Monday, 1 July 2013

Back In The Game: The Snuffbox Incident

Hey all,

I've not posted on here for a while so...

For those who aren't in the know about the 'broken snuffbox' incident, it goes something like this (prepare yourself for a 'cool story'):

Last October, I was casually minding my own business in the woods in the dark...

... holding a sword and shield...

... when some chap sprints straight into me, headbutting me in the nose and bending my wrist in a very peculiar fashion.

Now then, it (the wrist) was pretty sore but I figured it would go away if I ignored it - but actually that just seemed to make it more angry and I woke up the following morning and thought for a brief moment that I had woken up beside a pasty beached whale. But no. It was just my hand.

I got home (having stayed in Leicester the night) and headed back out to Basingstoke A&E to get the bad boy checked out.

They gave me the all-clear, diagnosing the injury as extensive muscle, tendon and tissue damage and I was given a series of exercises to carry out to get it back on the mend. I was advised that I'd get back to normal after about 12 weeks.

Here's the hand on the 12th November when it had started to go down:
(still no knuckles though as the Rage reminded me, frequently... )

Unfortunately, after 3 months (and a bit) I went back to the doctor because I still couldn't actually use the hand.

My doctor poked me in the anatomical snuffbox (it's a thing!) and realised that I had a broken scaphoid.

That's this bone right here:

And so they sent me off for a little x-ray and here was mine:

Uh-oh. Big hole right there, huh.

Anyway, I found out that basically, not only had I broken my scaphoid, but these exercises had actually stopped the two halves of the bone from healing back together again and worn a big hole where all my lovely heal should have been.

Then I got told I'd have pretty bad arthritis in my wrist if I didn't have an operation to get a bone graft from my hip and replace this scaphoid bone but that the operation only had a 50% success rate. Sheesh!

Well, I need this hand for riding my bike, playing the guitar and of course, taking pictures so I did decide to go ahead with the op rather than ending up like Chris Elliott in Scary Movie 2...

So on Wednesday 20th March, my lovely mum dropped me off at St Peter's Hospital and I got to climb on in - butt naked - to one of their sexy gowns with the awesome green leggings... in a room full of other operation-goers.

I think I gave the old gent across the way a bit of an eyeful.

But I ended up in these bad boys:


Unfortunately, there were two emergency operations that morning and that also meant that I had to wait just under four hours to get to anaesthetic but I was feeling pretty good anyway. Strangely a lot less nervous than expected. I had my book and was still smiling. :)

... and before long, along came one of my doctors came and drew a bunch of arrows on me so they knew which way up to put me on the table.

I walked down to the anaesthetist room and lay on the bed and then... I must have gotten drunk or something because I don't remember much from then on.

I woke up in a ward attended by about 5 lovely nurses where I was brought several cups of water and tea and made to eat a chicken sandwich whilst I tried to convince them I was good to get up and go home now... I had a big cast and no feeling in my arm - and I had staples and a LOT of feeling in my hip. They let me go home after about 6 hours of me failing at 'acting cool' about the ward. No change there.

My, now lovely boyfriend, Matt carefully drove me all the way back to his place from the hospital at a snails-pace as speed-bumps hurt, corners hurt and straight bits of road hurt and I got gently into a well-prepared bed surrounded in cushions and pillows and slept like a beast. :)

I intended to read for the next two days before going all the way back home to Reading but I instead spent it sleeping, puking and fainting. Because I'm so metal.

Did get this card from work though, which was nice.

With such caring words as:
"Hope you're feeling better - I have a coathanger as a standby - Greg"
"Proper glad you didn't die. Well played - Will"
"These support calls aren't going to fix themselves - Nathan"
"You wimp! Get back to work now! - John" (<- company director!)

Right... so... about three weeks after the op, I had to have the hip staples removed, which was a right shame as I was actually pretty fond of the ol' hip piercing...

... and then the first cast came off after a month and I got a more manageable (less funky-smelling) cast, in a lovely shade of purple.

AND I got to see the awesome job that Doc Sarkhel (my surgeon) had done on my arm for the first time...

She had basically taken the piece of my hip bone out, filed down the top of the original scaphoid bone to agitate it into trying to heal again and then drilled the two pieces together.

So like this... before and after:

And I also saw my wrist scar for the first time which looked pretty gnarly...

6 more weeks of the purple cast and I got to have it taken off and wear a splint for the last 6 weeks which was much nicer as it meant that my cardigans and jumpers fit me properly and I could shower without a plastic bad and a rubber band!!!

And out of the cast was a wonderful place full of having a hand and not having a cast.

Also, my hip-scar was healing well.

So, now, nine months later, my doctor has finally given me the all-clear and I can start trying to use my hand again. I, naturally, got straight out on the Harley and enjoyed a few rides and played a bit of the ol' guitar AND took some pictures (albeit, not very steady/good ones).

I plan to be shooting again very soon but I thought I'd explain where I've been and why I haven't done a lot of photography stuff lately.

Well, hope that didn't bore you to death. See you when I have done something more interesting to post about. :)


A couple of thank yous:
Rachel for generally looking after me and doing the washing up for the best part of nine-months. Matt for lending me his (downstairs) room for 3 days, feeding me and looking after me whilst I recovered. Plus collecting me from the hospital in the first place! Simon and Robin for bringing me sweets (and shopping!). Yvonne for helping me attend my first LARP event back and helping me with the dishes for the weekend (i.e. doing the dishes for me). Gavin for the use of his house, shower and plastic Dominoes bag on that weekend... and everyone else for their well-wishes and kind get-well messages. :)


  1. Did you take the cast off?Hope you feel better and dont have any pain.

    1. Oops! Sorry, I didn't see this!

      I have indeed now got the cast off. I've had a bit of discomfort even still but I am confident that it is healing well. :)

    2. Did your doctor cut the purple cast off and then put you a different cast?

    3. Hi Alex,

      I initially had a big white plaster cast and then, after about 12 weeks (I think), they removed that and then put me in the purple cast for another 12 weeks. After that, they cut the cast off at the hospital and I went into a splint instead.

  2. It seems that you broke your wrist very bad.Did the doctor explain you why you had to wear the cast for so many weeks?

    1. Hi Alex,

      Because of the bone graft from my hip, they had to agitate the bone to encourage it to re-heal (as initially the bone had healed over).

      I think it went into the second cast to ensure that I could not move it and hinder the fragile bone whilst it was healing together, that's all.

      I think if it had been just for the original heal, it would have been quicker but because they had to operate, it took longer.

  3. Hi Chloe.How are you?I broke my wrist 4 weeks ago.Yesterday I had an appointment with the orthopedic doctor.He cut the plaster,took xrays and he put a blue cast on my arm.I prefer the blue cast than the plaster.In 4 weeks I will go again and maybe he will give me a wrist brace.Was this the first time you broke your wrist?Take care.

  4. Hi Alex,

    I bet it was painful! Good luck with the second cast.

    It was indeed the first time I had broken any bone, in fact but it is much better now. :)

    Best wishes.