For the third time in four years I’m getting ready to subject myself to a week with only one hand.
My previous two hand surgeries have been carpal tunnel release surgeries. My wrists and fingers have been a LOT happier postop than they were before I had the procedures done.
This time it’s a little different. After 21 years of clinical medicine I’ve got some trapping of the extensor tendon of my right thumb (the one that lets you fold your thumb across your palm) and the flexor tendons of my middle and ring fingers (the ones that let you curl your fingers into a fist) on the same hand. Basically if I try to hold up three fingers on my right hand it ends up looking like this:
It isn’t quite Dupuytren’s Contracture but it’s close.
I am actually looking forward to this — despite the need to have my dominant hand out of commission for a week — because when you have an opposable thumb that doesn’t oppose, it’s irritating. To say nothing of ouchy!
Scheduling the surgical repair was kind of a last minute thing. I saw the hand specialist on the 12th expecting that he’d stab me in the tendons with additional steroids, like he did 6 months or so ago, and all would be good again (at least once I got over hating him for poking needles in the palm of my hand). But I seem to have found a rare specimen here. The hand specialist not only is a _very_ talented surgeon, but he is a congenial human being that seems to like treating his patients as human beings and (most importantly for me) treats me as a doctor. And on the 12th when I told him that I’d been having problems putting sutures into a cat’s skin the day before he went a little bug eyed and started talking about getting me in for surgery. Like, NOW!.
I was already scheduled to have this week off so he pushed his schedule around to fit me in. A great kindness on his part because I’d otherwise not have been able to schedule anything until after the first of the year.
So after Wednesday I’ll be stoned out of my gourd with a cast on my right hand and an absolutely BLISSFUL cat on my lap for a week. I’ve spent the last 3 1/2 days getting all of the heavy work in the garden done for the year and I’ve gotten a lot of the tasks, errands, and chaos that I had on my schedule for the next several weeks out of the way. I can spend a week stoned, watching silly movies with my cat and playing Candy Crush with an absolutely clear conscience.
If only I could teach Andrew how to braid hair…..