2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Week three after hand surgery...




 Monday of this week, I traded this:



for this:

A fun happening...  The Physical or Occupational Therapist who created my splint is a young lady I've known since she was probably in middle school.  Her family and ours were in two homeschool co-ops together, and eventually in the same church.  I don't think I've seen her but maybe once since she graduated and went off to college.  And now 12 years later we ran into each other in an Indianapolis hospital and I had the pleasure of receiving the sweetest care while we caught up a bit on each other's families.  Is that just the best kind of surprise or what!


While the removable splint is its own kind of miserable, it's definitely an improvement over the thick splint and wrap I left the surgery center in two weeks prior.   Mostly because I can take this one off for short stints when I'm sitting and not moving my hand.  


Above, I show the liner I wear with the splint, and provide links below on the chance that anyone reading finds themselves ever needing something like this.   I bought these off Amazon:  A package of off-white ones (in size small) that match my splint, and a package of white ones (medium size) that are a little less expensive.  I found these by accident when I went online looking for more of the material the OT gave me because I realized once I was home that what I was given from OT wouldn't last me very long.

The liner I received in OT didn't have a thumb section - only a hole the OT-ist cut to poke one's thumb through.  What speeded my realization that a thumb section on a liner would be a great help is that the cut thumb hole stretched.  A LOT.  Which was problematic because I found it really difficult to tolerate my now nerve-sensitive skin being in constant contact with the plastic splint.  And when my super tender skin near the surgery site would occasionally pull away from the plastic (or I would pull the splint away from my skin), it was downright painful.   It only took me one night of that misery to decide to purchase these liners.  And thank goodness, through the wonders of Amazon Prime I had them the next evening.  Wearing a liner with a long thumb covering makes a big difference in the comfort level.  If you're ever fitted with a hard splint, I recommend a liner like this.  I've also seen someone wear these with soft splints.  I imagine they would help a soft splint stay a bit cleaner...

Just for fun, here's a picture the surgeon drew for Hub after surgery - to show him what was involved:

My surgeon does a variation of CMC Arthroplasty, where after removing the trapezium bone (at the base of the thumb) he pulls tendons together under the thumb to create a little sling or hammock to support the remaining thumb bones.  This surgery is done to relieve (and remove) severe arthritis of the basal joint of the thumb.  A not uncommon ailment for women (and some men) around my age (early 60's).

My OT (who is someone different from my young friend who created my splint) told me that of all the patients he helps (working with patients of 3 different hand surgeons in the same practice), the ones with this type of surgery and after-surgery-splinting seem to have the fewest complaints during OT.  I'm braced for quite a bit of pain before completely healing, but since I haven't started OT yet, I don't really have a clue what exactly that means.  I'm feeling thankful, but not sure why.

And that's week three after surgery!  I don't necessarily plan to give regular updates, but if anyone is interested in what is involved (either before or directly after surgery, or during the physical and occupational therapy), let me know and I might just share more.  I expect to be doing the work of therapy for the next three months.  Hopefully, I'll finish before the end of the year, but time will tell.

Praying for people struggling with the devastation of Hurricane Ian.  And for those who perhaps didn't lose anyone, or anything valuable, but are going to experience their own kind of loss as they help others, and simply live and work amongst the constant reminders of this tragedy.  It's amazing to see so many volunteers already setting up to help those in need, and to serve those who are already working tirelessly to rescue and recover.  While Operation BBQ Relief has been around for years, I heard about this organization for the first time on tonight's ABC evening news.  The segment with David Muir was more detailed and gave more information about what all is really involved in this operation, but this will give you an idea of what these people do, if you don't know:


I love the comment:  "Tell me you're American without telling me you're an American."   


21 comments:

  1. I'm glad that your recovery is progressing well Becki and hope that physio and OT are not too painful. I'm with you about the Hurricane Ian destruction my heart goes out to all of those who have been affected.x

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  2. Praying for you and your recovery. You have a lovely attitude. Praying for people who have lost everything in the hurricane-my problems seem very tiny in comparison.

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    1. Oh Debra, I know... even a post mentioning the "misery" of wearing an uncomfortable splint feels tiny. It IS tiny in comparison. But every ache, or painful moment that I'm drawn to complain about, is also a reminder to pray for those who suffer so much worse.

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  3. That was a nice bonus to that particular appointment. I'm sure that it was very pleasant to catch up with this young lady now OT.

    Yes, I doubt that any Floridian will be unaffected by the hurricane. I feel "affected" by it and I am way up here in Maine. It is horrifying to see all that damage and know how much people will suffer getting things back in order IF they ever do.

    Good to know that those liners are available at Amazon. I just used to shamelessly beg at my OT's office. 🤦🏻‍♀️

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    1. Vee, I couldn't shed myself of the OT provided liner quick enough when these got delivered. In trying to understand how painful this splint is (aside from being hard and creating new aches and pain points), I'm realizing today (and have added it above) the issue with not having full coverage is problematic because skin around the surgery site, or that covers the nerves radiating out from the surgery site is hyper sensitive. Having that skin securely covered makes the splint more tolerable, even if still uncomfortable. At my next OT appointment I'm going to suggest if they can't provide their patients with something like this, at least tell them it exists so they can (hopefully) quickly purchase their own.

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  4. Happy to hear that you're making forward progress in your recovery. Good for you on finding those helpful liners for the sling!

    It is difficult to think of the immediate devastation and the long term recovery in Florida. Those folks are in my prayers!

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    1. Cheryl, while we all sympathize, it's truly hard to wrap one's mind around so much devastation, when this happens. Wherever it happens. Heartbreak all the way around.

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  5. Sharing your surgery experiences is good information. I think knowing first hand can ease stress for folks that might need the same procedure.

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    1. Thanks, May. I know I have benefitted from a few Youtubers who've shared their experience. Some of them had ideas for being prepared to be one handed. It benefitted me so much. And some things I've come up with on my own. Maybe I should write a post about things like that!

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  6. You must be coming along nicely if you're able to write a blog post. Glad to hear that and that you're healing.
    Yes, prayers for the devastation caused by both Fiona and Ian and for the people who now have to rebuild their lives, homes and businesses.

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    1. Yes, Mary Anne, it has felt like quite an improvement from even earlier in the week. I do have to be careful, though. Every once in a while I reach too far for a key and pain shoots down into my wrist. Or I turn my wrist and it comes up against the splint - letting me know with a sharp pain. I'm glad you mentioned Fiona. That had not been on my radar. I wonder if our news didn't cover it, or if I was otherwise distracted.

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    2. Further on the Fiona comment - you're not the only one who didn't notice that Canada took a big hit too so don't feel bad!

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  7. WOW. Wishing you all the best over this long recovery.

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    1. Thank you. From everything I've found online, it seems to be very much worth it in the end. Right now I can't even imagine going through this for the second hand, but I hear people say once the first hand heals up and is pain free (3-6 months later), they were more than ready to have the second hand repaired too. I hope I feel that way!

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  8. Glad to hear the good report. I am impressed at your surgeon's artistry. I am every more appreciative of and thankful for those in medicine. Best wishes for continued recovery.

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    1. Thank you, Bob. I, too, am very appreciative of those who work in medicine. And so glad to have this condition that surgery can (generally) repair.

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  9. You poor thing! Hope you'll get well very soon, dear Becki.
    Amalia
    xo

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  10. It's a small world! How neat that the PT woman used to be a part of your life 12 yrs ago!

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    1. It was pretty special to see her again - and for her to take care of me.

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