Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Yuan Wei extended his hand as he watched the nurse slowly unwrap the dressing.
The nurse slowly unwrapped the dressing layer by layer with one hand, and it went round and round Yu Wei’s wounded hand. The sutured area was gradually revealed.
Yuan Wei and He Jinxiu gazed at the sutured wound, so much so that He Jinxiu started squirming as she hugged her daughter. They were so nervous that their daughter, who was in He Jinxiu’s hold, started squirming.
“Don’t move.” He Jinxiu patted her daughter’s b*tt without hesitation.
“It hurts!” Her daughter looked hurt.
He Jinxiu was stunned for a moment and quickly released her daughter. She felt regretful, but she did not want to apologize. She just held her daughter’s arm and said, “Take a look at your father’s hand and see if there is anything wrong with suturing.
“I am no longer a kid.” The daughter pouted unhappily, but her eyes subconsciously drifted to her father’s hand.
The skin of the sutured finger was reddish. Due to edema, the wrinkles on the skin could not be seen. The black threads were naturally the most obvious thing. Several visible knots on the skin could be seen, connecting the finger to the hand so tightly that it curled inwards slightly. This made the finger abnormally ugly, but it blended well with the rest of the hand.
“Are you in pain?” He Jinxiu could not help but ask her husband.
The daughter stared at her father with her round eyes.
“A little… It doesn’t hurt, but I can feel something in my finger,” said Yuan Wei. He wanted to move his finger, but he failed to do so. This made Yuan Wei, who just got his finger undressed, start panicking. “Why can’t I move my finger?”
“You need to wait for a few more days…” The nurse said a few more words before she continued to go through the specifics of rehabilitation.
Compared to those who had received the M-Tang technique surgery, patients who received finger replantations did not have it easy. Most people could not even move their fingers even after ten days, much less two days after the surgery.
“Keeping the finger warm is the most important matter, it’s very important…”
“Don’t ever smoke! You must remember that smoking is a risk factor that will lead to amputation. Patients must absolutely quit smoking, otherwise the finger might be amputated. Remember, he can’t even smell smoke…”
“His emotions must not fluctuate too much. The patient must stay calm all the time, understand? What I’m saying is, don’t get emotional. When you get emotional, your blood pressure will increase. Normal people will just faint if their blood pressure gets too high, but you will be in danger if your blood pressure increases after the finger replantation. So, you must try to keep your emotions as stable as possible over the next few months…”
The nurse went on with her reminders. They were mostly repeats of the doctors’ words. Still, Yuan Wei and He Jinxiu listened to the nurse attentively.
They no longer had any money for them to make mistakes.
Hospital bills were not the only things that cost them money when it came to seeking medical treatment. The living expenses during the treatment period as well as their child’s education fees also cost money. They had borrowed money from all their relatives before, and they could not borrow anymore.
Most importantly, if Yuan Wei’s finger still needed to be amputated after all this, their lives would be burdened by more debts after losing the main financial pillar of the family.
“I will quit smoking.” Yuan Wei was not a heavy smoker. He just occasionally smoked when his colleagues passed around cigarettes. He made the decision after hearing the same advice from the nurses a few times.
Similarly, Yuan Wei also thought of the issue of money.
They needed to spend money on treatment, surgery, and hospitalization. They even needed to spend money on meals and transport.
Yuan Wei had not slept very well over the past few days, worrying about money.
As for smoking… He could not let his wife buy cigarettes for him using the money allocated for meals. He just could not do that.
The nurse nodded and added, “You can’t even smell cigarette smoke. There’s someone in our hospital who smoked in front of the patient’s bed. Because of him, his wife, who had just received finger replantation, nearly had to have her finger amputated.”
“Oh… okay… I will quit smoking! I won’t even smell cigarette smoke!” Yu Wei could not differentiate whether the nurse was just threatening him or telling him the truth. Anyhow, he did not have any reason to not quit smoking.
He Jinxiu watched the nurse’s action and asked her in a lower voice, “I heard that replanted fingers need one or two months to be completely reconnected to the hand. How long will it take before he can work again?”
“Work?” The nurse stopped and thought for a while. She then asked, “What kind of work do you mean?”
“Re… renovation…” He Jinxiu lowered her voice even more.
The nurse said her usual expression, “Renovation is considered hard physical labor, right? I suggest that you go back to work one year later… Hmm, the best you can consider is to only return to work two years later. In the near future, it will be better if you only do light manual labor.”
“I did not study a lot. I also cannot find any other job if I don’t do physical work.” Yuan Wei chuckled in embarrassment.
“You can do all types of light manual labor.” The nurse turned around and saw Yuan Wei’s daughter. She said in a softer voice.
“When your finger has recovered to a better condition three or four months later, you can try to find a job in courier service companies or restaurants that offer food delivery services. You can also work as a security guard or open up a small shop and sell things. This shouldn’t affect you too much.”
He Jinxiu and Yuan Wei could not say anything but expressed their gratitude to the nurse.
At that moment, Ling Ran brought someone to the room.
“How’s the patient?” Ling Ran asked the nurse directly after he saw her in the room.
“His recovery is pretty good.” The nurse gave a brief description before she passed the patient to Ling Ran.
The nurses’ grasp of the patients’ condition who received their department’s main surgical procedure via visual examination alone was usually a skill that other doctors did not have.
If the nurse had been employed for a long time, the number of patients that she saw would be one hundred times the number of patients a doctor would have seen in his life. The nurse would know how the replanted finger looked like the first day after surgery, how a normal finger looked like, how the replanted finger looked like after it was undressed, and how the replanted finger looked like twenty days after the surgery.
