The arm is slowly but surely getting better. I am now able to dress myself and do almost anything I need to do, using my left arm in a support capacity. The only thing I really need assistance with is covering my cast with a plastic trash bag before I get into the shower.
I can button my pants now, but for the sake of simplicity, I've been wearing skirts all week so that my trips to the bathroom don't turn into major engineering projects. I've been able to put my hair back in a barrette too, with only a small degree of bodily contortion necessary to get my hair into the range of space where my left arm can go. Of course I still can't drive, either, but a neighbor from down the street has been giving me a ride to work.
My cast is very noticeable and attracts a lot of attention. Most people think that I've been in some sort of accident. I've also been getting a lot of the obligatory jokes about getting in a fight. On Monday, I was sitting in my future boss's office when one of my soon-to-be colleagues walked by. He stopped dead in his tracks and came into the boss's office with a horrified look on his face and asked me what had happened. He was relieved to find out that it was "just surgery."
Working with just one hand has been a challenge. I've recently regained enough strength in my fingers on my left hand to type, but the angle of my arm within the cast makes it difficult to type. But if I contort myself just right, I can type. I definitely can't write with my left hand, and in fact I had to sign an important document on Monday with my right hand. But I signed all our closing documents on our house right-handed too, so I guess that doesn't make a difference when it comes to legality.
The worst thing about it is the incessant itching. During a boring seminar, I discovered that the reason it itched so bad in one particular spot near the top of the cast was that the stitches ended there. So I reasoned that it might be a good idea to leave that particular itchy spot alone!
The cast is not a hard plaster cast, which is disappointing because I thought that it would be fun to get people to sign it. The part of the cast that goes along the outside of my arm (following the path of the ulnar nerve) has a long, reinforcing plaster strip between my arm dressings and the outer bandage, but along the inside of my arm there is only bandage.
I'm now taking extra-strength Tylenol during the day, and Percoset at night. This is an improvement, because it means that I am much more awake during the day. Percoset has had some weird effects on me, causing me to have some very strange and emotionally-intense dreams. I am very glad to be tapering off of it. I guess that some people abuse Percoset, but I don't think that I am at any risk of being one of those people.
I haven't really been in that much pain. I guess childbirth recalibrates the pain scale, but even so, I haven't been suffering at all. But the woman from the surgery center who called to check up on me earlier in the week was pretty surprised to learn that I had already returned to work. "She's a very determined woman," Jeff told her. Yes, I suppose I am!