chronic pain, medicine, surgery

my hands

my hands are ruined. i don’t talk about it nearly as much as i do with my other ailments, it’s kind of complicated, especially because it’s a bit weird. plus it’s an emotional pain that can be hard to talk about because, i said in the title, i feel as though 4 surgeries made my hands worse than they were before. they feel ruined because i think the surgeon wasn’t open with me, and i don’t think she even knew what it was going to be like. she was so casual about doing more surgeries. as things went downhill i listened to her because she was the surgeon and i felt so intimidated and out of control. i wish i had thought about it more. there was nothing to research because i really don’t think anybody has done this before. also, i had the problem so much worse than worse than most people ever get.

most people are familiar with trigger finger. it’s a problem when a ligament catches on  something as you bend your fingers the get stuck and you have to straighten out the joint with your other hand. it’s painful and makes it very hard to do normal tasks.

most people who get it have it in one finger  i had it in all ten. when i told my GP about it and she sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. the first step is is getting cortisone shots to diagnose the problem. the doctor shoots you up with the steroid in the joint that’s affected. i get injections in my knees, 12 per knee per year. they hurt, a lot. but try getting an injection in your hand! the first one i got was in my right thumb. i said (and i’m sorry but i have a terrible potty mouth) FUCK! when the needle went into the joint. later i got one in my pinkie and that was even worse.

it didn’t respond, so she decided i needed surgery. i was ok with that, it was a small surgery and i’ve had surgery before. it was really easy, i chose to do it with general anesthetic because i have a horror of waking up on the table and conscious sedation didn’t seem like enough.

to speed things up (it’s a long story!)  other fingers  in that hand started manifesting trigger finger symptoms. more cortisone shots. the surgeon decided the best thing to do was to fix the other four fingers because she didn’t want me to have several surgeries. ha! so it was four fingers at once. when i got my bandage changed the nurse couldn’t believe i had so many  fingers done at once. my hand was huge and black and blue there were four deep cuts on my palm. that one was not easy. the healing took a long time and the stitches were not ready to come out when they were supposed to. my fingers wouldn’t close all the way, so i went to a hand physical therapist. omg she was hardcore. lisa. she had no mercy!

that sort of healed. then the problem showed up in my left hand in several fingers, so she operated on all five fingers. the nurses at the surgery center kept asking me over and over, all five? all five? that surgery was scary and miserable to heal.

i was horrified when the trigger finger  showed up in the left hand again. it was in three fingers, so she decided to do all five AGAIN. i ask  myself why i did it, but i have to remember that there was actually a valid reason. the trigger finger that came back in those three fingers of my left hand. it hurt, just like before. i was unable to do much with that hand without my fingers caught and becoming useless.

i think the doctor was getting a bit horrified herself because she sent me back to lisa the *day after surgery.* she had me on a really high dose of percocet because the physical therapy was really tough. i was going three times a week from then til forever it seemed like. lisa told me to ice it and tape it up tight when it hurt in the future; she knew it would.

so four surgeries later, my hands, especially the left, hurt a lot and swell a lot on a regular basis. i’ll never be able to wear my wedding rings again.i have lots of ice packs, self adhesive bandages and compression bandages on hand. when it’s really bad, i wrap it up in sports tape. lisa  was really into taping things as tight as  possible.

i feel like my hands are ruined.










7 thoughts on “my hands”

  1. You have great strength to endure what you have. I look forward to seeing more of your art. I love your blending of colors.

    Have you looked into compression gloves for the swelling? Also, have you looked into ring splints? I use them for hyper-mobility issues but they are for other things too like boutonniere finger and I do recall seeing something about using them for trigger finger somewhere.

    Best of luck to you! Your art is lovely.


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