2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

I've gotta stop doing this...

Disappearing that is...

You wouldn't know it, but I have started a number of posts in the last two months (in fact, this post was begun a couple of weeks ago), but I just couldn't bring myself to finish typing and hit publish.

Today I decided I just need to DO IT! and hope this post gets me over a what's been feeling like a very challenging autumn.

In the early weeks after my hand surgery, there didn't seem to be much to write about - except for the after-surgery pain, and I had no interest in writing about that.  Especially then.  And when occupational therapy started (about 3 1/2 weeks post surgery) suddenly I found myself both deliriously happy to be moving my painful stiff hand, and at the same time worried that therapy was starting late and going slowly.  From the start, though, my OTist has told me I'm doing great, and I can say that now that I'm 2 1/2 months post surgery, I do see the progress.   

Even so, I am daily tempted to worry because the progress is soooo slow. 

It just is.  It's not just me feeling that it is.  I'm assured every week that healing from this surgery is a long road, so I keep telling myself to not worry; all will fine in another 3 months or so.  That's what they keep telling me.

One YouTuber who's had CMC Arthroplasty surgery calls it brutal. Before my surgery I thought she was surely exaggerating, but now I get it.  The pain is tough in the early days after surgery - mostly due to doctors being fearful of giving out too much narcotic pain medicine, which just makes me angry if I can be completely honest.  And then in the early weeks after surgery the slow slog through therapy begins (mostly done at home, alone) and it becomes its own kind of brutal. Every new stretch, or squeeze, or push promises new pain - for a week or so until the hand gets used to that movement and sore muscles and tendons heal over and over again, it seems. 

Fortunately, most of that pain is behind me.   At this point, the main discomfort I feel is some residual stiffness due to there still being a bit of swelling, and there remains nerve pain from the surgery.  The nerve pain can take me by surprise and it's rough when it strikes, but I am told this is normal, and should heal over time.

So... I will not sugar coat it.  While I don't want to discourage anyone from considering this surgery, it should not be entered into lightly.  I hope, some months from now I can tell you it was worth it, but I only know right now that it's been a slog.  That said, I hang onto daydreams of holding needlework in this hand, and stitching with the other.  I imagine playing the piano, and even picking up a guitar (though I can't quite fathom my left thumb ever being strong enough to brace against the back of a guitar neck again).  I promise, though, if it does get strong enough I'll shout it from the roof top - of this blog, anyway.  

I can fix my hair finally.  Remember I mentioned early on I got a perm a couple weeks before surgery?  I thought it would be a great wash and wear hair style.  It was not.  For two months, I had to labor one-handed, applying product, and slowly diffusing my hair to partial dryness so I could look like a curly poodle instead of a frizzy bichon.  I think it was two weeks ago I found my hand was strong enough to grasp my hot rollers.  I now have my smooth hair back - and the perm provides some nice body.  The perm is finally, paying off for me.  

Let me be clear...  I love curly hair.  Especially others' curly hair.  Hub and sons have curly hair and it's amazing.  I might have enjoyed learning how to work with mine if I hadn't given myself curly hair two weeks before becoming one-handed. It was a silly lesson to have to learn, but I've learned it's better to work with what is familiar in such a situation rather than think two weeks before a major challenge is a good time to introduce something new. 

Okay... enough about my hand.   And my hair.   Even though my hair has been a thing...

If anyone is actually reading this, I really don't deserve you.  But thank you, if you're here. Not only did I not have it in me to be active on my own blog, I found I had little to give when visiting others' blogs. I tried for a week or two, and then fizzled.  Soon it became impossible to keep up, let alone catch up.  Who knew having two surgeries in 3 1/2 months' time could suck so much inner drive out of a person.  I sure didn't.

And then there was Covid.  Yep...  the year just wouldn't have been complete if I didn't catch Covid.  And boy - has it kicked my keister!  I caught it a little over a week ago when helping a single girlfriend who was so sick she had to go the ER.  She was severely dehydrated and thought maybe she had the flu.  It didn't matter to me what she had, she needed help, and I was glad to be there for her.  I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but when the doctor came into her little room where we had been sharing air space for a couple of hours to tell her the results of her test, I was not expecting to hear she had Covid.  I know...  What rock have I been living under?!?

Ah well...  I've been saying for the last year, we all just need to suck it up and expect to take our turn with it, so it appeared my turn had finally come.  

A little segue...  After consulting with my doctor last spring I told her I was inclined to take a pass on the Covid boosters.  Things had gotten better, I didn't have any serious health concerns, and the number of infections were way down back then.  The word was Omicron wasn't as bad as previous variants.  Really hadn't Covid stopped being something we needed to worry so much about?  Well, somehow it was suddenly November (the week of Thanksgiving, no less) and I evidently didn't notice that people were getting sick again.  

