Kienbock’s Disease II

I got diagnosed with Kienbock’s Disease on the 9th of March.

I broke the news to my family the very same day in the evening. Surprisingly they handled it well and I asked them to meet the doctor the next day. They agreed.

So on the 10th of March, my father and I met the doctor and explained to my father the main concerns of the disease. He said that according to the X Ray, my lunate seemed to be in good condition. The whiteness was almost the same as the other carpal bones surrounding it. ‘To be sure  however’, he said, ‘we must have a look at an MRI Scan of the affected area’. We were okay with that.

Kienbock’s disease can become a serious complication if diagnosed late. If my diagnosis was at Stage I, that meant I had a good chance of getting it completely treated. If an MRI Scan would tell us more about the condition of the lunate, that would mean that we would be able to take a more thought out and dedicated decision. The MRI Scan was a horrible experience. It was half an hour of lying in a painful and awkward position and a loud noises that made me think I would be impaired of hearing by the end of it all. Never before had I so a carefully felt the ticking of time.

The MRI scan’s result was fascinating. It showed my hand in various positions and scanned multiple layers of my wrist. I could make no sense of it, but the doctor said that while the lunate is in good condition, it was beginning to deteriorate. We had just made it in time.

We decided that yes, we would have the surgery carried out as soon as possible. The sooner the better, I thought. This was a Thursday. I wanted it done by the next weekend, latest.

I decided to get it done on Sunday, the 13th of April, just 4 days after my diagnosis.

The surgery that deals with an impending Kienbock’s Disease is called Radial or Ulnar Osteotomy. This involves surgically fracturing the bone, cutting out 2-3 mm of the bone and then pulling the bone down, levelling it with the other. I went through the Radial Osteotomy, which, my orthopedic said, is better than the ulnar osteotomy, for reasons yet unknown to me. This levelling of the two bones means the lunate is nw free to glide along the ulna and the radius. The bone is now in place with a Volar’s Locking Plate.

When the effects of the anaesthesia faded away and I regained consciousness, I remember the heaviness in my right arm. It was like a dead weight, except that it was very much swollen. The pain that radiated out of it was unlike anything that I had ever experienced. It was nerve-wracking. Even as I was carried outside the OT and to my room, all I could really focus on was the excruciating pain in my arm. It was almost unbearable. Can you imagine the feeling of having your arm cut off? Or getting shot? I think the pain would compare to that.

It was not until the painkillers flowed into my bloodstream through an IV drip did I manage to calm down and fall asleep.

Its been one month since that day and my arm looks pretty much normal now. The pain is bare minimal and fortunately I seemed to be having a speedy recovery. The real challenge would be teaching my muscles to coordinate properly as they once used to.

At the end, I successfully overcame Kienbock’s disease!

Kienbock’s Disease

It started with a fall in August 2015. I was in my local Capoeira class where I was hanging from an overhead bar when while trying to grab on to it I slipped. I instinctively pushed out my right hand and landed vertically with my wrist bearing the entire 70 kilograms of my body weight. It pained quite a bit and for a few days I could not do anything that would put too much of strain on my right hand. It got better, but the pain remained and every time I did a handstand, sharp jolts of pain would draw my attention to my stiff and aching wrist. Overtime, I realized that the condition of my wrist became worse as I could subject it to less and less pressure. And not just my right. I began to feel that even my left wrist was a little weakened over the past few months.

On the 9th of March, 2016, I decided that enough was enough and I am going to go see an orthopedist. I am a lazy person by nature, but when I perceive a threat, I either address it immediately or I overreact to it. Fortunately, I decided to address the issue prudently.

The doctor at the hospital checked my hand and asked me to get an X Ray. I was determined to find out what was up with my wrist and so I got the X Ray within an hour. What showed up on the doctor’s screen was an image of my hand’s skeleton. It was a little freaky to see my hand from such a perspective. The doctor, after addressing another patient took a look at the X Ray.

‘Well Devansh, the good news is that you do not seem to have any injury to your bone’, he said. I was almost smiling. My over analyzing mind was like: ‘I knew it. Its gotta be an injury to the muscular structure in my arm!’. ‘However’, continued the doctor, ‘the bad news is that you have what is called Kienbock’s Diesease’.

When the doctor said this I literally took a few seconds to fully take in what he had said. I could feel my world getting smaller and smaller. A disease, I thought. I have  bone disease.

Then he explained to me what it is.

