For those of you still reading, thanks for your faithfulness and prayers. Some days are easier than others, and we are still very much adjusting to our new normal. God is in the business of carrying us through.
Ian had his post surgery follow up with Dr. Pederson today. We were both very excited about it. Its been a long, hard three weeks without seeing what his new hand will look like. They removed the cast when we first got there, and we were able to see what we had seen before. Lots and lots of cotton dressing stuffed down into Ian’s palm. I didn’t notice last time, but the cotton was actually sewn in so that it wouldn’t move. Luckily, it didn’t. Dr. Pederson is a fabulous surgeon and his work was impeccable.
The wait in the room was tough. I think I was making myself sick just imagining what it would look like… wondering if it was infected… imagining how ugly it was going to be. After all, Pederson told me after surgery that it wasn’t pretty. Finally, Pederson walked in, and he eased the tension with his smile and jokes. He started removing the dressing really really really slowly. There was some thread stuck to it, along with dry blood and bad skin. I told him that I thought I was going to cry with all the suspense and he proceeded to tell me about his wife crying about everything, too. He compared revealing Ian’s hand to opening a Christmas present. He was really trying to be nice. I appreciate that. And then, after removing the last bit of cotton, there it was.
It took me by surprise. It definitely isn’t pretty. There were stitches and markings from surgery on his skin. I could see more of the pins poking out because his hand is less swollen than it was two weeks ago. It is less swollen, but still swollen some according to Pederson. He says that it will start to look better in a couple of weeks as the swelling continues to go down and the skin continues to heal. Overall it looks good. Ian has a great big thumb. The skin graft from his hip looks really good. It is not infected and it looks like it worked everywhere. There are areas where the top layer of skin is peeling off, but Pederson said thats normal. The blood supply is good.
This is what we told the kids: Picture a crab. Then picture what its claw looks like… two really fat fingers that squeeze together to pinch. That is basically what Ian’s left hand is now. We are probably going to call it the “pincher.” We are not going to share pictures of his hand just yet. We decided that we probably have a much higher tolerance for seeing gross things now, and we will spare you from having to see anything that will make you uncomfortable.
We are thankful for the surgery! It is wonderful that we have the opportunity to improve Ian’s hand through surgery these days. I can’t believe that he has a thumb again, and that he can actually move it a little. Our next step is to continue to let the skin heal and to start some good therapy to get it to stretch and move more. The space will definitely be big enough for Ian to hold his phone, a pen, fork, book, and other things with his left hand. This is a great improvement from the paddle he had previously. I think he might even be able to hold my hand!!! Woo hoo!!! Thank you, Lord!