Recuperation

Well, here I am again, 8 days after the carpal tunnel surgery. The actual procedure was fine. Local anaesthetic, no sedation, jolly chatty staff in the operating theatre. The most painful bit was the actual injection of local anaesthetic! surprisingly, although it very quickly went numb. Then they did the steroid injection into the thumb, which was a bit painful, but bearable. The clever bit was the tourniquet. They wrapped a big wad of padding round the top of my left arm, then the tourniquet, which they left loose. Next, they put my hand and arm through a sort of great big inflated tube which looked like a giant sea slug. That pushed all the blood to the top of my arm, then they tightened the tourniquet.

No pain at all after that, but murmurings of the surgeon, pointing out to his assistant that they could see the problem. The carpal tunnel must be quite thick and tough to cut through, and when they’d finally snipped through the last little bit, I felt my hand actually relax. All my fingers sort of went “whoof” and relaxed. Amazing.

Huge bandage, hand like a lollipop, but necessary I suppose.

We were at the hospital by 7.30 am, in theatre by 9.30 am, ready to go home at 10.30 am. Very fast and efficient. Four stitches (I actually watched them sewing me up with pretty blue thread) which have to come out on 21st March. I will be highly relieved when they do come out. I can’t get the dressing wet at all, which makes showering interesting. I took the huge dressing off on Saturday night (3 1/2 days after surgery) because it was making me clumsy (well, clumsier), and driving me mad. Since then I’ve changed the dressing every day, and it’s clean and dry and fine. I use a disposable glove, sealed round the bottom of it with duct tape, to shower, and that works fine.

The pain in my hand and wrist disappeared immediately after the surgery. My hand was numb until the next morning, but I have hardly any pain other than the stitches. There is occasional, temporary aching up my forearm a short way, and the thumb’s a bit sore still, but it’s early days. I have to go back to the hospital in 6 weeks to see how things are.

Luckily it is my left hand that was causing the problem, and I’m right-handed. ED is left-handed, so this would have been much more difficult for her to deal with, and I can’t imagine how I would manage if they had to operate on my right hand. But at the moment, there is only intermittent, bearable pain. We’ll see how things develop when I start knitting again (very soon I hope).

To protect the dressing, I’m wearing an “anti-arthritis” fingerless glove. Very attractive (not) in lime green. Who ever thought that was a good colour? so I’ve ordered another couple of pairs in white. Useful for now, and also for when I knit/sew/make cards.

The only problem has been the tiredness. I always, always forget. This was my 16th lot of surgery, and even though it was a local anaesthetic, it still knocks me about and makes me very, very tired. I suppose that just the operation is a sort of shock to one’s system. And a general anaesthetic is another shock, so I try to avoid that if I can. I am managing to stay awake for two to three hours a day, then sleep for four hours, then stagger about again. But it’ll pass.

I’ve had to cancel all engagements over the next few days. Mother’s coming over on Tuesday next week for coffee, then stitches out Wednesday, then osteopath Thursday – hopefully I’ll be able to drive by then.

Even managed to file my nails today – wasn’t expecting that to go well, but it did. They were looking like talons, and I hate that. So a success to chalk up. If I’d put it on one of my lists, I’d be able to tick it off. Yay!

Must go. Hubby is making dinner. It’s actually Stitch club tonight, but I’m really not ready for that just yet. He always has egg, chips and beans on a Thursday night, so that’s what he’s having. Me, baked potato. Love them.

Well, that’s it so far on Planet Loony Feminist.

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