Kienbock’s disease is a bone condition that is extremely rare. First discovered by Dr. Robert Kienbock in 1910, it is essentially a condition where the lunate bone, a carpal bone in the wrist, begins to disintegrate. Now this is a pretty severe thing. Eventually, the entire carpal structure of the hand begins to disintegrate, and if you think it is painless, think again. It causes arthritis in the hand. If not treated immediately upon diagnosis or if the diagnosis is late, the carpals have to be removed to ease the pain of the victim. This means that your hand is rendered pretty much useless. You might as well cut it off and get a cool bio mechanical structure.

There are several factor which could lead to Kienbock’s disease. My case was aggravated by my fall I had mentioned earlier. That likely caused trauma to my lunate and thus interrupted the blood supply to it. The bone also is a tissue and needs blood. Lack of blood causes necrosis of the bone. It becomes weak and begins to fragment. The doctor explained to me that my radius is longer than the ulna. Lost me? The hand has two major bones, the radius and the ulna. In a normal hand, the lunate slides comfortably above and along the ulna and the radius. When either one of these is longer, the lunate begins to grind against it when the wrist is perpendicular to the hand, like while doing push ups and handstands. That’s a pretty fucked up condition, right?

By this time, I was almost not breathing. ‘Fuck’ was going off in my mind like a siren. ‘What can we do about it?’, I squeaked. ‘It is treatable right?’

‘Of course it is!’, said the charismatic doctor. ‘We will need to perform a surgery called radial osteotomy in which we will reduce the size of the wrist bone by cutting of about 2 millimeters and leveling it with the ulna’.

That was all I needed to hear. I saw a ray of hope as he said it is possible to get it treated completely.

P.S- I’ll post pictures of my X Ray with the continuing post.

 

Have a great week ahead!

 

 

Growing Up

Yep. Growing Up. The reality we all must face when we are in college. And what a bittersweet reality it is. I turned 19 back in September and so far the journey as a first year college student has been one of self discovery and worldly realizations.

When you are in college, you learn to make new friends, have new experiences, learn a lot and actually have a lot of fun. With all of this positive upswing, there comes the constant reminder of the uncertain future. You are reminded of that whenever you speak to someone, or when you are having a good time socializing and you realize how you could instead be doing something productive and of course when you are constantly under pressure to perform well in the exceedingly competitive environment.

I am quite thrilled to get through my college life and start living responsibly as an adult. But I am also afraid.

‘What if it all does not work out?’

‘Am I studying the right thing?’

‘Is all these years of college going to be worth it?’

‘What after college?’

Such questions are what run through my mind at least once a week.

I believe I have grown a lot since I was 18. For one thing, 2015 was a year of revelation. Since then, I have come far. Like everybody else, I have different ways to cope with such stress. I listen to motivational podcasts, listen to music, workout and spend as much time doing the things I am supposed to be doing instead of cribbing about my condition.

Because I believe that when you make your choices, you’ve got to deal with the consequences. And there is no point worrying about your situation, is there?

 Summarizing the above through the following short poem!

Wake up with the light of the sun,

You hardly have time for some fun.

Get to college as fast as you can,

Prove yourself to be the standardized man.

Homework, assignments and attendance on mind,

You feel harassed by the daily grind.

Intense lectures call for attention,

Reminding you of adult life- a wicked intimidation.

And thoughts dwell on the forgotten past,

And what of the present which does not last?

Thoughts of the impending doom to come,

Make you escape through fun and rum!

You do know wisdom and you have grown,

Since a year before when the seeds were sown.

With courage and vision you shall proceed,

Its now or never!-may this advice thou heed!

Have a great weekend!

Writer’s Block

And what a huge block it has been. I don’t remember the last time I posted something, or even the last time I wrote a piece of good quality literature.

I don’t know about you, but I really need that dose of inspiration to write again.

I was just going through my site and I read up an old poem ( http://bit.ly/1JY299p ) I had written and quite forgotten about it. The feeling of reading one of your old works, especially one that is lost from memory, is great and quite inspiring!

This time as I try to get back to regular posting, I won’t make any promises. I’ll pray however, that I find the inspiration to write consistently.

Until the next time.

Best Sitcom Ever

I am sure you have your own favorite sitcom to which you are hideously loyal. You have shed tears while watching that sitcom, have related to some of the characters, hell, even had sweet dreams about some of the characters.

Like you, I too have a sitcom that has made me experience a wide range of emotions and even change me a little bit.

The brilliance of this sitcom has inspired me to write the following poem!

