Weekend Surprise « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Weekend Surprise

Weekend Surprise

On Friday afternoon I drove myself up to Orlando Hand Surgery Associates to have my stitches taken out. (I had had A-1 pulley surgery on the middle finger of my left hand on Tuesday April 26th to repair a chronic trigger finger.) I exercised my middle finger on the way up; not to worry, it was not aimed at other drivers. I had virtually 100% extension and a full 100% flexion with that middle finger. I had no pain and no swelling. The hand felt great just as it had since two days after the surgery. Four little pinches later the stitches were out and the PA affixed four steri-strips.

Three hours later I awoke in my bed at home from a short nap with some discomfort in the knuckle of my left middle finger. It was very puzzling. A few hours later the discomfort had turned to pain and flexing or extending the finger made the pain worse. I slept well and when I awoke the pain had increased and I noticed some swelling at the base of the finger. I wasn’t sure what was going on. After several phone calls to Dr. Cliff Oliver, my west coast health advisor, I decided to leave a message at the surgeon’s number. An hour later the pain and swelling had increased so I called Cliff back. As Dr. White had not returned my call we decided that I should make a trip to the local emergency room for some antibiotics. Just as I was about to walk out the door the phone rang. It was Dr. White. He told me to rest, ice and elevate my left hand and he called in 2 prescriptions for antibiotics to Walgreens. An hour later the pharmacy called to let me know that my scrips were ready. By now I had a throbbing pain in my palm and more swelling. After the forty minute round-trip to town, I had downed my first round of the day’s pills.

The pain and swelling continued to increase. My palm was throbbing. I could barely move the middle finger at all. Then I did something I almost never do: took a pain killer, one of the tiny but powerful pills that I had not needed after my surgery.

By 8:30 pm I had finished both doses of today’s antibiotics and was about ready for a second pain killer. My palm felt a bit like it was going to explode so I called Dr. White again. Miraculously he picked up the phone. I told him of my concerns even though I was not sure of what they were. He told me that it would take 24-48 hours for the antibiotics to take effect and that I should keep the hand iced and elevated and get myself up to his office on Monday.

It was amazing to me that my hand could go from feeling absolutely great to absolutely lousy in such a short time–well less than 20 hours. With somewhat of a smile on my face I thought about the fact that I do not quite have my late-father’s tolerance for pain. (Private First-Class Robert Edward Morris was severely wounded on Okinawa. He lost his right arm, his left hung by a thread, and he spent 19 months in the hospital without as I understand it as much as a whimper. Or a whisper of complaint.

No cards or condolences please. I will be back in fighting shape in a few days. You gotta love life’s little surprises.

Thanks to Denise Ippolito who typed this for me during a phone conversation.

25 comments to Weekend Surprise

  • Judy Howle

    I hope you recover from the infection quickly and get the hand back in action soon!

  • Bruce gove

    Thanks Bruce. Have you read Walter Lord’s “Incredible Victory”?

    I have not, but I’ll check it out.



  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks Bruce. Have you read Walter Lord’s “Incredible Victory”?

  • Cheapo

    Keep that confidence up Artie! I have a fairly high pain tolerance, and it’s not always a benefit, as one tends to carry on and it can sometimes make a problem worse. If, as you mentioned, you rarely use pain killers, that means they you also have a relatively high tolerance, (some folks live on the dam things), so you are somewhat like your dad. ;¬)
    It’s Tuesday here in the UK now. How is your hand?

  • Hope you feel better and fully recover very soon.

  • Bruce gove

    Glad to hear your hand is better. In light of your connection to the war in the Pacific, you will enjoy reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand..

    Bruce Gove

  • Artie,
    Glad to hear that you took action quickly. Infections post-op can get nasty quickly. It costs healthcare billions per year. I know it’s probably difficult for you to do, but take it easy!! 🙂

  • I wish you a fast and full recovery!

    Best wishes

  • Artie –

    So glad to hear you got it dealt with and you’re feeling better. We need you up and running 100%!


  • Ivan

    What a coincidence, I just finished emailing my secretary to get me an appointment with a hand surgeon because I have developed a trigger thumb similar to your trigger finger. I then opened your “weekend surprise” to read of your problem. It sounds like you have a nice infection going on. I suspect the wound will need to be opened and drained tomorrow if it doesn’t do it spontaneously tonight.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I got a rare Sunday appointment and had the hand drained today. It is feeling a bit better each hour. Good luck with yours.

  • Humm, maybe I will let my contractures go yet another year.

  • harvey tabin

    With respect to your Dad, that is why it was the “Greatest Generation”

    Feel better.

  • That’s “quickly”.

  • I hope you recover quickly.

  • Glad you’re on the mend. Life is fleeting and only those who approach it with your vigor and attitude truly appreciate it.

  • Get better soon artie!!!!

  • M. Bruce

    Speedy rehab Art!

  • Sorry to hear of the setback. Get well!

  • Carol Fuegi

    I wish you speedy recovery Artie. I’ve had this surgery on 3 different fingers – fortunately with no complications! Sorry to hear that you weren’t as lucky.

  • lowell dickson

    Be careful. I have a friend who recently had a relatively simple surgery, but his after surgery symptoms were similar to your’s and it turned out to be a serious staph infection. Could get very serious.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Lowell, That’s hy I am going to see Dr.White tomorrow :). It is now Sunday morning. Though it still hurts, I may have turned the corner as the throbbing and pressure have decreased and I do not feel the need for a pain pill right now. And, I slept quite well.

  • What? No photo of the famous finger?

    Seriously…hope this passes quickly for you…Dr White sounds like a gem…the kind of Dr we all are either thankful for or wish we had.

    Get well…might see you in CT if the stars align…


  • I’m sorry to hear that, Artie, and hope that you are feeling better very soon. Your father sounds like a very inspiring man!

  • No cards or condolences, but a note to get better soon.