Hand update

So, after yesterday’s exciting events, I went back to the hospital at 7:30 this morning. I had to wait a while until a doctor saw me. She removed the overnight plaster and unwrapped the bandages and inspected the wound. It bled a bit so she wrapped it up again within a few minutes, but I got a good look and some photos. She tested motion and sensation in my fingers and thumb, which were all fine. And I got to see the x-rays taken last night, which showed no damage to any bones.

After this inspection they scheduled me for surgery later in the morning. They said it could be done with local anaesthetic and I’d be released in the afternoon. I had a bit of a wait, until almost 11 o’clock, and all the while being unable to eat or drink anything (since dinner last night), so I got pretty hungry, as well as bored of just sitting around and waiting.

Eventually I went in and the surgery didn’t take very long, with me conscious the whole time, although they had a screen up so I couldn’t see what they were doing. I emerged with the hand bandaged up and still numb, but that’s worn off now and it aches a bit. They put in ten stitches, although I won’t see them until a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks when they’ll remove the bandages. Until then I have to keep the hand and bandages dry.

They brought me some sandwiches and water while I was in recovery, and gave me a prescription for oral antibiotics. By 2:30pm I was allowed to go home. Which makes a total of 11 hours in the hospital since yesterday.

My wife had to cook dinner tonight, since my left hand is useless for the time being, bandaged and in a sling to keep it elevated. I normally do 99% of the cooking, so this was a bit of an adventure, but she did well, making miso chilli Brussels sprouts with a little direction from me, adding sesame seeds and pine nuts on her own initiative, which worked well with it.

Now to hope I can sleep okay with the bandage and the low level pain. They said to take paracetamol or ibuprofen, so I’ll have some before bed.

New content today:

Sliced

Well. I was planning to write about yet another day spent trawling through footage from The Force Awakens and writing Darths & Droids story planning notes. But around 5pm I started preparing dinner. For the dish I was planning, I needed to cut the core stem out of a whole cauliflower. I used one of my brand new super-sharp kitchen knives…

My hand slipped and the knife sunk deep into my left hand, into the fleshy area between the thumb and forefinger. It immediately started bleeding profusely, and I knew I’d need to get stitches as I could see the size of the wound. My wife had gone outside a while ago to walk Scully, so I was home alone. With one good hand, I rinsed the wound, but it kept bleeding copiously, so I grabbed a tea towel and wrapped it tight to try to stop the bleeding, then went next door to our neighbours and knocked on the door, said I needed to get to the hospital and asked them to contact my wife. One of them drove me to the hospital right away, while his wife phoned my wife to let her know what was happening.

I was triaged in emergency right away and the triage nurse applied a quick bandage to stop the ongoing bleeding. I was taken to the treatment area, where after a bit of a wait a doctor examined my hand. She said the wound was deep enough that she wanted to consult with a hand specialist. She used a lot of saline and antiseptic to rinse it out – very quickly, because it was still oozing copious blood – then she bandaged it up again.

After another wait she said they were scheduling surgery for me, so a surgeon could check the wound and see if there were any severed tendons or nerves or blood vessels that might require microsurgery, and clean it out properly before stitching it up. Then after some more waiting she came back and told me that the surgery is scheduled for 7:30am tomorrow, so in the meantime she would pack the wound and bandage it up to try to stop the bleeding, and then put my forearm and hand in a cast to keep it still overnight, and then I could go home, to return in the morning. She also gave me an IV of antibiotics.

Meanwhile my wife had arrived during all this, and just after 9pm we left and she drove me home. So, I’m now here, left arm in plaster, typing one-handed, trying to chill out enough to go to sleep soon after the adrenaline of the evening. And I have surgery to look forward to in the morning.

New content today:

Star Wars day

More Darths & Droids plotting today. I watched some more of The Force Awakens and came up with a question about one of the scenes in the film that is not particularly well explained. In discussion with co-writers, we wrote over 2000 words of story notes to explain this one scene in the film – maybe 5 seconds or so long.

I also converted another Imgur album of a suburban walking photo essay to a web page hosted on my site. I enhanced it with some additional research into historic buildings that I’d photographed along the way, learning a lot of interesting stuff about them.

New content today:

A very rainy day

Yesterday was very windy, today was very rainy. It’s been raining more or less all day, and has become steady and heavy during the afternoon and into the evening. It was light this morning, and I took the chance to take Scully for a walk up the street to the shops and back.

Last night when I took her out for pre-bedtime toilet, I was fortunate enough to see a meteor! I was only outside with her for a few minutes, but I habitually look up to observe the stars while outside and waiting for Scully to toilet. At the moment Scorpius is high in the sky around 10pm when I go out, and I’ve been observing it slowly climbing higher each night for several weeks as the stars wheel about the sky slightly faster than the sun. It’s one of my favourite constellations, with the instantly recognisable claws and spiralling tail, with the red heart of Antares at the centre. It’s beautiful, and it makes having to go out into the cold autumn/winter nights a bit more bearable.

Anyway, last night I looked up, as usual, to take in Scorpius above, and as I was looking, there was a brief flash and streak of white light, running across Scorpius from roughly north-east to south-west. I’ve seen meteors before and know what they look like (and I have a degree in astrophysics), and this was definitely one. So, cool!

Today I spent a lot of time going through Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, not quite frame by frame, but at least shot by shot, transcribing a list of scenes and shots for reference during story planning for Darths & Droids. I didn’t get through the whole film… I got through a bit less than an hour of it. But I noted several things relevant to our story, and had a big discussion with my co-writers via online chat, which led to some significant ideas and plotting notes. It was a day very well spent on the creative front. Now I just need to repeat that much productivity again, to complete a full scene by scene breakdown of the whole film. (I’d previously done the first 20 minutes or so prior to starting work on writing for the film.)

