Post Surgery Ten Finger Rant

by: Raine

So you must be wondering: Raine, why are you ranting if you can use ten fingers? That must mean that you’re getting better. I mean, last time it was a Two Finger Rant. What is there to rant about now?

*evil grin*


Well, let’s start with the good news.

I no longer look like a boxer but a street fighter with wrapped knuckles. *puts up her dukes…after taking a minute to curl them into fists*

I got my boxer gloves off on Tuesday. Now, you’d think this was a simple happening. Go to doctor. Get gloves cut off. Chit chat. Pay a ridiculous co-pay. Leave.

But no. My life is apparently on fate’s shit list.

Tuesday was the first business day of this week. So, like a good little post-op patient, I call for a follow-up appointment with the surgeon.

And then things got ugly.

Apparently, I was supposed to have gone into the office for occupational therapy and I was being scolded for being irresponsible and not showing up.


Say wha’?

So I go to check my list of ‘things to do’ that I made for everything related to “Operation Cut Raine’s Hands Open”.

Instructions post-operation: call for follow-up with surgeon to discuss treatment.

So anyway, we find out that the office is open late, which is great because my mom is working and she can’t take me ’til later. (I still don’t have the strength to turn the key in the ignition or grip the steering wheel.)

Anyway, we head out and the building is locked. We manage to get inside courtesy of a kind construction worker. Upstairs, there is no one but a young woman at a desk and a very angry surgeon.

Wait…what? Angry? Why is she angry?

Apparently, I was irresponsible, didn’t make the proper appointments to get my bandages removed and receive therapy.

Okaaaay. So, where was the paperwork detailing this? When did I have this discussion on the phone during one of the fifteen or twenty phone calls I made to her office last week? Why did she tell my parents “I’ll see her in a week” when I was drugged up and in happy, opiate-induced dream land?

So she proceeds to scold me like a three-year-old, tells me she’ll remove my bandages and informs me that I’m too old to rely on my  mother to help me schedule my life.

WHAT?! What the FUCK are you talking about?

My mother and I exchange incredulous glances as she removes the bandages and checks the wounds.

However, I kept hold of my very antsy tongue and just let her talk. She is very good at being a doctor and I wanted her to focus on her job. Unfortunately, her bedside manner leaves just a teensy, tinsy bit to be desired.

She re-bandages the wounds with some gauze and orders me to go for occupational therapy the next day. Yes’m.

We go out, I book a few appointments, pay a ridiculous co-pay (for a bandage change and an undeserved chastisement.)

Then is the kicker (as though that wasn’t enough): apparently the hospital I had surgery at had staffing cuts and they’ve been botching up paperwork left and right.

*le GRAND sigh*

I smile take my mother by the arm and lead her to the elevator.

We fume in the car, pick up some cookies and chocolate milk at CVS and go home for big, giant hugs from overprotective daddy/hubby. He’s a very, very large man and completely engulfs you when he hugs you. Yay for daddy hugs.


The next day, I call in the morning to schedule the OT appointment and call the surgeon’s office for the prescription.

This is VITAL. You cannot be seen without a prescription. Unfortunately, therapists have a very difficult time securing prescriptions. I know this from my past work at a school for kids with special needs.

I explicitly told the surgeon’s office that the prescription needed to be faxed BEFORE my appointment time, gave them the fax number, and reiterated the time table. With more than a little Miami ‘tude, the secretary told me not to worry and hung up.

How much do you want to bet I was the talk of the office?

Anywho, mom the chauffeur drives me to my appointment, and I’m kinda stoked because, YAY! I’m going to start using my hands in a big way now. The lady greets me at the front desk by name before I even announce myself or sign in.

Oh hoo-frickin’-ray, someone nice!!! She signed me in and then, lo and behold, asks me for my prescription.

*hangs head in utter frustration.*

I inform her that I called the office that morning and they said they would fax it. The receptionist rolls her eyes: she’d heard that one before from almost every doctor’s office on the planet.

So she asks me for the office’s number and I, with my handy dandy file of EVERYTHING “Operation Cut Raine’s Hands Open” related, relay the phone number. The receptionist calls and immediately faces the hostility of a cranky secretary who says she faxed it already and refuses, for about two minutes, to send it again. Finally, she relents and faxes the damn thing.

