How on earth could I forget that yesterday was the Four Month Anniversary of my Carpel Tunnel Op. Well I guess when all is said and done it was pretty easy for the occassion to slip by in the chaos that is our lives at the moment but still at least I remembered today.
I thought a quick reveiw – as much for my sake as for those who might be seeking some info on the op and it’s after effects from a purely personal point of view. I should point out I’m not a Doctor – really I have no desire to become one – all that blood – ewwww, this is just how I feel about the op and my experiences.
Would I do it again?
Absolutely. In a heart beat. It was the best medical decision I have ever made. Even if the benefits of this op only last for five years (and I might add I am confident they will last for much, much longer than that) it was so worth it to be pain free and able to do what I enjoy.
Am I in any pain?
No! The only time I notice any discomfort is when I garden but as I’m an all or nothing gardener and don’t know the meaning of “take it easy” that isn’t surprising. I don’t have any pain when I’m sewing which is the main thing and I can literally sew all day if I wish – but I don’t as house work, children etc keep interrupting me.
What are the scars like?
What scars?? Seriously if you didn’t know where to look of if I had the op you wouldn’t notice them.
How akward was it after the op?
Lets be honest I had both hands done at the same time so there was no way on earth I could do anything for at least a fortnight. With both hands bandaged and under strict instructions not to get the wounds wet I couldn’t shower, wash my face, do my hair, put on a bra, even dressing myself was a chore. Unless I picked easy, slip over my head type nightwear (cause that’s all I lounged around in for a fortnight and very liberating it was) I didn’t have a hope. There was no making lunch and the one time I tried to peel a banana I couldn’t. I could make a cup of tea – providing I had hot water in the urn, but couldn’t carry that cup to the table to drink it for at least a week. Even holding the cup was difficult so I resorted to very large straws. Thin ones burn your mouth I discovered. Sitting down to read meant the arrangement of a pillow on my lap to support the book. Adjusting my pillow in the night wasn’t possible – believe me I tried. Even pulling blankets up was hard.
In short I needed an incredible amount of help and I was very, very lucky my family were more than prepared to give me the help I needed.
Was it frustrating?
Yes and no. It wasn’t frustrating in that I knew I couldn’t cook meals, clean house or hang out washing. I had mentally prepared myself for all of that. It was frustrating in that I wanted to sew and basically I couldn’t. I knew I wouldn’t be able to, but convincing myself was another matter.
Do you think your family would let you do it again?
Yes, yes, yes. They have all noticed the difference in my attitude and the fact there is no need for pain management which quite frankly makes me a real b***ch.
How long before the stitches were removed?
I had them in for a fortnight. The Surgeon wouldn’t remove them sooner as he explained that the skin on the palms of your hands is tougher and moves so much more than other parts of your body – so it takes longer for the wounds to heal and knit together. To remover them too soon would mean a possibly splitting of the would and I would have been back to square one regarding the stitches and what I could do.
Would I recommend the operation for others?
Honestly – you have to make up your own mind. This is not a light decision. It can and will effect you for some time. You do need incredible amounts of help – even if you only have one hand operated on. There should be a lot of consultation with your doctor and surgeon and you must of course have your families or significant others support. Having said that if you have tried all other options for pain management for carpel tunnel and your Doctor/Surgeon has given their go ahead then don’t hesitate. It will, or at least should be, explained to you that there is always the chance that it won’t work or that further surgery may be necessary but after weighing up the pros and cons and assessing your life and wants and needs (after removing the rose coloured glasses and taking a good hard, practical look at everything) and it seems the right step for you to take then go for it.
I sincerley hope this quick review helps those who may be considering the op or those who were just wondering what it was like. The biggest piece of advice I could give anyone considering this op is to have your mental attitude right. If you believe it will be a success it will be, if there are doubts, then stop and think about it for a while until you are absolutely sure it’s the right thing to do. Good luck.