Friday, November 07, 2008

New Splint

Well, we went to Beppu to see the doctor again, and it was a bit better this time. Still no help except 'gambaru' and 'shoganai'. Japanese speakers will appreciate the bucketloads of nuance embodied in those short words! 'Gambaru' means do your best, but it's used a lot more extensively in Japan, with quite a moral undertone. So that's why it can seem like he's saying I'm not trying hard enough.

'Shonganai' is a very short sentence with no pronoun. It means 'can't be helped'. I tried to listen very carefully this time to the words and nuances. I think what he means is that there really is, nothing else that can be done. This is it.

I've spent a lot of time on the computer this week reading as much as I can find about burns, scars, grafts and splints. While I feel he could be doing more for us, for example, finding us a physical therapist, teaching us how to massage or stretch the scar, the splint about all there is to treat it.

But for burn scars, splints, and pressure bandages are what are usually used. Splints especially are used over joints. And the biggest problem with them is patient non-compliance. THAT I can understand! It also reflects what Mum told me about them not using them anymore at the Rest Home - it's easy for a doctor who sees you once a week or month to just say 'Here, wear this 24 hours a day' but Mum's in the front line, treating people on a daily basis, which gives you a much better understanding of how difficult it really is.

So, it's up to me I suppose. Actually even after just two days, the scar is already softening. I've been putting the cream on six or seven times a day, instead of just two, although that'll go back to two or three now that the splint is on all the time. Hopefully with my renewed efforts we will be back to nights only next month.

We will also take it off her at various times during the day. It was off her from after her nap this morning, until after lunch. And it's off now, has been since dinner, and I will put it back on again before we sleep. So she's getting a good chance right now to play and use it.

Here's how the scar looks. This is as far back as her thumb will go, try it yourself and you'll see how limited her range of movement has become in that thumb.

Her skin is reacting to the material in the splint in places, and the straps dig in a bit too, so we are tyring it with tubigrip underneath. HINT HINT NEED MORE TUBIGRIP!

The wicked straps. They were the devil to get on and off the first day, as the leather was new, but they are softening up now. She cannot get it off, but she does chew the thumb. I've been advised to rub vinegar on it - thanks Oonagh!


Lulu said...

Oh the poor little thing- I have no advice unfortunately except to maybe try vitamin E oil or cream as it may help with the scarring...although that is usually for superficial scars.

Best of luck with everything- I hope over time she regains more movement in her hand.

illahee said...

poor baby girl. i hope the massaging and cream really helps. and good luck with the splint!

Rachel said...

They already gave me Vitamin E cream, it's called Yubera, in case you ever come across it. Now I have a Heparin cream.

thefukases said...

They couldn't do velcro on the splint? Those buckles seem pretty rough on mum!

My sister had surgery on her neck and a pretty nasty scar and Vitamin E cream worked miracles. :)

Rachel said...

The last splint had velcro, but she can pull that off, so we requested buckles! It makes it look utterly wicked, but it stays. Good to hear good news about the vitamin E cream, I'm getting quite vigilant about rubbing it in at every opportunity now!

rachel said...

Hi Rachel
I've just started reading your blog (I'm from MIJ) and wanted to ask, what happened to your daugher's hand? I've tried to find a previous post that might explain, but I couldn't find it - I'm sure its there but I couldn't locate it.
Anyway, I hope the healing goes well and she gains more movement, poor wee thing!
from another kiwi Rachel

Rachel said...

Hi other Rachel from MIJ, I recognize you!

Erica burned her hand on a iron while we were in NZ in August. She'll probably have a skin graft to fix the scar next August. Had no idea it would go on for a whole year, and probably more! I don't iron anymore.

Anonymous said...

I hope it all goes well.

My daughter had a terrible 3rd degree burn, almost four years ago. We were told by many doctors that it's current state of healing was the best we could hope for.
On a whim I took her to another place and we were told she can have cell regeneration therapy, which involves taking sub-cutaneous cells from near the burn site, they re-generate and then they are put back in ( out patient treatment) and will grow over the wound, because they are taken from the same site the same type of skin will grow.
We saw pictures of other peoples results and it looks amazing.
HTH and good luck.

Rachel said...

missbehaving, THANK YOU so much for the information about an alternative treatment. I have many questions!!! Would you do me the favor of writing to me at so I can pick your brain about all of this!

ps, read your blog about the screaming contest, that was SO funny, but not for you I suppose! I hope you enjoy reading about my misery at the volleyball later on today