New content today:

A very windy day

The weather continues to be wintry here, with cold, overcast, and very strong winds today. I took Scully for a walk and it was a bit blowy. We recorded wind gusts up to 46 km/h today.

Blowin' in the wind

I spent a lot fo time today uploading photos and writing web pages for some of my Sydney walks, as part of the process of transferring from Imgur albums to pages hosted on my own site. I also expanded the commentary a lot, doing some research into various buildings that I’d taken photos of. In particular, this walk through Greenwich (the Sydney suburb) ended up having a lot of new historical details added.

Tonight for dinner I made a vegetable quiche. I make quiches a lot, but generally just with one vegetable, like chunks of pumpkin, or chopped spinach. A friend made some quiches recently with a variety of roasted vegetables, so I thought I’d fancy it up a bit. Here’s what I did:

  1. Chopped potato, butternut pumpkin (squash for the Americans), onion, broccolini. Spread on baking tray, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with rosemary. Baked 210°C for about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile got some pre-made shortcrust pastry and put it in a pie dish. Placed it in the same oven after about 10 minutes, to blind bake for about 15 minutes.
  3. Placed vegetables in pastry shell, added chunks of feta, light sprinkle of salt, then poured over 3 eggs beaten with a bit of milk.
  4. Reduced oven to 190°C and bake 25 minutes.
  5. Yum!

Vege quiche 2

New content today:

Drizzly Saturday outing

Cold and wet weather has blown into Sydney. But my wife and I wanted to go out for a bit, just to get out of the house. We drove to the other side of the harbour to one of our favourite bakeries to get some lunch, and eat in the park a few blocks walk away, while Scully ran around and explored the grass.

I got a chicken pie and a Mexican beef pie, and a vanilla slice for a sweet treat. Check out the stickiness of the icing:

Vanilla slice, Drummoyne Bakehouse

This afternoon I did a bunch of story plotting and note writing for Darths & Droids. And a bunch of housework. I didn’t really get a whole lot done as it’s been a bit of a blah day, and I’ve felt a bit tired.

New content today:

Seriously knuckling down

I’ve been very busy and productive today! Yay!

I started with some stretching and core strength exercises, to get the blood pumping and work on some of the neglected muscles and things that haven’t been pushed lately, to avoid things like back strains and so on.

Then I got stuck into some ISO standards work. I let the documents and ballots build up for a few weeks and then clear them all out at once. I had to download and read a bunch of documents, and then vote on various proposals, and write up some comments documents for various drafts of proposed photographic standards, collating comments from other members of the Australian expert committee (which I chair). This took all morning and I didn’t finish until after lunch, but it cleared away a big chunk of my to-do list that was slowly getting more urgent.

To wind down from that, I did a bunch of photo uploading and writing a web page for a new Sydney photo walk that I did on Tuesday. This included doing research on places like this:

Pallister House

This is Pallister House, which is a significant heritage building – so much so that it even has its own Wikipedia page. It was fascinating learning the history of this place and writing it up for my photo essay.

I also finished up the database additions for the bird photos I took yesterday. My bird photos database is on this web page, but it’s not fully populated with historical photos taken before last year, so a lot of the birds show no entries. But if you click something like Superb fairywren you can see all the photos I’ve taken of this species since last year. Adding older photos is another task on my to-do list…

Oh, and I updated the news blog on my professional photo site with a news post and some sample photos from my bird expedition yesterday.

Tomorrow night is fortnightly board games night with my friends. To prepare for another virtual gathering (due to COVID restrictions on physical gatherings), we bought Asmodee’s Humble Bundle of board games on Steam, and I spent some time installing those and playing tutorial versions to learn the rules.

And… hmm, I feel like I’ve done even more than that. It’s definitely been a full day.

New content today:

Bird walk

I left home early this morning to go to Warriewood Wetlands, a nature reserve in northern Sydney, and take some photos of birds.

Australian king parrot, male

I started with a king parrot (this is a male one).

Bell miner

Here’s a bell miner. These birds are almost impossible to spot as they tend to hang out in the tops of trees, amongst the leaves. And they’re the same colour as the leaves. Getting a photo like this is a lot of patience and luck.

Superb fairywren, breeding male

This may be the photo of the day though, a superb fairywren male, in breeding plumage.

Back at home I basically processed and posted photos for the afternoon. I still have to enter them into my bird photos database too. A busy day, but fun!

New content today:

Baking Breads

I made bread today. Firstly, I made a loaf of soy-linseed bread. This was using a packet mix from the supermarket – all I needed to add was yeast and water. Then knead and knead and knead, and knead some more. Then let it rise, then knead it some more, then let it rise again, then bake.

Soy linseed bread

It turned out pretty well – I had some of it for lunch.

And then before the oven cooled down, I made a loaf of banana bread. Which is much, much quicker and easier to make.

Banana bread

I substituted some almond meal for some of the flour, which has made it moister, and more delicious.

This afternoon I went for along walk – a couple of hours out and back home. I really felt like I needed the exercise as I haven’t been out much lately. I noticed that my shoulders and upper chest and back muscles felt sore, which I thought was a weird effect from a long walk… until I realised that it was all the bread kneading from earlier in the day that must have done it!

And now I know why I had a sore back last week, after making a couple of loaves then. Interesting. I wonder if I’ll develop breadmaker’s muscles.

New content today: