Breaking News

Well, well, well.  Bless Jacob’s bones.  Turns out his finger was broken.  Yes, that purple one that looked awful. (https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2022/01/20/ouch/) We were hoping it was a bad sprain.  Maybe he jammed his finger.  After a month, though, the color was better but the swelling wasn’t.  We decided to get his primary care doctor to take a look.

When Dr. H came into the exam room, I asked, “is swelling normal at this point?”  “Not normal but is expected with a bad sprain.”  It was decided to see if Jacob would cooperate to have his hand x-rayed.

We explained that we were not able to ‘treat’ it with ice or compression as he recommended on January 11th. Jacob wouldn’t tolerate it.  An x-ray would hopefully show us why it was still swollen.  They were able to get a couple of good images.  Good in that we could see what was going on.  Bad in what we saw.  (We did not get a copy.) 

Dr. H walked in and said, “Jacob has a bad break in the joint.  I want y’all to see a hand specialist soon.  There may not be anything that can be done at this point but let’s find out.”   He showed us the x-ray and it was disturbing.  My heart sank.  For weeks we rocked along counting on the hand healing.  And it was.  Just not correctly. 

That afternoon we got a call for Jacob to see the said specialist at 8 the very next morning.  More x-rays were taken.  Jacob was a trooper again but not excited about his hand being touched and tugged on. 

While we waited in the exam room, Jacob spied some magazines.  He entertained himself flipping through those at the speed of light. 

Dr. J came in and began asking questions and sharing information.  “Jacob has a bad fracture.  It’s called a pilon fracture.  It involves the joint and both bones which are splayed out.  It is difficult to treat in a patient that is compliant.”  

He went on to say that he thought the best thing for Jacob was to do nothing.  And, proceeded to explain why:  one treatment option would involve wire traction that actually comes through the finger and protrudes through the skin on either side of the joint to help the finger line up correctly.  He knew, before we did, that Jacob wouldn’t be a candidate for that procedure.  The other option would be surgery to fuse the joint.  The recovery would be difficult.  Jacob would probably have to wear a cast for weeks.

As he spoke to us, he watched Jacob easily using the hand and maneuvering as he desired.  He put my angst to rest by assuring us that if we had brought Jacob in right after it happened, the treatment would have been the same – doing nothing was best for Jacob. 

The finger will probably never bend completely as it did before.  He will have a knot at that joint and the tissue will stay swollen a long, long time. 

A few days later, I googled pilon fractures.  They are more common in ankles than fingers.  Not a common occurrence in hands.  They are often severe and can cause long-term issues.  Very painful and debilitating.  

We’ve always said Jacob has a very high pain threshold.  As we listened to the doctor suggest we contact him if Jacob acts like it is hurting, we relay that we often don’t know and he rarely seems to be in pain.  The doctor simply said, ‘maybe he isn’t’.

I don’t have the answers but I do believe God designed Jacob’s nerve endings where he doesn’t feel pain as acutely.  What seems very painful and debilitating for most, probably isn’t for Jacob. 

Some days that finger seems more swollen than it was.  It looks like it should hurt.  So thankful he’s done better than I have all along.  Looks can be deceiving.

 

Speaking of Donuts

A couple of weeks ago, the OUCH! post included Jacob getting donuts as a sort of a ‘sorry you fell, hope these make you feel better’ move. 

I remembered there was another story to share about my fella that involved donuts.

In mid-December, a group of folks who have loved ones at Jacob’s Day Program provided a Christmas Brunch for the staff.  We’ve done something similar for several years as a thank you for the beautiful way they serve our families.  The morning of, I went inside to deliver the sweetbreads I had prepared.  Jacob wasn’t ready to get out yet so was hanging out in the van with his dad. 

All of the wonderful food was being set up in a small ‘break’ area just inside the main entrance.  I greeted a few of the other providers and before I knew it, Jacob had come in and eyed the layout.  Zeroed in on a stack of donut boxes.  I believe there were 8 dozen donuts to be enjoyed!!  I’m not exaggerating when I say, his mission for the morning was to dive into those donuts.  He was elbowing his way in and willing to knock down anyone that stepped in his path. 

He can’t (or won’t) understand ‘it’s for the staff’.  In this case, I’m sure he wasn’t listening to me or the others.  He was causing a commotion for sure!  Then quietly, S, one of the staff members, slipped in and quietly said, “Jacob, let’s go to the back, I will a donut for you.”  He heard that and trusted that she would do just what she promised! Bless her heart for getting his attention in the best way possible right then. 

I could relax as we drove away knowing his needs, (even if it was a sugar addiction) were being met.  I don’t know how many donuts he had before the day was over.  I do know he had his share as evidenced by the glaze on his clothes that afternoon. 

Next time, I’ll have a different plan when I drop off food so Jacob isn’t overwhelmed by all the off-limits snacks.

If you like sweetbreads, here’s a recipe for one of the kinds I took: 

SWEET POTATO BREAD

3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 cup chopped pecans
1 package chopped dates

Grease and flour four 1-pound metal coffee cans and set them aside. 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a mixer, stir the first five ingredients together well.  Add flour and spices.  Mix until combined.  Add pecans and dates and mix until combined.

Spoon equal amounts of batter into prepared cans.

Bake for about 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from cans to cool completely. 

NOTE: I am not sure if coffee is available in metal cans anymore.  If you’ve been around for decades, you might be using some for the storage of nuts and bolts like my dad did.  This should bake fine in aluminum loaf pans.  Just not as fun as a round slice!! Oh, and this bread freezes beautifully!

You don’t have to worry about Jacob elbowing his way to this.  He doesn’t care for sweet potato bread nearly as much as he does donuts!!! 

I think he has had a surprise of donuts 3 times in the past 3 weeks so he isn’t complaining!

And then yesterday Jacob’s Granny sent homemade cinnamon rolls. As soon as he saw them, he pointed to the plates and promptly ate three!!! Donuts. Cinnamon Rolls. He is definitely enjoying these special treats!!

P.S. The photos below were taken a few days ago, at the 3-week mark since the fall mentioned earlier. He is using his hand freely and doesn’t seem to be bothered but it is obviously still swollen. From what I’ve researched, the finger might be swollen for a long time. And looks like it might be crooked as we suspected.

Thank you all who expressed concern through the FB page, this blog, and private messages. It means the world to us to have others in our corner who care.