That is, until hubs went to every pharmacy in town (I can't remember when - maybe Monday?) to buy me some cough medicine with alcohol in it and the shelves were bare.  It seems EVERYone is getting sick again.  He brought home a number of offerings, but none promised to put me to sleep and out of my miserable congested, coughing state.

After three nights of struggling to sleep, I searched the house and discovered a several year's old (expired by over a year) bottle of overnight cold and flu medicine laced with 10% alcohol.  I swigged a shot down and smiled as my innards warmed, imagining the sleep I'd soon be enjoying.  It's becoming my nightly ritual.  I'm smiling just thinking about it now.

It's been a slow climb out of the congestion and coughing.  And the fatigue renders me pretty useless still - now 5 days in.  On Monday I had a virtual appointment with my doctor and while she prescribed Paxlovid (at my request) she did tell me for as many days as I'd been sick already, the unpleasant side effects of the Pax might not be worth it since I'd likely be better before I was finished with the 5-day regimen.  I thought on it, and I decided to forgo it, and have continued to slog through with my cough medicine and maximum strength generic Mucinex, and figure sooner or later I'll emerge - singing the high notes again.  Well, the alto notes, anyway...

BTW, one of the reasons I even brought up the Covid shots, and me not getting boosted is because my dear hubs (after getting his 3rd, 4th & 5th? jabs) had been asking me if I was going to get mine.  "Nah", I said.  I didn't think it was necessary.  

The chances of getting seriously sick are pretty slim I thought.

Even when my friend looked at me sadly and said how sorry she was that I was now exposed to Covid, I smiled and said, "It was going to happen sooner or later.  I've made peace with it."

So cavalier was I.

Okay...  so I'm likely going to make a full recovery, but the real story here is Hubs has been basically symptom free while I've been hacking up a lung for the last 5 days.  He had a bit of a scratchy throat a day or two after I came down sicker than a dog, but now he tells me he feels fine.  I'll be sure to update if he comes down sick, but dang!  If his boosters are what has made his airways like teflon, I'm thinking the credit most likely goes to the shots.

We'll never know for sure.  Maybe he just has some super power resistance to Covid (doubtful), or maybe he just hasn't walked through any virus ladened mists I've left behind (not likely), or maybe it's the N95 mask he wears when he enters a room I'm occupying.  I don't know.  I just wish I'd gotten boosted this fall.  I wish I could have potentially experienced feeling like I have super powers too.  

To be clear (again - because I really like to be clear) I'm not into telling others what they should do.  This isn't meant to be an endorsement of these "vaccines".  I don't care if people get vaccinated or not - against anything, really.  I'm as against mandatory Covid shots as I ever was.  I'm just relating our anecdotal experience.

This post has gone on way too long.  Be thankful I'm not going to bore you with all that's gone on since I was last here.  So much has happened this fall, that I've already forgotten most of it.  It has been a ride, though.  And I'm glad the roller coaster of 2022 is going to be shutting down soon.

I'm so worn out by this year that I think after this post, I may just continue my blogging break until the new year.  I might do a 2022 wrap-up.  Or I may just give 2022 quick good-bye kiss and kick it to the curb.

I have missed visiting with many of you on your blogs.  I'm going to start showing my face again, but I'm going to right here, right now, ask your forgiveness for not even trying to catch up with all I've missed.  I hope you all are having a better final quarter of 2022.  Or if you're struggling, I hope I can glean enough from what you're now sharing to be able to offer encouragement to you.

If you're still reading, you are really too kind.  If you leave me a comment and let me know you were here, I'll mention you in my prayers - giving thanks to my Heavenly Father for you and your encouragement.

Love and peace to you all.  



32 comments:

  1. Well goodness! You certainly have had a bit of a rocky road the past few months. We debated on the latest booster and decided to go for it since we were traveling to Las Vegas and their covid numbers were climbing. So glad we did. People were coughing and sneezing without covering their mouths or noses. So disgusting. You are a good friend for taking your friend to the ER. Sorry you got ill though. It was good to see your post. May the rest of 2022 be gracious to you.

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    1. Oh Marsha, you are such a faithful blogging friend. :) Thank you for the well wishes. I hope you enjoy all your holiday prep, and that you stay healthy!