The nurses who were not in charge of the operating theater worked permanently in the wards. They moved back and forth every day to continuously change the patients’ dressing, cut the patient’s hand to apply heparin on it, and other tasks. They kept in touch with the patients all the time. So, if the nurse said the recovery of the patient was good, then the patient was truly recovering well.
Ling Ran looked down as well and observed the finger.
He saw that the black color on Yuan Wei’s finger had almost faded even though it had only been a week since he received the surgery. Although he had not fully recovered from edema, he still looked pretty good…
“It’s a Grade A recovery.” A voice from behind him interrupted Ling Ran’s observations.
In medical science, the patient’s recovery was defined according to a professional classification. It was classified based on the three different classes of surgical wounds. From there on, recovery was further classified into four different grades, which were A, B, C, and D.
A professional doctor could just understand the patient’s postoperative condition by just looking at the condition of the wound’s recovery.
Ling Ran looked behind him and realized that someone had invaded his private space. He could not but frown, and turned around. Then, he saw an elderly-looking doctor. He had a broad upper body, a muscular back, and his neck was stretched long. This made him look like a standing tortoise.
“You are?” asked Ling Ran.
“Xue Haochu. I come here to visit and learn from Yun Hua Hospital.” The tortoise doctor stared at Ling Ran’s face for three seconds, nodded, and he thought, ‘He is truly handsome.’ He extended his hand, wanting to shake hands with Ling Ran.
Ling Ran hesitated, but he still shook hands with the tortoise doctor as per the norms of society. He took out an alcohol-based hand sanitizer from his shirt’s pocket immediately afterward and asked politely, “Do you want some?”
“I… won’t need it…” Xue Haochu hesitated as well. He saw Ling Ran squeeze some alcohol-based hand sanitizer on his right hand skillfully and in a well-practiced manner. Then, he spread it evenly and rubbed it gently on the hand he used to shake Xue Haochu’s hand just now.
Xue Haochu thought that he should perhaps say something. Yet, he remembered that Ling Ran had offered him the alcohol-based hand sanitizer just now. It made Xue Haochu confused.
“Did you come here with the academician?” Ling Ran tried to guess. There should not be any other team who would come over to learn today.
“I am a Ph.D. student under Academician Zhu Tongyi academician. I heard that you started the finger replantation project alone in the Emergency Department. I was a bit curious…” Xue Haochu did not know why he was explaining it in such a detailed manner. Perhaps he was feeling the pressure from Ling Ran.
Xue Haochu gazed at Ling Ran’s fingers, and he was filled with curiosity.
It was much harder to launch a new project alone, compared to performing surgeries using the department’s main surgical procedure. As a Ph.D. student who had slaved away a few years on theoretical knowledge, Xue Haochu still secretly admired some of the surgery experts who were about the same age as he was.
Ling Ran noticed Xue Haochu’s gaze. He sighed and took out the alcohol-based hand sanitizer again. “You may use it if you want.”
“I am… not…” Xue Haochu thought of explaining that he did not need the sanitizer. But he suddenly realized, ‘Why shouldn’t I sanitize my own hand?’ Hence, he swallowed the words that were already at the tip of his tongue. He took the alcohol-based hand sanitizer and squeezed out a huge amount to scrub his hand ferociously, as if he was seeking revenge.
Ling Ran saw a huge amount of his alcohol-based hand sanitizer vanishing. Then, he saw how Xue Haochu rubbed his hand—he did it so hard that he almost broke his skin—and he said in pity, “It must have been hard for you.”
“Huh? I… I’m not…” Xue Haochu confused again.
“Is your hand cold?” Ling Ran’s attention went back to the patient.
Yuan Wei initially found the duo’s conversation very interesting, but when the attention was back on him, he became nervous as well. He sensed his hand carefully and said, “Not cold. Should I feel not cold?”
“It’s best that you don’t feel cold. But you should always keep your hand warm.” Ling Ran reminded him.
“The nurse just now reminded us many times that we should keep warm,” Yuan Wei’s daughter suddenly said, “You guys are so long-winded.”
“That’s why you should be more careful.” Ling Ran never gave any special treatment to any girl, be they cute or not. He looked at Yuan Wei again and said, “Low temperature will reduce the blood flow in the finger, and it will affect blood circulation. So, the fingers must be kept warm.”
“Alright.” Yuan Wei nodded repeatedly.
Xue Haochu felt that he had been neglected. When Ling Ran spoke to the patient, he came and observed the patient’s fingers in greater detail. Then, he said with a smile, “This is the first follow-up examination, right? Has it been ten days after the operation? It is good for the patient to have recovered to this state. But you’ll have to control the edema a little, and the injured fingers should be placed in a higher position…”
“One week.” Ling Ran corrected Xue Haochu. Then, he spoke to Yuan Wei and He Jinxiu, who looked very worried, “Your edema is at a normal level, so you don’t have to worry. Doctor Xue, please don’t give any medical advice to my patient.”
The last sentence was quite harsh, and it made Ling Ran sound very territorial, making the Ph.D. student feel embarrassed.
A few seconds later, Xue Haochu suddenly registered Ling Ran’s words. He frowned and asked, “One week? One week, precisely, or almost one week?”
“Almost a week.” Ling Ran knew of Xue Haochu’s doubts. For the sake of a perfect replantation, he used the imported consumables and equipment to make sure that each step was done carefully. If he had just observed this from one aspect, he might not find that it had helped the patient much, but the accumulation of these details could help the patient recover faster and easier.
Judging by Yuan Wei’s postoperative condition after seven days, Ling Ran could basically announce that his fingers had survived.
Xue Haochu obviously did not trust him. He just laughed without saying anything.
Ling Ran might feel good boasting for the time being, but he would definitely be embarrassed when he made the surgical record and the patient’s medical record.