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marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 10:27 pm

[Note: yesterday was day 0, of course. This is being written one-handed on the laptop integrated keyboard...the FrogPad is theoretically still charging.]

Day 0: the neural block, expected to last 10-12 hours, with reasonable outliers to 6-20 hours, according to what I was told, was administered at about 0730. I began to feel my fingers at around 1230. The pain wasn't that far behind. It was about 1400 before I was able to take my first Percocet. Yeah...spent most of the afternoon in the car sleeping.

Woke at 0830 to phone, in pain, obviously. Took 2 P. Crashed around 1000 until like 1430. Took another when I got up. Rest of the day spent mostly reading blog stuff and such. Have been trying to eat and drink...grapes good, foods hit-or-miss: aye a decent dinner, but lunch of mac&cheese failed. You get the idea.

My BlueTooth Righty FrogPad arrived via FedEx this afternoon. There's an amusing story there about communication that I don't feel like typing right now. Have confirmed it can pair with the laptop (using USB BT dongle), and plugged it in to charge up the battery. Tomorrow I'll start using it in earnest. Setting up key remappings to "oeht" from "hjkl" in important software will be fun. Setting things up to switch between the two elegantly will be . . . an interesting challenge. Ideas on vim bindings or approaches to the config welcome. (Annoyingly, NetHack's UI isn't configurable, and there's no good way to do that in interhack, so I'll probably continue not playing. Although I might make a project of making a patch to allow keyboard configuration in the .rc . . . it would be nice for a lot of things, like yunm instead of yubn for split keyboards.)

Not much else (or too much) to report . . . so that's probably it for now. Possibly more tomorrow from FrogPad, which should be at a healthier height than the laptop (on a writing desk; it's kinda high).

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marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Saturday, February 28th, 2009 12:01 pm
I've started making some vague attempts to get myself ready for next week when I lose the use of my left hand for at least two weeks. I've been doing some research into one-handed keyboarding, but the options are kind of overwhelming, and now it's kind of last-minute to do anything about it.

Anyway, this morning I attempted to shave using only my right hand. It all went surprisingly well, although I got interrupted before attempting to put after-shave lotion on, which I expect to be rather difficult. I was worried I was going to have to give this whole thing up for a couple of weeks, but it looks like it may actually be possible to keep up regular shaving. Cleaning up the excess lather with a washcloth one-handed, as well as getting to the tricky bits with the hand that's on the wrong side of my face, were both surprisingly easy.

I don't know about more general hygiene, though...for anybody offering to keep me company, I'm sorry if I'm kind of gross.
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marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Saturday, February 28th, 2009 11:44 am
I can't recall if I've mentioned this here or not: I am going in for surgery on my left elbow on Monday, 2 March, 2009. Yeah, this Monday. They'll be doing a submuscular cubital tunnel release, or ulnar translation. I will receive sedation and a nerve block for my left arm, so they don't have to put me under comletely; I am expected to be able to leave the hospital same-day.

The surgery, in layman's terms, is to cut open my elbow and relocate my ulnar nerve. That's the one that runs through the outside bit of the elbow, and then continues on to serve the two smallest fingers. It's the one you bang all the time, and, if you're me, also aggravate when you bend your elbow to sleep or lie on your side on that arm. Instead of running on the outside of my elbow, where it's under constant tension and gets banged about all the time, my new and improved arm will have the nerve running along the inside of my elbow, and, since I don't have much subcutaneous fat to protect it like a normal person would, will be stuck under a bit of muscle so it doesn't get banged about as much.

Since we have measured damage to the nerve (a year ago), this surgery will absolutely prevent further damage and will hopefully allow the nerve to begin slowly healing itself. With any luck, all the random pain in my left arm will go away over the course of about a year. My expectation is that some of the pain will go away, and will stop masking pain caused by other sorts of RSI I'm also experiencing in the region, allowing PT/OT/other conservative treatments to be effective in repairing those issues.

My left arm will be in a splint for two weeks beginning Monday. My parents have graciously offered to allow me to stay with them and to feed me and assist me while I'm there. This is wonderful, and has only two major drawbacks: I may have post-surgical appointments back here in MA, and I have very little social life in Westchester, NY, especially if I can't drive. Note that of course my ability to type will at best be restricted, and pain and pain meds will certainly affect my ability to think anyway.

I'm thinking, some, about how I'm going to deal with those first two weeks. I expect to be watching a lot of television. It's looking at present as though I'll be back in MA for the second week, and a couple of dear friends have already graciously offered their assistance in whatever way they can.

As time has revealed that I'm a much more social person than I think I am, I would appreciate any attempts people would make to make plans to keep me company. I'll have a much better idea come next week what my schedule will be like and what sorts of things I'll be capable of, but I'll also have less ability to communicate through a computer (my usual mode, of course). I'm looking into learning one-handed typing, and possibly picking up a FrogPad, but I'm not sure how that will go. I don't know if I'll be capable of concentrating enough for games, but hopefully I'll be capable of some of the lighter fare, and, for the slightly less serious-gamer friends of mine, the drugs might level the playing field?

Basically, anybody who's interested in anything which will help me keep my mind off the fact that I have one arm and am in incredible pain (as I expect both to be the case), it would be extremely welcome; please contact me. I may be slow to make plans, especially as a lot is in the air.

On Monday, I'll ask at what point I'm allowed to start what sorts of dancing again. That would help, too. After the splint comes off I'm told I'm in bandages for one-to-two-weeks depending on how quickly I heal, and at that point I'm allowed to use the hand/arm as much as I'm capable of; a phrasing which doesn't exactly instill confidence.
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