Every episode of this sitcom was shrouded in mystery,
Believe it or not, every one of them was an allegory.
A plot that was intense, dark and mind boggling,
With every stage, it became more confounding.
One was a surgeon of extreme conscience and skill,
Then was an angel on the run for a kill.
A war veteran plagued by his horrific past,
A con man who'd do anything to survive, anything to last.
Then there was the father, son and the little dog,
An obese man with nothing to lose, loads to hog!
A Korean woman who hides a little secret,
From her husband too- who does nothing but fret.
Finally, a bald man who found renewed faith,
All these and more characters are connected by fate.
What will they do? How will their future be shaped?
Stranded on an island, lost, unable to escape?

If you have not guessed it yet, the sitcom is LOST. 

Vices of The Previous Night

Did you ever wake up in the morning feeling like crap because you never slept well?

Ever felt like cursing yourself for willing your mind to be awake when fully aware of the essentials to go to be early?

Perhaps, is it both the above?

I had given my word to myself that I would not expose my eyes to white light from laptop and cell phones or any other electronic gadget at least one and half hour before sleeping. i have done this many times, and even found the effect of avoiding gadgets before going to bed extremely beneficial for our health and well being. For those who are  not aware, exposing yourself to this kind of light ruins your sleep cycle by keeping you awake. Over time, your body becomes used to it, almost like a drug. Most people get sleep that they think is good sleep, but in reality, their bodies and minds are conditioned to it, like a drug. Once you get used to using gadgets before sleeping, a pattern sets in and it gets quite difficult to break it. Often, strong remorse or personal introspection is needed to correct this.

I have tried many times in the past to break this habit of mine. I even gave myself my word that I would not, under any circumstance, use gadgets post 9 PM. Yet, I forgot my vows and I repeated the same mistake. Last night, I was busy watching ‘The Great Gatsby’ until 2 AM in the night. A brilliant movie! It left me feeling all hopeful and dreamy about life. Yet, when I awoke in the morning, I felt like I had been in the boxing ring the previous night. The feeling of fatigue and the deep dark circles reminded me of my folly.

I am going to again try and implement my decision to quit using gadgets before sleeping.

Hopefully, this time, I would be successful in evolving my decision into a regular habit.

Why do we learn?

I recently started off my Bachelor’s course in Mass Communication, eventually specializing in Audio Visual Production. When one thinks about Mass Communication, one conjures up an image relating to all the various mega platforms that communicate to the masses: movies, newspapers, news channels, music, documentaries, advertisements and more. As a student, you would be expected to study all of this. And with this image in mind, I had enrolled for this course, and I got way more than I had signed up for.

It has been almost a week, and I have already been through lectures on Marketing, Political Science, Communicology, Sociology and my all time favorite discipline, History. When I realized I was going to have History in my curriculum, I was more than thrilled. Even more so when I discovered that I would also be having courses on Art.

I would have been less surprised had I reviewed the entire course curriculum, but I guess this has helped surprise in the most delightful way!

Coming to the title of this article, learning is a creative and developmental process that involves exposure to new experiences, information, actions and senses. Being a Science student until the end of 12th grade(what would be High School in the Western cultures), I was quite used to learning a mishmash of new things, much of which is now forgotten. But certain things like History, Geography, Philosophy, Linguistics and others, which have always interested me, as a result of influence of brilliant teachers in my school life and personal motivation, have stuck with me. Studying Fine Arts for the better part of 2014, I realized that my interest lies primarily in Art. Yet, my curiosity in Astrophysics and Biology did not diminish and lately I have even taken to an interest in Finance and Economics.

I asked my self, ‘Why do I learn all of this?’

Most of these subjects will never contribute to my professional life. They are for self knowledge, and would never amount to anything more than personal satisfaction. I might be interested in History, but is it guaranteed that my knowledge in History would enable me to make a difference? Will my ability to speak various languages truly help me contribute to globalization? In my opinion, Politics is a load of bull crap that keeps going in circles. Yet, even the most common man takes an interest in Politics, despite knowing deep down that his understanding of the subject is simply negligible for him to even properly and in the right mind cast a vote for his political party of choice.

I believe one can live life in two distinct ways. You could forget about the world’s worries and learn to enable yourself to chase fame, glory, money and other pleasures of humanity. Or you could decide to do something with your life by understanding the world and trying making a difference. Of course, most of us have overlapping attributes, including me.

Yet, if we are more inclined towards understanding and making a difference, why do we learn despite knowing it will never be enough?

Why do we try to understand this complex world?

I often asked myself these questions, and I often thought about the need to ask these questions. Sometimes, despair would take over and only sleep and time could bring me back to normal life.

I still have not come up with a concrete answer, but I believe that the answer lies somewhere in the words of Leonardo da Vinci, who is believed to have said:

    ‘The more I live, the more I am convinced that we learn not to live, but to die’