Warning for the weak-stomached: This post contains multiple gratuitous images of a wound, stitches, bruising and scarring. It’s amazing… if you like that sort of thing.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m sorry – I’ve been awfully busy, mostly with convalescing and taking selfies featuring my scar. Like this one.
As you can see, the angle of my scar on my elbow is a tricky one but that hasn’t stopped me trying.
So, as I left you last I was delusional, starving and crying for no reason – or because of my wobbly chin, I’m not sure. That all sorted itself out, you’ll be pleased to hear. I was initially disappointed on leaving the hospital, as I was told to keep my bandages in place for 16 days (it was initially meant to be 13 while the stitches dissolved and my arm healed itself, but had to be postponed due to a pesky bank holiday) which meant I couldn’t take a peek at my bad-ass wound. Or so I thought.
As it turned out, within a few days the bandage became a little baggier and started sliding down my arm. My first, and extremely-traumatising-at-the-time, sighting is here.
Gross, right? Well, it got worse as within a few days the bandage was slipping down further and I decided to give it a little helping hand on its way – I was curious, alright?
Anyway, here it is in all its glory.
Shudder. Obviously the first few days were quite painful but I had some awesome painkillers, or horse tranquilizers as I like to think of them, that got me through. Then there were a few days of intense itching whilst my open wound healed itself together, which were pretty tough.
Then, as the swelling in my arm went down and the bandage became a bit looser, there was the infuriating irritation of the knots of my stitches as the bandage glided over them constantly unless I held it in place.
My mum rewrapped the bandage a couple of times to make it a bit tighter and keep it where it was meant to be, which also allowed me to have a cheeky look at the padding and gauze inside, which were literally soaked in my blood. It was incredible.
Last Thursday, I went to the hospital and had the bandages taken off. It was about time really, as it was getting to the point where people were surprised I still had it on. Everyone is an expert, apparently, on the length of time bandages should be on for. Below is a classic mirror shot I took in the hospital.
There’s a lot going on there. Some of it is bruising, and the rest of it is either dirt, dry skin or iodine, but looks like bruising. You will all be relieved to hear that most of that came off when I was brave enough to have a shower and wash my arm.
The nurse who took the bandage off was meant to remove the knots of the stitches as they don’t dissolve. She did one, and then bizarrely left the other sticking out of my arm.
Later that day – being as hardcore as ever – I got my mum to cut it off while I pulled it out of my arm using tweezers. Unfortunately I didn’t have a spare hand to take a photo of that.
This is a close up of my full, officially-unbandaged scar taken by my brother, if you think you can stomach it.
At this bandage removal, I also spoke to the surgeon and found out what had actually happened. It turns out that there was a piece of tissue squashing my ulnar nerve for an inch at my elbow, which he took out. I thought my arm felt lighter – and I’ve actually lost 5lbs since the operation and my appetite hasn’t decreased at all, so I suppose that’s why!
Seriously though: I haven’t had pins and needles since, nor have I lost any feeling in my elbow or fingers. It worked and I am so happy.
Right now, my only complaint is that the skin of my scar is quite sensitive, because today I went and had a steroid injection in my other elbow. Hopefully in the next few days I should have two almost normal elbows. There was a confusing moment where my rheumatologist thought I might have had an elbow replacement (pretty sure that’s the type of confusion that could only occur with an arthritic!) without his knowledge, but that’s all cleared up now.
Oh, and Sulfasalazine might be causing me to bruise more heavily and giving me mouth ulcers so I’m going to be reducing my dose and hoping for the best. And I’m moving house in five days and I’m not meant to do any lifting (or play tennis!) for the next week or so. But it’s all fine!