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  2. Prayers for your health
    You have been missed. Blogging at the pace you are comfortable with is best.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope others are encouraged to get the vaccine shot(s). Big thank you on the cough medicine. I will because to have one handy just in case.
    Your hand surgery ordeal is scary. I know it can take a very long time for the body to heal after a fall, tearing a muscle many years ago. Intense pain doctor then, prescribed headache level pain relief, and no tests. Crying strangely gave me some relief when I'd bang my shoulder or couldn't find a good pillow position for my arm.

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    1. Thank you, May. I'm really not trying to scare anyone from having this surgery. My OTist tells me I'm doing well, and the recovery is long. It's one thing to read and be told that it can take 3-6 months to be mostly pain free, and a full year to have one's hand strength back to normal, but experiencing the process is another thing altogether. My hope is that in the end, I will have a pain-free hand, and I can eventually be an encouragement to people to not be afraid of doing this. I hope this post just serves as a documentation of the hard part, and that it is all worth it in the end. I will be sure to report more as time goes on.

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  3. It is so lovely to hear from you again! But what a slog since the surgery. I am praying for health and continued healing on you hand.
    I do have to say, your curly hair journey did make me chuckle a little. I so wanted curly hair as a child - I do love it on others. And now my hair has more of a wave/curl to it than ever before, probably because I haven't washed and blown it dry every morning for the past 2 years. But trying to style it with the wave and curl? Not been a successful venture yet.
    I hope this December leads to more smiles and warm memories!
    (Blogging on your own schedule sounds like the perfect holiday gift!)

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    1. It is good to hear from you, Christi. When I was a very little girl, my mother would sometimes give me pin curls on Saturday night. I have a feeling those curls probably only lasted an hour or so on Sunday morning. :) From third grade on I remember having a pixie hair cut. By Jr. High, straight hair was finally popular and I grew it long and straight and wore it that way through most of high school. Marsha & Jan Brady were my inspiration. lol

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  4. It certainly sounds rugged. I hope that having gone through all you describe, including covid, that you are on the upswing. 🙏🏼 What a good friend you are. (It's your blog so I won't share what I think about certain issues. If you are interested, you can email me. ☺️ Otherwise, mum's the word, even on my blog.)

    Have a blessed December!

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    1. Hi Vee. I think once I get all this gunk out of me and I start to overcome the fatigue life will be good again. Yeah... I don't care to get very political here, but I will say I am grateful that more full information is getting out about the covid shots, and some doctors and researchers are finding the climate more conducive to them sharing their findings. The censorship we've witnessed for the last three years is far more dangerous and frightening than covid, imo. While I may say (when I'm feeling sick) I wish I'd taken the third shot, we'll see how I feel about it 6 months from now, or next year when the next booster comes out. I was resistant this time. There may be even more reason to be resistant at that point. Or maybe fears will be allayed. Time will tell... maybe.

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  5. Glad to hear that all is (relatively) okay Becki. Hopeful news on the surgery (I am doing a much less rigorous physical rehab on my shoulder and that is not pleasant, so I cannot imagine it with a hand surgery.

    At least 60% of us in the TB househould have gotten The Plague now. I and the youngest, Nighean Dhonn, have not - yet. As you say, likely at this point it is when, not if. Hopefully this will be an (unpleasant) memory for you soon.

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    1. I need to visit your blog again, TB, and see what's going on with your shoulder! Thank you for the well wishes. :)

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  6. Well, about time we saw you again! I'm very glad you're able to write, wish you get well vibes and don't worry about catchup in other blogs. I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering if you'd left the blog world. So glad you haven't.

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    1. Hi Liz. Thank you for thinking about me. I know I've had to have missed a whole lot of creative stuff coming from you on your blog the last couple of months. See you there shortly!

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  7. Dear one, I totally understand a blog break. I haven't had the smoothest of years either. Maybe we will have a better '23. Take care of yourself. I think there are so many little bugs other than Covid out there now, that trying to stay healthy is harder than ever. Glad you are on the mend. The surgery doesn't sound fun at all and hoping it gets better with each day. See you when you feel like blogging how ever long that takes.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy. I know you've had a lot on your plate for several years. I'm already looking forward to seeing what 2023 holds. :)

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  8. Great post Becki, I read it all, and am so glad you feel well enough to humorously write all this.

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    1. Thank you, Sherri. I'm glad my dry humor comes through. Laughter (or even just some chuckles) can be the best medicine. :)

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  9. Oh my goodness, Becki my heart goes out to you, what a time of it you've had, no wonder you haven't felt like blogging. I haven't either but I don't have as good as excuse as you, sometimes the words just don't come.
    I hope you are feeling better by now and the healing process speeds up for you. You take care and blog as often or as little as you like. 😘😘
    .

