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Old 12-05-2012, 08:45 PM   #106
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

I will be having basal joint surgery on 13 Dec and I am starting to get nervous. I have read this entire thread and noticed there are positives and negatives about this procedure. How should I prepare for this procedure? My husband and I do not live near family (Military) so Im not sure how much help I will get around the house. My husband is quite busy with work. I have a 2 yr old son and that is what scares me the most. How am I going to change/bathe him? I Would appreciate any advice! I already appreciate this site as I have learned so much from you ladies! Thank you so much. Congratulations on the grandbabies!!

 
Old 12-06-2012, 01:04 PM   #107
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy06 View Post
I will be having basal joint surgery on 13 Dec and I am starting to get nervous. I have read this entire thread and noticed there are positives and negatives about this procedure. How should I prepare for this procedure? My husband and I do not live near family (Military) so Im not sure how much help I will get around the house. My husband is quite busy with work. I have a 2 yr old son and that is what scares me the most. How am I going to change/bathe him? I Would appreciate any advice! I already appreciate this site as I have learned so much from you ladies! Thank you so much. Congratulations on the grandbabies!!

Hi Cassidy,
First of all you do need help and lots of it. You will not be able to use your hand at all for quite a while. I'm not sure which procedure you're having, but you still can't use it. Someone will have to help you and take care of your 2yr old. I had the surgery twice and although my second time was easier cause I didn't wear a cast as long, I still could barely do for myself. Please don't do this unless you have help full time with a child.
Please talk this over with your Dr first and then try to get your husband to stay home with you. If you read any of the past posts we have here you'll see this is not an easy surgery. I'm not trying to scare you but being realistic.
Good luck and post again here and let us know how you are and what you decided to do. I'm assuming you are young with a 2yr old. I'm surprised your hand has progressed to this stage.
Good luck. Hugs, Janet

 
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #108
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

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Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Hi Cassidy,
First of all you do need help and lots of it. You will not be able to use your hand at all for quite a while. I'm not sure which procedure you're having, but you still can't use it. Someone will have to help you and take care of your 2yr old. I had the surgery twice and although my second time was easier cause I didn't wear a cast as long, I still could barely do for myself. Please don't do this unless you have help full time with a child.
Please talk this over with your Dr first and then try to get your husband to stay home with you. If you read any of the past posts we have here you'll see this is not an easy surgery. I'm not trying to scare you but being realistic.
Good luck and post again here and let us know how you are and what you decided to do. I'm assuming you are young with a 2yr old. I'm surprised your hand has progressed to this stage.
Good luck. Hugs, Janet
Hi Janet,
I replied to Cassidy's ''help'' post on another thread here. I didnt want to scare
her, but you are 100% correct in that she will need loads of help, especially with a young child.
She wrote in one of her posts that her age is 39.
Hope you are keeping well.
Hugs,
Haydena.

 
Old 12-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #109
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Oh, Haydena, I don't know where else she posted, but glad you warned her too. Poor thing with little or no help. No way!!
Happy Holidays! I'm doing a lot this year cooking, baking and decorating etc cause two of the kids and 3 grandkids are coming. My hand is really sore and now the other hand just throbs. I think I'm over doing but it feels good to be active.

take care.
Janet

 
Old 12-06-2012, 02:09 PM   #110
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Oh, Haydena, I don't know where else she posted, but glad you warned her too. Poor thing with little or no help. No way!!
Happy Holidays! I'm doing a lot this year cooking, baking and decorating etc cause two of the kids and 3 grandkids are coming. My hand is really sore and now the other hand just throbs. I think I'm over doing but it feels good to be active.

take care.
Janet
Hi again Janet,

If your hands are throbbing reach for the ice pack & rest them.If you have any Traumeel left over, dab some on both your hands. Try not to overdo it as you will pay the price later!

No matter how much I use my operated left hand, it never hurts! I am so lucky. I have to have my right hand ''fixed'' as the pain is rather bad. I hope to have the surgery in January or February.

Go to the Arthritis section & look for the thread, ''Scheduled for Basil Joint Arthroplasty & having doubts about it'' where you will find posts by Cassidy.
I looked for the post where she wrote her age is 39, however I was unable to find it.

Happy holidays to you Janet & seasons greetings. Enjoy having your family with you.

Dont work too hard!
Haydena.

PS. You being able to cook, bake & decorate is like a new chapter in your life & I know exactly how great you feel about being able to do it all alone without help. It tells us not to take advantage of the stuff we can do & appreciate good health.

Last edited by Haydena; 12-06-2012 at 02:14 PM.

 
Old 12-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #111
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haydena View Post
Hi again Janet,

If your hands are throbbing reach for the ice pack & rest them.If you have any Traumeel left over, dab some on both your hands. Try not to overdo it as you will pay the price later!

No matter how much I use my operated left hand, it never hurts! I am so lucky. I have to have my right hand ''fixed'' as the pain is rather bad. I hope to have the surgery in January or February.

Go to the Arthritis section & look for the thread, ''Scheduled for Basil Joint Arthroplasty & having doubts about it'' where you will find posts by Cassidy.
I looked for the post where she wrote her age is 39, however I was unable to find it.

Happy holidays to you Janet & seasons greetings. Enjoy having your family with you.

Dont work too hard!
Haydena.

