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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Under the knife

I wanted to blog tonight because bright and early tomorrow morning I'll be going under the knife to have the first of two surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome. So I figure it might be a few days before I can comfortably type again.

It's really more like a procedure than a surgery. I'll be awake for the whole thing. They'll just numb my wrist and hand with a local anesthetic. I'm really hoping I get to be laying down for it. I don't mind being awake (I don't think), but I don't really want to watch.

I was supposed have this surgery done 8 years ago, but I canceled it. Robbie was only a year old then and still required plenty of lifting and maneuvering. So I opted out and have just dealt with it for the past 8 years and 3 months. My hands stopped hurting from the carpal tunnel syndrome about 6 years ago. Now they are just in a constant state of numbness.

Lately though, I've been getting these electric shock kind of feelings shooting across my palms when I try to grab something. And my grip is getting worse. More than one dropped plate of food can attest to that. (Now there's a weight loss idea!)

My first thought was to give chiropractic treatments a try. The chiropractor was working with me using this Graston technique to try to relieve the pressure off my carpal tunnel nerves. Think big heavy butter knives brushing across the forearms and wrists. It felt really good. Then after the first treatment, it felt like my arm bones were made of jello. The second treatment didn't really have much effect at all.

In the meantime, I talked to a doctor friend of mine who does EMG nerve testing as part of his practice. So I made an appointment to have him give me the EMG to see just how bad my carpal tunnel problem is. I told him about the Graston technique. He was familiar with it and said it can be effective for some people.

That was before he hooked me up and shocked my nerves, only to find out they weren't as shocked as they should have been. Bob told me that he's never seen a worse EMG. What? I can't help it that I'm an overachiever. According to Dr. Bob, the only solution for successfully treating my carpal tunnel is surgery. So he referred me to the same surgeon who was supposed to my surgery 8 years ago.

Which brings me to tomorrow. I'm envisioning a quick slice and snip and sew-'er-up and I'll be on my way. I plan to lay low for 24 hours, keep a steady supply of ibuprofen and Tylenol flowing, and play "Mommy's legs are broken: The carpal tunnel version." 

I really wanted to have both hands done at the same time. Get it over with and all that. The surgeon said they don't recommend it and moved on. So when I was left with the physician assistant to schedule the surgery, I asked her about it. "Is it really so unheard of to do both hands at a time? I think I'd really like to do it that way."

To which the PA responded, "Well, how do you feel about someone else wiping your butt?" it. One hand at a time, will be fine, thank you.

So the first one is tomorrow morning. Then in about 3 weeks, I'll have the second one done. In the meantime, I might have to find a talk to text program so I can keep up with the blog and Facebook. Or maybe I'll have one of my kids take dictation.

But one thing is for sure. I'll be wiping my own butt.


Unknown said...

Good Luck With Your Surgery! I have a feeling your family will be glad you opted for two surgeries instead of one!

Jaime said...

What a very truthful statement. I'll be happy to come and take dictation. However, I won't be held responsible for any added commentary. Good luck with the surgery and hope it brings you lots of good feelings for your hands. :)

Oddiferous said...

Good luck Amy!

How did you decide which hand to do first? I would be hesitant to do my butt wiping hand first! Using my left would be difficult but still better than having someone else do it. My child would freak out!