Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Stuff about Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery and of course, the fibro...

First, let's cover the surgery thing. I didn't- as I'd mentioned in that video- update anyone after the cast thing came off my hand. So, let's start there... sort of.

If you're on my Facebook, you know how it has been going, because I did not one update, not two updates, not three, or four, not even five (which was the start of the second surgery). I did six, seven, eight, nine  updates on my Facebook. All my posts are public, so you should be able to see them.

My first surgery was amazing. Every single day felt like an improvement and within two weeks, I got most of the feeling back in my fingers. Just the very tips of my index and middle fingers are a bit tingly. But, I can feel things with them- including hot, cold, wet, or dry. My second surgery wasn't quite as fun. The pain after surgery was much, much worse. I spent a lot more time elevating and icing than I had to with the first. Even now, I sometimes have to wear a brace to do things- but the weird thing is that I don't have to wear any kind of brace to sleep with anymore. I've slept with braces on my hands for more than ten years. I was worried I wouldn't be able to fall asleep without them, but I adapted very quickly.

Here's a list of things I wish I knew ahead of my first surgery-

1- if you take a fistful of pills in the morning like I do, get yourself one of those days-of-the-week/month pill holders and set that shit up BEFORE  you go in for surgery. I didn't. Didn't even cross my mind. I take some vitamins (prescribed) and some other blood pressure and edema-related pills every morning. And I take a small amount of pills at night (pain meds, muscle relaxers, fibro med).

2- Get bottles without a childproof cap. My pain meds were in the super-dynamic-engineering type of bottle. I had serious problems getting into my bottles. The spouse- you know him, The Disabled Guy- only has the use of one hand himself, so the two of us trying to wedge a childproof cap off a Vicodin bottle was pretty hilarious... not as hilarious as the two of us one-handed wonders trying to get my giant DDD-cup bra on in the morning. Boy, THAT was an experience in pain and hilarity.

3- Get frozen meals or pre-cook/freeze meals. Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have a disabled spouse who is always home. He handled cooking okay and we had takeout and frozen pizza a lot. (he doesn't like to cook very much).

4- Train all of your pets ahead of time to bring you shit. Not actual shit, that's gross. Like, food and drink. Ice packs. Pain medicine. That remote control you kept dropping behind the sofa because you thought setting it on the pillow next to your swollen hand was a good idea.

5- Chihuahuas make good nurses. At least, in THEIR mind, they do.

Here is a link to a photo of  my left hand with stitches visible, and the right one with stitches and bruising. Here's one of just the scars (at four weeks and six weeks). They're not so bad right now, they look more like a slight discoloration than surgical scars.

Now that's out of the way, let's move on to the fibro thing. I think my Generic-Cymbalta-for-fibro has stopped working. I've been dealing with almost-daily flareup pain for just over a month. I have my semi-annual followup appointment two days from this typing. It started just like last time- I couldn't tell if it was the weather or if I was having issues with the medicine. I even thought that it was related to my hand surgery because that second one sucked a lot more for pain/issues. But it isn't that either. I didn't try to get in at the VA earlier, because I already have this appointment scheduled, so I just let the days drag on till now.

That said, the other day, I picked up some potted flowers at that big orange box store because it'd been SO LONG since I held my beloved Nikon in my hands. And I got a few really nice macro shots of flowers. And now, I share those with you, because what better way to end a blog update full of Facebook links and Mom Jokes? Enjoy!

This is the first batch of photos I have taken since my open carpal tunnel release surgeries. I did do a few snowflake macros in February, but I still had the cast on my arm, so it wasn't much effort to hold the camera. This day, however, I learned just where the pain was internally.

Despite the pain in my hand (which I controlled a bit by wearing a soft Neoprene wrist brace), I loved being outside to take photos again. In the weeks leading up to my surgeries (which were January 22nd and February 5th), I didn't have much chance to do a lot of photos (drab weather, lack of indoor flowers).


Begonias

Begonias

Cyclamen

Yellow Daisy

Yellow Daisy

Tiny purple flowers

Tiny purple flowers

This is the fingertip of my pinky finger. For size reference.

Day 27 of Year 7- Ohhh, yeah!

Tiny purple flowers

Hot pink. Maybe purple.

Hot pink. Maybe purple.

Begonias

Begonias

Cyclamen

Yellow Daisy

Purple? Pink? Could be either!

In the sun

Yellow Daisy in the sun

Yellow Daisy in the sun