Thursday, August 16, 2007

thank you, castblast!

ordered this stuff last week and it arrived on monday. isn't the "buster" sign thru the coathanger clever? and kind of disturbing out of context? yeah, i thought so.

with the long arm cast on for over a week, the pain from the break is mostly gone. it surges when i pick up stuff at an odd angle or that's just a lttle too heavy, and also sometimes when my arm/the cast strikes something, which happens more than i like. with the elbow angle built into the long arm cast, walking around "naturally" i'm inclined to take out triangular chunks of doorways, in the way daffy duck leaves his silhouette in the wall when he scrams out of a scene to avoid getting married or whatnot, y'know?

anyhow, aside from the overt physical restriction of the case (mucking with all kinds of everyday things including driving and volleyballing... well, okay, the break does that all on its own, but whatev, work with me here), the worst ongoing part of the cast experience has been the itching. maybe i wasn't clear about that in my previous blearghing? so, i've hit the internet on and off looking for advice and solutions to the problem. i found castblast online before my first ortho follow-up (last week wednesday) and ordered it. the vendor i went thru informed me that the product couldn't be overnighted due to the pressure of the contents or something or other, so i went with ground delivery somethin somethin... yeah, the cheapest option, wannafightaboutit?

it's very much like the dust-off i've been using (the cannisters of compressed air/keyboard duster), on the recommendation of that most excellent nurse at the ortho's office, only the jet of air also includes talcum powder and an anti-bacterial somethin or other. i was kind of concerned about the powder factor, as the "dos and don'ts" list i was given with my cast expressly advises against using talc/baby powder under the cast. given the primordial soup factor between skin and fiberglass, it becomes an irritant. but, hey, the internet wouldn't steer me wrong, right?

well, i've been using it as directed since i got it and it's pretty darn effective. unfortunately, "as directed" means only 4 times a day max, not necessarily "as needed." i save the big doses for just before i go to sleep, and it still takes some time with the q-tips and the regular dust-off to get the itching to subside, and then more time to set myself up with proper pillow and wall buttressing so that my arm sits comfortably enough to sleep...

annoying, depressing, maddening. good times... good times...

still, the point of this post: the castblast is definitely a force for good.

other advice i've come across to counter the itch factor with a fiberglass cast...

a hair dryer on a fan or cool setting directed at the cast exterior over the itching area. this is to dry out the moisture in the area that is likely causing the irritation.

holding the offending limb higher than your heart. this minimizes the blood flow to the casted part and partially desensitizes it, psyching your nervous system out of detecting itchiness. i end up doing this on and off while walking around outside in the high temps. i'm pretty sure it gets some odd looks, but screw em, i'm itching!

i've found suggestions that you use plastic chopsticks or knitting needles to just dig under the cast and scratch, but after the stern look i got when i mentioned the q-tips to my doc, well, i'm not touching those.

the nurse at the ortho office also mentioned taking benadryl, and mentioned a perscription strength option as well.

keep on keepin on~

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