Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just Slit My Wrist!


No, really! I saw the surgeon today, and that's just what he's going to do--cut into my hand/wrist and cut through the carpal tunnel sheath to free up the nerves. I don't have a date for surgery yet--next we wait for approval by the workers' comp insurance company and then schedule the surgery. Right now, it looks like it will probably happen around mid to late June.

You know what that means? From the time of surgery, it will be six to eight weeks before I'll be able to use my right hand. I figure a couple weeks into it, I'll wish the doctor had slit my wrist in a BAD way, because not only will I not be able to sew or type very well, but I understand I won't be able to do all the other things in life that most of us take for granted--stuff like pulling up my pants. And who's going to clean my house? At least dishwashing has never been my "chore" so I won't have to give that up, but the rest isn't going to be easy.

The surgeon tells me that given the measurements in my left hand, I'm a candidate for surgery on that one too, but I'm not really suffering any functional limitations in the left hand right now, so we'll put that off. Once I return to work and full time typing, if the left hand starts to bother me, we'll try a cortisone injection, but he said the right hand is probably too far gone for a cortisone injection to be very helpful.

Anyway, when surgery is scheduled, I'll let everyone know, because after surgery, I'm not sure how often I'll be typing posts with my left hand for awhile. ARGH! Maybe I'll also post a volunteer sign-up sheet for things like cleaning my house, pulling up my pants, tying my shoes, etc. Seriously, though, if you've had this surgery on your dominant hand, do you have any tips to help me get through it without going crazy? Your assistance is greatly appreciated!


19 comments:

ratherbquilting said...

Oh, Kim, sorry to hear that!! I kinda thought that's what it was and I kinda think I have the same thing. It will be interesting to get some tips to relieve boredom! I guess you can still read...right?? Books on CD, maybe??? Become ambidextrous????

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

I haven't had any surgeries on my wrist but have had my right shoulder done twice. It's the common every day things that will drive you nuts. There are a few things that can make it a bit easier.

A small pillow to prop your hand up for the first week or so helps ease the pain and swelling.

A couple nice ice packs to keep the swelling down. Use the ice every hour (more or less) for the first few days depending on how it feels and what the doc says.

An electric toothbrush is a must. It is very hard to brush your teeth left handed when you are right handed.

Personal wipes for the bathroom. "Nuff said...

Comfortable loose fitting pull on pants or shorts and t-shirts. Buttoning will be a challenge in the beginning. A pull on sports bra might be helpful too.

As you go through your normal day between now and the surgery try to notice what you are using your right hand for. Then you might be able to figure out different ways to accomplish some things.

Hopefully this surgery will help and you will be happy once it is all over and healed.

WIPPYSPLACE said...

well, I cannot add anything to this--in fact, cant add anything at all--but Robin seems to know what she is talking about, so I INSIST that you listen to her! I am going to take her advice and keep it to heart in case I ever have to have this type of surgery! seems you will have lots of time to learn to hunt and peck with your let hand! ((HUGS))

paula, the quilter said...

I have had this surgery on both wrists along with one for trigger finger (only on my thumb). Robin has it down pat. I am now somewhat ambidextrous because of this surgery. I recommend practicing eating with a fork and spoon and writing your name with your other hand. I haven't had any problems but have noticed a lack of strength when it comes to pulling weeds, so I have found tools to help me in the garden. Good luck.

Vicky said...

I've had both hands done. Trust me, you'll be able to do plenty after your surgery. It's your wrist that's going to be immobilized, not your fingers. I had the stitches out on a Tuesday morning, got on a plane and flew to Houston to take three days of depositions. I wore my braces when I wasn't working, slept in them. I was a little sore, took Tylenol, but life didn't stop one iota for me. In fact, throughout the whole ordeal, years of suffering, I only missed two days of work right after the surgeries. You'll be so glad you had it done. I'd recommend you get them both done at once and get it over with.

Quilt Hollow said...

Just imagine how well your wrist will feel once the healing process is over! Sounds like some reading is in store for the summer...granted holding that book with left hand. :-)

luv2quilt2 said...

Sevral years ago, I had surgery on my left hand for carpal tunnel, a cyst and a trigger finger. Even with cutting in 3 different places, I was still able to use my fingers with no difficulty. I only missed work on the day of surgery. I need to have the right hand done now, and plan to schedule it this summer. I'm tired of the pain and tingling and numbness in my left hand, wrist, arm. Life will be much better for you when it's done. Good luck!!

Denise in PA said...

Kim - best of luck with your surgery! And the aftermath. I don't have any tips for you because the cortisone injections worked for me but I'll send good vibes for a quick recovery!!

Brandie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. But your hands will be better in the end? Maybe you should over do every thing you can, so it will feel like a vacation after surgery.
(that just sounds silly, but do take care)

Gran said...

Sounds like we need to schedule some field trips, and you need to eat with your left hand - I am not cutting your food for you!!!! :o)

Orcsmom said...

Gran said she is not cutting up your food, and I am not pulling up your pants!!! I can sweep and vaccumm, as long as you have a riding vaccumm! Hugs!


Pam

Orcsmom said...

PS-I have some extra Depends is you need them!!!!

Lady of the Cloth said...

Kim, sorry you have to go through this but you'll be good as new after. A friend of mine had it done and found that loose, mu mu type dresses worked best at first because the pants were so hard to pull up with one hand. Undies are easier. Know that all of your blog buddies are pulling for you. (pun not intended)
If I lived closer, I'd gladly come clean for you.

Patty Nordahl said...

Kim
I had both hands done and both times I was able to use my hands right away. I was back to work in 2 days -I am a bookkeeper on the computer alot. You will do fine and unless you're given to wearing spandex bicycle shorts you'll do just fine in the loo!
My only advice is don't let the family know what a piece of cake this is let them pamper you a bit.
BTW it's not your wrist they actually cut but the bottom of your palm. My surgeon fit it right into one of the lines in my hand. Of course that really confused the Gypsy fortune teller but hey..
Patty

carol fun said...

Kim - I love your blog -- sorry to hear about your upcoming surgery but I had it done on my right hand years ago and it really wasn't that bad. I was cross stitching and using my sewing machine 2 days after surgery. As for clothes, some how you will manage but take the advice others have given and let people pamper you a bit.. You deserve it. I'll be anxiously awaiting your return as you always make me smile. take care

carol fun

Laura said...

Sorry to hear about your surgery. Between your hand and your armpit you are having one heck of a spring!

Judy said...

I'm glad they finally figured it out! My words of advise, practice doing everything with your left hand. I about died laughing the first time I brushed my teeth left handed.

Anonymous said...

I broke my right shoulder about 10 years ago. I learned to do a lot with my left hand. In fact, I still use tp with my left hand now and I used to only do that job right handed. Try it.
Chris in Sacramento

Sheri said...

I've had the surgery on both hands...one at a time. My friend had both of hers done at the same time. Neither one of us recommends doing both at the same time....just think about it. I followed doctors orders to perfection. I was out of work for two weeks and when I returned I promptly taught the students how to scan their own books for checkout during library class. I also became very good at using my rotary cutter with my left hand. It is a skill I still use. Robyn gave you great information. Just be patient. I put off my surgery so long on my right hand that I have permanent damage. Actually I didn't put it off I just didn't know what the problem was until I had already done the damage. Life does get back to normal and you will wonder how you ever lasted with so much pain for so long. Best wishes. Hope all turns out good for you. Email if you have any questions.