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    1. Interesting, Linda... once I hit "publish" I felt like my writing block disappeared. My first thought was maybe I should capitalize on that feeling and not take a break after all. :) And now today the fatigue is back and I wonder what on earth I could possibly write about now. I guess the slog continues. For a bit anyway.

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  10. Oh Sweet one! That's SUPER hard 😳 I had my foot surgery not as serious and can only imagine how hard yours is! Hand pain would be so difficult! I did my first day out today post surgery 7 weeks ago and I am exhausted. May God comfort and encourage you 🙏 ❤️

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Elizabeth. I haven't kept up with your progress, but I imagined your foot surgery was possibly a slowly healing one too. I'm glad you're getting out. While I've been driving for about 3-4 weeks I remember that first time I took myself out and did errands I was totally whipped. I have a feeling I'm going to have the same experience once I go out after this covid business passes.

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  11. Sorry you guys got hit with it. So glad you're back to blogging and I can understand the frustrations of not healing or not fast enough. Here's hoping that you can tell us later that the surgery was worth it and that you are all the way, pain-free. Great to see you blogging again.

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    1. So good to see you, Ivy! Yes! I do hope to be the bearer of good news once my hand it totally healed. So many people have had great success from having this surgery done. I'm hoping I'm one of them.

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    2. I am sending healing wishes your way that you are also among the great success. No fun being in pain, that's for sure. Happy FriYay!

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  12. Thank you, Mary Anne. Yes, the gal I caught this from had completely different symptoms than I have. And hubs has only had a bit of a scratchy throat - though he's wondered if that is just psychosomatic. So far he tests negative for covid. Weird how the same strain can cause different symptoms and severity of symptoms. Or maybe it's not weird at all. Maybe it's all about viral load and people simply having different susceptibilities...

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  13. Oh nooooo....I'm so sorry you got the creeping crud. It does sound like you got hit pretty hard with it. I've been thinking about you-so I'm very glad you wrote about what's going on. It was very interesting to read-but quite a different experience to live it! My son and his wife are recuperating from it right now. Two weeks in-and they've been married 3 weeks. At least they had a healthy covid free week of honeymoon! Get well soon my friend. Praying for you.

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    1. Ooooh... getting sick right after getting married. That's tough. Glad they had a good honeymoon. Thank you for stopping by, Debra. I look forward to seeing what you're creating. :)

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  14. Oh my friend! I am so happy to see you here. I have thought about you and wondered how you are doing. I am sorry you are dealing with all this. Covid is horrible, and now the flu is also going around. I will pray for continued healing and a healthy new year!

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    1. Thank you, Billie Jo. Prayers are greatly appreciated. I am pumping vitamins and pushing myself to try to overcome the fatigue. I'm feeling much better, but I still can't get over how wiped out this gotten me. And of course, I realize I haven't had it nearly so bad as some...

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  15. Good to hear from you! Sorry the recovery is slow and hope you continue to improve. And Covid! Is it not the gift that keeps on giving?!

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    1. Thank you, Bob. I finally started coming out from underneath the covid cloud a couple of days ago. Still coughing, but the fatigue has lifted. Just for fun I tested myself today and don't have any evidence of the virus in me at this point. I feel normal again.

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  16. I'm so glad to read all this, 2 years ago I broke a finger (now I have 3 screws in) and i couldn't understand how helpful post surgery therapy was until I went. Really slow recovering. 6 months later, I got my wedding ring fixed, but I must have still been a bit swollen. It often just slips off! And thank you for writing that you're against mandatory Covid shots. Freedom is important. Our Heavenly Father is so good to us!

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    1. I could have written that even stronger. I really don't mean to even sound all that supportive of the covid shots at this point in time. It was my utter fatigue and still feeling bad (even as I was writing this post) that was speaking more than I think my hubs was likely so completely protected from getting sick because he was boosted. We were (somewhat) cautious, but I do think it's amazing he never even tested positive.

      Re hands healing. Years ago I had an accident and injured one of my hands where I tore a ligament and even pulled some bone away from one finger. It was a long time healing and I finally benefitted from therapy (I think mostly I benefitted then from ultrasound therapy). Even hearing repeatedly how long it could take to heal, I simply couldn't comprehend how slow it would seem. And how constant the pain would remain for so many weeks. And how miniscule the healing would seem from week to week. But even this week I feel better than when I wrote this post, so I'm back to being hopeful. My last therapy session was this week, and while I was a little worried about being "cut loose" before my hand felt ready, now that it's done I am actually relieved. So much about that experience (mostly regarding communication) was just awful.

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