Day 3 of UBC and NaBloPoMo challenges
Most of my Facebook friends know that I will be having surgery on my right wrist on July 11.
The official diagnosis is de Quervain’s syndrome, defined in Wikipedia as “a tenosynovitis of the sheath or tunnel that surrounds two tendons that control movement of the thumb.” (Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the tendon sheath.)
More than a year ago, in late winter, I began to feel pain in my hand and wrist. I had been crocheting a lot at that time and, of course, working on the computer every day. I bought an elastic-bandage-type wrist brace and began to wear it.
Around April I was still having the pain. I had an appointment with my doctor, and he gave me a cortisone shot. Within a day or two I felt much better and resumed crocheting.
I was fine for the summer, but shortly into the fall I began to start feeling twinges of pain again. I eventually got another cortisone shot, but my doctor warned me that if it happened again he’d have to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon.
It happened again, around springtime this year. I began to get frustrated. After the second cortisone shot last year I was able to finish an afghan for my sister-in-law for Christmas and became active in my church prayer-shawl group again. I had finished two shawls and was at work on another when it hit again this time.
As the old saying goes, “the third time is the charm.” Or, in this case, the final blow.
I saw the orthopedic surgeon, who gave me a (mostly incomprehensible to me) explanation of the anatomy of the wrist tendons.
He gave me a choice: another cortisone shot, “conservative” therapy (mostly wearing a huge Victorian-boot-type thing around my wrist), or surgery. But, he said, since I’d had two cortisone shots and neither of them cured it, he didn’t expect that another one would, either. Wanting to resolve this once and for all, I opted for the surgery.
I told him I’d have to finish up my work projects first; as a freelancer, I have no one to delegate my work to. I’d need till about the end of June. In the meantime he gave me a pain-relieving cream and the aforementioned Victorian-boot brace. “Wear it while you’re using the hand,” he said. Well, there was no way I could work or do anything with that manacle on my hand, so I continued with my elastic brace.
So now I’m waiting. Surgery date is set, my work is cleared up, I’m free for another week. I had an EKG with my primary-care doctor. I have my presurgery instructions. Two days before surgery, start taking Vitamin C. On the morning of, nothing to eat or drink; just two Celebrex with a sip of water. He gave me samples of these.
Although I’ll be glad to have this problem resolved, I’m thinking about what the aftermath will be like. I’ll have to wear a cast or brace for ten days. Will I be able to use the hand at all? Will I be able to eat, wash, brush my teeth? No instructions yet about any of those things. How big will the brace be? After the ten days I’ll begin rehab. When will I be able to resume my work?
I know one thing: I won’t be able to do any housework. But I know with a little “reminder,” my dear husband will do it willingly and well!