and saw a towel basically turned red under my hand. Tom was rubbing my legs to keep me calm during this, and he told me later that he about couldn’t watch it with all the blood and the wound being squirt open. Kyle then tested to make sure my tendon wasn’t cut by pushing and pulling on my thumb (ow!). I had to resist. (The pain literally had me arching off the bed. I can’t even imagine what childbirth pains must be like, but this was enough to secure my decision to have an epidural when I have kids someday.  I need the drugs.)

Cleaned, swollen, and ready for stitches with a new towel underneath.
Cleaned, swollen, and ready for stitches with a new towel underneath.

After that came the stitches. Most people I talk to who have been stitched up say it’s not that bad, and some say they even watched. I disagree. On other people, I can stomach this kind of stuff. I couldn’t watch my own skin get sewn up, though, and I found it disgusting to feel the thread being pulled through my hand. uck. I was sent home in a hard splint and with a prescription for painkillers and antibiotics.

Stitched up.
Stitched up.
This spilnt from the ER was so uncomfortable.
This spilnt from the ER was so uncomfortable.

On Tuesday, Tom took me to see Dr. Ratner, an orthopedic surgeon. He did more nerve testing, then he told me that I had severed the radial digit nerves of my thumb, and, without surgery, the chance of regeneration of those nerves was very low. With surgery, the nerves could be reattached or attached through a conduit if they were very far apart. Basically, if they weren’t close enough to be reattached, he would put each end in a little tube. They would grow through the tube and reattach, then grow back up the thumb. Either way, once the radial nerve is reattached, it grows very slowly, so it will take about 4 months before I get feeling all through my thumb again, and it might never be back to completely normal, but at least I should have feeling and be able to sense heat and cold with the outside of my thumb again, which is the most dangerous part of not having feeling on the outside digits (thumb and pinky).

My left hand is usually just a little smaller than my right one, but it is super swollen now.
My left hand is usually just a little smaller than my right one, but it is super swollen now. The  pink splint came from my visit to Dr. Ratner.
I slept on the couch, and the pups kept me company.
I slept on the couch, and the pups kept me company.
A nice buise is starting to show.
A nice bruise is starting to show.

Mom came up Wednesday night, and on Thursday she took me to Glenridge Medical Center (where Atlanta Outpatient Surgery Center is located) for the operation. After the paperwork was filled out, they took me back and had me change into a gown, sit on a recliner-type medical chair, made sure they had my info right, put bracelets on me, and hooked me up to an IV. Then I found out that the microscope they needed to use for my surgery was in use, so I needed to wait another hour to hour and a half. I sat waiting with some “cocktails” coming through the IV and some magazines the sweet nurses, Jo Ann and Lynn, got me. Mom came back to wait with me, then they took me off to the OR. It was a little intimidating to look up and see all that equipment overhead, see where my hand would be cut up and the anesthesiologist waiting on me with a bunch of tubes hooked up to a mask. I have gone under general anesthsia a couple of times before, but this was the most formal OR I’d ever been in, and I had remind myself to stay calm.

Mom, driving me to surgery.
Mom, driving me to surgery.
The Atl Outpatient Surgery Center was so nice...like a hotel.
The Atl Outpatient Surgery Center was so nice…like a hotel.
Filling out the paperwork.
Filling out the paperwork.
My hand started to hurt, and Mom took a picture. So nurturing. haha
My hand started to hurt, and Mom took a picture. So nurturing. haha
Waiting on the surgery to start.
Waiting in a recliner type of chair until the microscope is ready. Then I was wheeled to the OR. They had to use a “really great microscope” for Dr. Ratner to get a good look at my radial digit nerves during surgery.
Getting some "cocktails." They told me I was a lightweight because it hit me so fast.
Getting some “cocktails.” They told me I was a lightweight because it hit me so fast.

I woke up in the recovery room bawling from the pain and asking for Tom, who was at work, so, of course, they couldn’t get him. I felt like I had just been stabbed again, and they told me the drugs couldn’t counteract the pain if I was that tense. I tried to quit crying, but it was intensely painful, and it took a while to chill out. I was so cold, and then they wheeled me to mom’s car, which was hot from the sun, and I got nauseated between the drugs, the temperature change, and the stop-and-go traffic in Atlanta. Thankfully, I didn’t throw up. I was so glad to get home. Mom got us all Chinese for dinner (I wasn’t that hungry then, but I was grateful for leftovers today!), then she went home. Tom worked from home today, and Nikki Christiansen, one of our small group leaders, brought us dinner tonight and kept me company this afternoon while Tom took Liam to the vet. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. Tom has been doing everything for me, going out of his way to see to my every need. What a wonderful husband God has given me! This week has been crazy, painful and different than expected, but I am glad that God is in control and knows what the purpose is, especially when I don’t (turns out that we didn’t need that lock I cut myself opening after all).

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Back at home in yet another splint.
Back at home in yet another splint.
Tom, taking care of me at home. I can't open my own pill bottles.
Tom, taking care of me at home. I can’t open my own pill bottles.

~Meghan

ps-You have no idea how long it took to type this with one hand.

3 thoughts on “What a Week”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *