Thanks for the well wishes and encouragement. So, seven days post CMC joint replacement, here are my impressions:
- Call me naive, but I was thinking of this as thumb surgery, but it really is a whole hand operation. It will be awhile before the other four fingers are able to function. Has to do with the repositioning of tendon... I now understand the strange comment in the OR, when they placed my seemingly detached limb on my chest, wrapped in a towel, "This is your baby. Take care of it," she said. No kidding, I have to be very gentle with it, especially these swollen fat pink little piggies that stick out of the cast. A good lesson in motherhood. If I am not careful and accidentally bump them, I'm the one who feels their pain, sounding like the piggy, all squealy through gritted teeth. And like real babies, they keep me up at night.
- What is the deal with the current thinking regarding pain control? When I had my ACL graft I was given a two weeks round the clock oxy-contin. I weaned myself off with plenty to spare, adequate pain control and no ill effects. On a lesser drug, oxy-nothing, this time was miserable and would have been worse if not for the few leftover pills from last time. When I asked about it the dr said it was too heavy a drug for this application. Whose pain is it? It certainly increases my reluctance for future surgeries. The good news, starting day six, regular tylenol worked fine. Having given this further thought, I think the problem comes from the trend towards day surgeries. In the old days pain control was handled effectively in the hospital. That and the fear of creating addiction. Next time I'll bring in proof of my years working in chemical dependency treatment to ease their minds in that regard.
- At least it was my right hand. Given clothing and undergarment choices with lots of elastic and a family willing to leave jars half open, the only things I haven't been able to do is drive and shave my right armpit. There are worse things in life. Of course my current life is walking around the house with my arm in the air until it becomes too sore and then I lay down with my arm positioned differently in the air. And this one handed typing...I keep looking up at the screen to find chunks of missing words. Looking forward to the day I can press the shift key with my left hand. Baby steps.
- A shower is my highlight, as near to normal as the experience can be, as long as there is costco sized saran available and someone to wrap up my arm.
I had an image of luxurious time off, painting with one arm, perhaps holding a project wth my exposed fingers while wielding a crochet hook with the good hand. I am laughing out loud while writing this. The truth is, one week in, all I've done is read and sleep, with a limited amount of one sided keyboarding activities. I'm going to remind myself of this post prior to the right side being done.
Here's a painting I did right before the big event:
Bellingham Bay, from a photo taken from my phone while on the Amtrak.