Life in a Cast

Drew is nine days post-hand surgery and overall it’s been fine.  Drew has had no pain, other than the few times his hand got jarred from rough-housing activities.  Drew even returned to school a mere two days after his surgery amazingly.   When you consider he had two fingers cut off and one sewed back on to a different place on his hand, it’s amazing that he isn’t incapacitated by pain.

The itching is a different story.  Drew has had several casts before on his legs and there was itching, but nothing extreme.  I anticipated itching to be a problem, but it came much sooner than I would have liked.  Only two days later, Drew was so massively irritated by itching that even after a dose of Benadryl in desperate hope it would alleviate the itching, he still cried himself to sleep unable to satisfy the irritation.

The incessant itching has led him to rub his cast on the metal bars of his braces in attempt to find relief.  Drew’s unique anatomy led to an adapted cast of only bandage and tape instead of the standard hard plaster cast so the bandages whose only source of security was taped directly to the skin has started to slide down like a stretched out sock.  It’s drooping on his upper arm and as each day has passed, more and more of his upper arm became exposed.  I constantly monitored his fingers to ensure the most critical part of the cast, the part around his hand, remained in tact and properly placed with strict instruction to Drew, “STOP rubbing your cast on things!”

But, this morning at cast check, after a long night last night in which he was hysterical with unbearable itching, his “thumb” and pinky are no longer visible at all having sunk deep down into the cast.  Only the tips of his middle and ring fingers are visible, much less than  previously visible down to the highest knuckle.  His cast has started to slide off much to my horror.

I contacted the orthopedic team at the Cincinnati hospital and I’m to try to pull it up myself.  But, I don’t have any hope of this working.  The tape that once held his cast in place no longer has any adhesion, it’s crinkled up and even if I manage to pull the cast up, there’s no way it’s going to remain that way for long.  But, it’s worth the effort if I can avoid an unplanned for trip to Cincinnati.

The other big issue with the cast, and with all casts, is the horrid smell.  Poor Drew.  He asks me to sit with him and I have to make a lot of physical effort to not make my disgust obvious.  It’s really frustrating to give him a bath each night, yet the smell of death still be detectable when you’re downwind from that thing.  I swear, I thought I saw a gnat fly into the airspace around Drew’s arm and it shriveled up midair and just fell straight down.  I might have heard a miniscule, “Ack!! *bleeeeeeeghh!*” right before it choked and instantaneously died.

Here is a humorous personally-drawn depiction of said event:


Ugh…and the orthopedic team wants me to actually TOUCH his cast.  I don’t even have a hazmat suit.



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