Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How About a Hand for the Little Lady?

I've been a little delinquent in the blogging department--but I have a good excuse. No the dog did not eat my computer...

I had been struggling with wrist pain and stiffness since I broke my scaphoid back in September, 2005. After months of pain and drugs, I finally opted for surgery to repair what we thought was a swollen tendon. At the end of April, I had a deQuervain's release surgery performed. Simple surgery, under a local. In theory. The tourniquet released, filling the surgical field with blood and the surgeon nicked the tendon. I was put under and had a tendon repair done, resulting in 3 weeks in a full cast.

Fine. The cast came off and all seemed fine for about two days, then I bumped my hand on the back of a chair. Agonizing pain, and the sensation of something crawling under my skin. My thumb went limp and wouldn't move. The day before the May long weekend. As we were leaving to go visit my parents out of town.

The next Tuesday, I saw the surgeon, who informed me that the tendon had detatched completely and that the only way to regain use of my thumb was to have another surgery. Swell. Two days later, I had a two and a half hour tendon repair. The surgeon found scarring in the tendon from way back at the break, as well as damage from his surgical boo-boo. There were even tendon shreds in my wrist joint. I woke up with this on my hand.

Note the lovely bruising. This is basically the same cast that I had had for the previous three and a half weeks, but with more padding on the thumb. Immobilized for another 4 weeks. Yup. I got the last splint off on the Tuesday morning before Olds College Fibre Week. I drove to Olds on Friday, took a spinning workshop with Carol Rhoades on Saturday and Sunday, demoed the Ashford Knitter's Loom on Tuesday and have not stopped spinning, weaving, or knitting since.

I am still going to physio and will be for some time. My thumb is still stiff and I have lost a fair bit of muscle mass in the entire hand and lower arm, but I'm coming back. Fortunately for me, knitting is one of the recommended exercises for recovery from wrist and hand injuries. I do have this lovely scar to remind me of the whole thing.

Not too pretty, but I can use my hand again. Nothing makes you as conscious of what is precious to you more than losing it.

Speaking of which, the same day that I was told that I needed a second surgery, my father was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic lung cancer. But that's a whole other post.