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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-23-2013 12:09 AM
Faster
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Thanks for the update... Best wishes for a final rapid recovery
06-22-2013 11:22 PM
killarney_sailor
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Latest update. I am back to typing with one hand since I had my third (and last) operation on Friday. This one had two parts. The surgeon re-arranged some skin (a nip and a tuck really) so there is more range of motion between my thumb and index finger. He also went into my hand at the base of the pinky to remove scar tissue that was restricting movement of the little finger inward. Turns out the pinky is more important than I thought, for grasping smaller objects.

I will have a cast on for two weeks and then back to therapy for 6 to 12 weeks. Before this operation I could have sailed without being 'single-handed' in a literal sense, so this operation's result should be quite handy (sorry) for me. We still plan to be back in SA in November to get Ainia ready for then long trip up the Atlantic. I think it is something like 5000 miles from Cape Town to Grenada.

In related news, the SA Customs people are starting to clamp down been more on foreign boats that are in the country for more than one year. Last year they were doing this in Richards Bay and Durban. This year it has spread westward. The marina where the boat is located at False Bay near Cape Town asked us to send reports from the South African doctor and Canadian doctor on case the officials ask. They feel that if we can prove that it is an emergency Customs will be fine. If I show them the hand they will know it is real. There is a lot of permanent scarring. Saw on the news that the ambulance that was taking Nelson Mandela to the hospital broke down. Not the same one I had since it is at the opposite side of the country, but I was taken first to the provincial (public) hospital and the to a private hospital. When I was taken out to the ambulance for the second trip, the engine would not start. Just a bad battery and we were on a hill so not a problem, but a small reminder that it is still Africa, even though there is a lot of wealth in the country.
05-15-2013 01:49 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Glad to hear its all heading in a good direction. I'm sure you look forward to the day that the remainder of the recovery can be done aboard, even if on the hook.
05-15-2013 01:04 PM
krisscross
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Glad you had a good recovery, KS. Exercise that focuses on flexibility is very useful in these situations. I had a nasty cut to my right arm with a chainsaw, severing most tendons below the palm. Quick operation by good surgeons here in US and subsequent physical therapy and exercise, brought it back to almost 100%. But sometimes I get a numbing pain there when I stress that arm too much. The body is telling you important things and you have to pay attention.
05-15-2013 10:32 AM
killarney_sailor
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

An update for those who are following my medical soap opera. If i had to sail now i could but my left hand is stii quite weak and has lots of internal scar tissue, not to mention extensive scarring on the surface, back and front, that will get somewhat better but will always be there. Mainroblems are the web between thumb and index finger which is tighter than normal since it was seriously damaged and when sewn together is just too short. Also the baby finger does not bend far enough and is quite weak.

Saw the doctor on Monday and he wants to do surgery on the web and little finger after a reach the limits of recovery through therapy and doing exercises frequently during the day. No date yet, but likely in July with more therapy after that. Glad to be treated by a doctor and therapist who only work on hands. Also, glad that I don't have to pay for this.
04-06-2013 06:35 PM
killarney_sailor
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

I haven't been taking pictures along the way, perhaps I should, but it would have turned some stomachs at various stages. I imagine I will have quite a bit or scarring since there was quite a lot of damage to both front and back of hand, almost the entire surface of each. Unlike your finger I had no tendon damage, but some bruising of the nerves in places. Slow recovery, but remarkable how skillful these people are and how caring. My therapist has been terrific.
04-06-2013 03:53 PM
tommays
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

I was taking pictures durning the surgery but that really freaks people out
04-06-2013 03:05 PM
SloopJonB
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

That was a phenomenally skilled surgeon. That before shot turned my stomach - to have it completely disappear so quickly is remarkable.
04-06-2013 10:59 AM
tommays
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

The hand will do well the x factor is how much PT time you will need to get full use


Suffice to say it was a good think bone was in the way to stop the cutting and i only severed one tendon

I guess the fact that i know the number one hand guy and it was cut at 11 am and repaired at 6 pm helped



As we approach one year at this point only i know i ever cut it and still have to do some daily exercise but i have good use of the hand again
01-20-2013 04:45 PM
killarney_sailor
Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I've heard that squeezing and repeatedly lifting an old fashioned glass filled with scotch is a good hand exercise.
I have been on antibiotics and painkillers since the accident and both mean no drinking. Was between courses of antibiotics last night and easing off painkillers so stopped at the SN Toronto Boat Show get-together (not the actual show) so had one beer on the way to the hospital for a dressing change.
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