Seriously, faxing takes .2 seconds. Paper in fax. Dial. Walk-away. Stupid proof. Especially for someone who works as a SECRETARY and has been at that office since it opened ages and ages ago.

After that, everything went smoothly. Had a really amazing eval, got some exercises to do and booked another appointment.

All that’s left is a few more therapy sessions and another encounter with the surgeon dragon.

I’m going in armed with a smile and a wall. I’m not playing her game of who’s right: that’s what this rant is for. I’m going to go in, get treated and leave that horrid experience behind with brand new hands that don’t fall asleep, ache, have muscle weakness and prevent me from playing to the best of my ability


Got that off my chest.

Now for some pictures of my scars/stitches. If you don’t like this stuff, please avoid scrolling down further. But I love this stuff. I watch surgeries on Youtube.

(Left hand carpal tunnel release. Two stitches in the upper cut, one stitch in the lower cut. My palm looks like someone took a bike pump to it!)

(Right hand. Two stitches on the top cut and two on the bottom one.)

(Four stitches for the ulnar release. This one hurts the most. But I’ll probably get those stitches out tomorrow. Such an innocuous looking scar for something that hurts like a bitch!)

14 responses to “Post Surgery Ten Finger Rant”

  1. hi raine… totally get your frustration… my dear hubby got trigger finger surgery on all his right hand fingers and two of his left hand fingers.. and the surgeon totally forgot to add that he has to go to physio. luckily for him the only side effects are his very thick visible scars (which can be prevent if he went for physio). his recovery though is longer due his surgeon’s neglectfullness.

    • They were, but they’re doing so much better now. I’m recovering slowly, but very well. One new regained ability a day!

  2. Ah! I totally didn’t know you had to undergo the knife… blame it on my blogging break during May. I hope you recover super-quickly – those stitches look scary to me! (Your hair super pretty by the way… That’s off topic but it looks so lovely in that one pic!)

    I actually stopped by your blog to say I’m back from my self-imposed blogging break (due to marking exams in May) and to check how your preparations/plans for England are going. 🙂

    (And while I’m here I’m going to obnoxiously ask can you spread the word about Remember O Goddess, a Korean-American film noir, we are trying to make Indiewire Project of the Month so it can win a Sundance consultation. 🙂 —> vote is here, till June 4: )

    Anyhoo… get in touch with me about England (you can email me if you prefer) and GET BETTER SUPER QUICKLY!

    • Excuse all the typos in my post… didn’t proofread with care. It’s still early morning (although I’ve had my coffee already… Greek coffee with mastic which smells AMAZING 😀 )

    • “So she proceeds to scold me like a three-year-old, tells me she’ll remove my bandages and informs me that I’m too old to rely on my mother to help me schedule my life.”

      I HATE when doctors act like that. They have NO right to do that. It’s so unprofessional. In my experience, dentists do this especially often and I have to say that’s why I HATE going to the dentist. I don’t want to be treated like a kid but like an adult.

      You should have said something to her, maybe not immediately but maybe write her a letter later saying that her behaviour was totally unprofessional. (Or if there is a higher up…) Just totally rubs me the wrong way!

  3. Raine!! those are sweet pics ^^ I hope you have full mobility and strength soon! And I hope the physio peeps are nowhere near as dragonish as the surgeon.

  4. Congrats, Raine! You exhibited much more maturity in dealing with your surgeon than I would have (and I’ve got YEARS on you). Too many of them have that rude ‘God complex’ and are flummoxed when questioned by the ‘lowly’ patient. Nonsense. And dealing with transferring medical paperwork is usually a nightmare. All things medical is a total anathema to me.
    Hope your recovery continues to go well!
    Oh, and we’re all grateful that Dr. Jin wasn’t your surgeon……

  5. That looks painful Raine, smile the next time you see your doctor, it is the best medicine. Don’t forget your medicine and your physio dates and most important exercise your hand and take care.

  6. Rainey!I just love the fact that despite everything that’s going on for you right now you still have your amazing sense of humor.Keep it up girl and feel better soon.

  7. Life’s a bitch and your dr. had to remember she’s being paid for her services and have some bedside manner. Gosh, don’t dr.’s rember their oath to care
    for the ill. You should’ve gone postal on her to see her reaction (not!).

  8. Yay for focusing on the bigger picture, and not the doc who probably hasn’t been laid in a month. Because all the men in Miami are gay, dontchaknow.

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