Monday, 23 August 2010

Page 12 The 2nd Operation on my hands

On the 7th April 1995 I was told I would be having a further operation on my hands the next day.  The bones had moved in my left little finger and hand.  The X-Ray for both my thumbs and little finger on my left hand all looked like lots of pieces of crunched up egg shell that had been dropped randomly.  That’s how bad the fractures were.  Dozey Dr Vinod K Panchbhavi had been as good as his word and not fixed my left hand properly.  He said he wouldn’t so you have to give him credit for that one.  He'd taken these badly broken fingers and just bandaged them up tightly and hoped for the best.
Hence the little finger is now at least half an inch shorter than it was, which is a bit of a problem.  The ring finger points generally skywards and the thumb is fixed, and doesn’t bend at all.  
I didn’t care, I had no idea what was happening and was completely unaware I was being treated negligently.  
I was getting a feeling of terror and something was jolting me awake all the time, making me reluctant to sleep, and I was so tired.  I now know this is Central Apnea due to the Syrinx, and it causes your breathing just to stop when sleeping. 
You’re kind of scared but you don’t know what of, and with a brain injury you can’t remember.  It is very weird, and almost impossible to explain.  Unless you have got a brain injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I suppose.  Wonderful label that!
These days you'll be pleased to know, I have a baby monitor under my pillow, with an alarm that goes off when my breathing stops.  It wakes Alan up, and sometimes it's enough, just enough to catch me and 'bring me to'. Alan is now trained in 'First Aid', so he knows more about how to help me when I need it. 
During the 2nd Operation on the 8th April 1995 they put a ‘k’ wire down through the pieces of broken bones  into my hand below my little finger. They put thicker bandages on this time that went further than my wrist. 
They'd applied some little splints to the fingers of my right hand and taped some fingers together that hadn't been setting straight.

When trying to work out what they'd done, I thought Dr Panchbhavi must have redone the 'K' wire in my left thumb as it was so swollen the nurses put my arms in slings made from pillowcases and drip stands for 2 days.  The right arm was not so bad and taken down after a day or so as I had terrible right shoulder pain which was aggravated by the sling. My shoulder wouldn't go flat to the bed and there was a crunch when I tried to push it back where it should be because of the spinal injuries and Syrinx. 

I can only find one explanation as to why I had so much swelling in my right and left thumbs when I'd supposedly only had a tiny operation on the little finger on my left hand and that part re-bandaged.

Either the pins and fixator were removed and I was then given an MRI of my spine.  Or My hands were put above my head and my spine was MRI'd.

It is the only explanation for such swelling in my right and left thumbs which weren't operated on.

It would also explain why, prior to this operation, the hospital started administering Penicillamine, as I had no spleen.  Well I have always presumed it was an antibiotic.

It is the only explanation for such a thorough 'cover up', and why the hospital and my lawyer made sure no one ever MRI'd my spine or looked for the reason of all my spinal pain for the next five years.  Or the following 14 years in fact.

I was pretty much out of it for the next few days because of the swelling and pain.  Plus my new found ability to move, if only a little, had been taken away again, because of the sling.
The nurses were still trying to get Dr Vinod K Panchbhavi to refer me to the Neurology Department.  They started sneaking up to my husband and whispering almost, saying ‘make sure your wife sees a Neurologist before she leaves the hospital’.  Alan and I never realised the significance of this until now.  The nurses knew the consequences of my having not been able to move, being unable to hold my head up, the confusion and lack of memory, inability to understand anything etc.  They knew I had a Traumatic Brain Injury a Syrinx, broken back and neck.  I can’t fault the nurses they really tried.  

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