A couple of people have asked me where I’ve been lately. Well, I had this great idea to have bilateral carpal tunnel surgery on January 25. So, I was basically handless for the better part of a week, and recovery has been slow and steady. Typing isn’t so much an issue, so that isn’t why I haven’t written. It is just that I’m operating at about 75% and I have to chose my activities very wisely.
For those of you are interested in the journey and want to see the pictures and details, keep reading. For those of you who don’t want to see or know, stop here.
First of all, my symptoms and what got me to the point of having surgery in the first place. I have suffered with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for the better part of 10 years, getting progressively worse with each of my pregnancies. In the last year, the pain and numbness has gotten to a point I really couldn’t deal with it anymore. I would wake up at night with sharp shooting pain from my shoulder blade all the way to the tips of my fingers. And, when I got up each morning, my hands were completely numb. During the day I would have some pain, but the primary problem was burning and numbness. I had gotten to the point that I couldn’t even dry my hair because I couldn’t maintain grip on the hair dryer. I would be drinking and drop the glass. When writing, I would get 10-15 words done before I had to stop and wiggle my fingers and shake my hands out before beginning again. It was just time to get some relief. The initial plan was to have one hand done, then the other 4 weeks later. I talked through it with my surgeon, and all things considered in life, we just decided to knock it out and do them both at the same time.
The first 4 days were totally brutal. I could do NOTHING for myself. That made for some super bonding time with my daughter and husband. And, I couldn’t have survived without my mother-in-law’s help.
The surgery in and of itself was relatively easy. I was in and out in 2 hours. I felt immediate pain relief from my CTS symptoms. However, my hands hurt like a mother after the surgery. They gave me hydrocodone for the pain. Fun discovery, I’m allergic. Nothing like having hives and feeling like you are on fire inside out when your hands are useless and you can’t scratch…..
Pictures from surgery day…. Surprise, you get to have an IV in your foot when you are operating on both hands. The hands themselves really didn’t hurt that bad. The foot, it hurt like crazy. My other foot hurt too, because they tried 3 times to get the IV in that one before I told them I was done.
Three days post surgery, I got my bandages off. The pain was starting to subside, but the “healing itch” factor was an issue. The pain was starting to change from incision site to recovery of the muscles that were relearning how to work.
Did I ever mention that I tend to bruise really badly? I mean I looked like I had gone 12 round with Mike Tyson. This was 6-8 days post surgery.
Three weeks post surgery, I am looking and feeling much better. Scabs and slight bruising remain, but in general I’m all good. I still can’t lift over 5 pounds. I haven’t mastered the squeeze and twist motion. The biggest problem with this is that I can’t open bottles of water or any twist top that isn’t already loose.
I don’t want to undermine the surgery at all. It is a big deal. Especially if you’re doing both at the same time. However, three weeks post surgery I am truly thankful that I did both of them at the same time. Total recovery is 6-8 weeks, so I’m half way there and I’m not forced to be thinking about going in for a second round.
So thanks for being patient in my absence. Just wanted to let you know where I’ve been. I have lots of stories to tell from the last few weeks. I’m just hoping they stay with me long enough for me to get caught up on life.