Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Post Op Day 20

And the brace/splint came off for the last time this morning. Things look very good - they did several strength tests - my grip is about half with the right hand that it is with the left, but the pinch tests are nearly identical.

I got a big ol' glob of green silly putty to do exercises with, and a weird sticky pad to wear over the scar at night to help soften it up (it feels a little 'thick' under the scar right now).

The most surprising thing was no more PT - only the two visits. See the dr. again in two weeks, and I figure that will be it.

Monday, January 10, 2011


So today the stitches came out - three snips, three tugs and gone. The dr. says it looks good, and I'm making good progress. It will take time to build back all the strength in my hand, and I'm still restricted from fully using it for another week (while I have the brace on).

It is nice not having the pain or numbness I had, and I'm looking forward to getting back to some of my hobbies (i.e modeling and painting 'ugly little figures' as my wife calls them).

It is also really nice to be able to type and use the mouse on the computer without it hurting nearly constantly.

The question that remains is the left hand. It is not nearly as bad as the right - there is absolutely no urgency for it at all. The Dr. thinks I should have it done as well, but there is no hurry about it. I'm not so sure, simply because the symptoms are so slight as compared to what I had. It is, honestly, like what my right had been for what - 18 years?. Meaning that occasionally it bothers me at night, on long drives, or mowing the lawn (but then what are teenage boys for if no mowing the lawn). It doesn't normally bother me, and I will go days, if not weeks, between feeling any symptoms in it. The tests did come back with a moderate level, and one important thing is to get it dealt with before there is any nerve damage.

One thing I have to consider though is how much is my weight affecting it? Maybe this is yet another reason why I need to get off my fat ass and get back on a program and get rid of this excess. I did it once, I can do it again.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Physical Therapy

Well, not really any therapy yet. But the bandages are now gone (yeah!!!) - just a little piece of gauze and a thin compression sleeve on the stitches, and a new splint that I have to wear for the next two weeks.

The therapist said I had really good range of motion and the stitches looked great. The Dr has put in a drain - basically about a 1/8" wide thin piece of plastic that stuck out either end of the incision to allow any blood or other stuff to drain out - the therapist pulled that as well since it was no longer needed (and it didn't look like much had drained out anyway).

Almost no pain. Need to rub the incision several times a day to limit scarring, and have exercises to do to keep things sliding smoothly (I don't want scar tissue to end up doing the same thing the ligament did, or else I could have to do this all over again.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Personal Terrorist tomorrow

Or at least that is what Diane calls her Physical Therapist. I'll just be happy to get this huge bandage off my hand (will make typing and writing quite a bit easier).

Today the incision has been a bit sore, and I think it might be a good idea to take some advil or something before the appointment, depending on what they do. I know I will be getting some putty to manipulate to rebuild strength, but other than that...

Of course before then I have to see about getting the insurance straightened out since it has all changed. I don't even know which one covers what part of it any more. But I hope to find that out at work tomorrow.

It has been kind of weird being off for this long (today was our holiday for New Year's), especially with the kids back in school. If I get the left hand done, at least I know I need more than 1 day (though I don't need 6 definitely!) Of course it would have helped had I not had the flu at the same time (but at least I'm efficient!)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Post op day 4

No pain meds, still a little sore. Still get the sharp, burning feelings when I stretch or move it wrong, often with no idea that it is going to happen.

Stomach flu nearly gone - but still no heat. House is down to 61 right now, with the predicted low tonight of 19. Been keeping the oven on, and venting the dryer inside, plus the one electric radiator going (will move that to the bedroom tonight as it is the coldest room in the house). Doesn't make for comfortable sleeping, especially trying to keep my hand elevated (to I still need to do that?)

One thing I can't do is lift or pull anything - that is where there is absolutely no strength yet. Typing is fine, except for the huge pad of gauze still over my palm that gets in the way. I can touch 3 out of 4 of my fingers now without any discomfort, which I guess is good.

Unfortunately my first therapy was moved to Tuesday from tomorrow, which is one more day of this bandage, but is good in a way. I hope to be able to go into work in Tuesday morning and at least print out something to show the new insurance, since it changed to a different carrier yesterday.

One of the most annoying parts is the bandage itching on my arm - mainly where there is hair there. It will be nice to be able to give my arm and wrist a good rub down to help that once this is gone.

One question in my mind - when do I do the other hand? Not as severe, but still there. I want to work it a bit better around my schedule (such as Diane's birthday trip at the end of the month, and then the Cincinnati BeerFest that I've already got tickets for).

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Meds and pain

It has been interesting, getting the stomach flu while recovering from surgery. A good 24 hours without eating or taking my pain meds, and I think I have figured something out.

Apparently there are two different types of pain to deal with after the surgery. The first, which is what I could deal with but was not going away like I thought it should, was a dull, sore ache when moving or trying to use my hand at all. The meds did not affect that at all.

The second is the actual pain from the incision. That is much more of a sharp, intense, burning (like being cut with a burning knife). The meds made that go away completely - it wasn't until I wasn't taking them (in an attempt to keep my stomach where it belonged) that I began to notice it.

So the meds are working as they should. I wonder if the stitches are stuck to the bandage, because at times it feels like they are pulling (and not always predictable - often the odd movement sets that off).

But I now seem to be able to keep some food down, and everything is getting back to where it should be. I will be very glad on Tuesday to get the bulky bandage off.