PS. You being able to cook, bake & decorate is like a new chapter in your life & I know exactly how great you feel about being able to do it all alone without help. It tells us not to take advantage of the stuff we can do & appreciate good health.
Hi Again,
I did find Cassie's post and saw her situation. My heart goes out to her and wish I could help her.
Thanks for the tips. I do have an ice pack that looks like an ace bandage that my PT gave me. I forgot about it. I do need it. And I have some traumeel cream.
You are so lucky your operation was so successful. i don't think I'll ever be 100% but at least I can use it. You are so right not to take for granted our good health!!! Take care.
Janet

 
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:29 PM   #112
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Hi Again,
I did find Cassie's post and saw her situation. My heart goes out to her and wish I could help her.
Thanks for the tips. I do have an ice pack that looks like an ace bandage that my PT gave me. I forgot about it. I do need it. And I have some traumeel cream.
You are so lucky your operation was so successful. i don't think I'll ever be 100% but at least I can use it. You are so right not to take for granted our good health!!! Take care.
Janet
There must be someone on that army base that could help her. I find it hard to believe that her surgeon/doctor did not tell her she'd be needing help especially with a young child.
I am sorry your surgery was not 100% successful.
Take good care, Janet.
Haydena.

 
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:48 PM   #113
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Janet/Haydena,

Thank you for all of your helpful information.
I just turned 39 years old last month. I have a 2 1/2 yr old boy (high energy!).
I have been thinking hard about this surgery and whether or not to have it. The pain has been increasingly worse over the last 2 months. It hurts to drive, hold a cup of coffee, even to touch the area. When my Ortho decided surgery was the next logical step, he asked me to do a lot of research and decide which surgery to have...either LRTI or Joint Fusion. He highly recommends joint fusion as I wont loose as much grip strength. I agree.
He is a military doctor at the nearby AirForce base.
A few months ago, I was referred to a different civilian doctor who seemed like he just wanted to benefit from my guaranteed insurance money. I also researched him on "Angies List" and found out he is a horrible man and has made many mistakes on his patients, including a high rate of infections. I quickly got rid of him!
Since I am in the gov't healthcare system, I cannot shop around for other doctors or a hand specialist. My doctor looks kind of young, but I know he is well respected and sought after in the community.

My family is halfway across the country. Plus, my younger sister is having a terrible time with Crohn's disease right now and I know my mom would not want to leave her. My in-laws (who are great!) live about 9 hours north of us. I may ask if they could come down for a few days. This is a difficult time of year with the holidays right around the corner. I am hoping my husband is able to take some time off. I know I can put my son in daycare while my husband is at work, but that will drive me crazy!!

I really appreciate this board and all of the threads you and others have posted. In all of the basic internet research I have done, I have only found posts about the surgery itself, and a bunch of medical jargon. The post op procedures are pretty general such as "cast, suchers removed, pt", but I did not realize, until reading here, that it is going to be so debilitating! My doctor was as informative as the other websites....he simply said that I will be in a cast from finger to elbow for about 6 weeks. I thought I would be able to still take care of my son, lift him up using my left forearm, and throw a plastic bag on my cast to bathe him.

I am pretty depressed at the moment thinking about it. I am pretty active and love to drive. I know that it is the right thing to do right now b/c if I wait, I may have less help in the future! Who knows where my husband will be and when he will be deployed. I also know that it is the right thing b/c typing this makes my hand ache.

I have less than a week until surgery. Here is my preparation list. Please let me know if I am missing anything:

pull on clothes w/o buttons, zippers, snaps
slip on / velcro shoes
arnica ointment
ice packs
Search online reviews for a good cast protector for showering
electronic entertainment

Anything else?

Thank you all SO MUCH for your help!!

-Cassie

 
Old 12-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #114
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

To clarify, I am having Thumb Basal Joint Fusion Surgery on my left (non-dominant) hand.
-Cass

 
Old 12-07-2012, 03:12 AM   #115
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy06 View Post
Janet/Haydena,

Thank you for all of your helpful information.
I just turned 39 years old last month. I have a 2 1/2 yr old boy (high energy!).
I have been thinking hard about this surgery and whether or not to have it. The pain has been increasingly worse over the last 2 months. It hurts to drive, hold a cup of coffee, even to touch the area. When my Ortho decided surgery was the next logical step, he asked me to do a lot of research and decide which surgery to have...either LRTI or Joint Fusion. He highly recommends joint fusion as I wont loose as much grip strength. I agree.
He is a military doctor at the nearby AirForce base.
A few months ago, I was referred to a different civilian doctor who seemed like he just wanted to benefit from my guaranteed insurance money. I also researched him on "Angies List" and found out he is a horrible man and has made many mistakes on his patients, including a high rate of infections. I quickly got rid of him!
Since I am in the gov't healthcare system, I cannot shop around for other doctors or a hand specialist. My doctor looks kind of young, but I know he is well respected and sought after in the community.

My family is halfway across the country. Plus, my younger sister is having a terrible time with Crohn's disease right now and I know my mom would not want to leave her. My in-laws (who are great!) live about 9 hours north of us. I may ask if they could come down for a few days. This is a difficult time of year with the holidays right around the corner. I am hoping my husband is able to take some time off. I know I can put my son in daycare while my husband is at work, but that will drive me crazy!!

I really appreciate this board and all of the threads you and others have posted. In all of the basic internet research I have done, I have only found posts about the surgery itself, and a bunch of medical jargon. The post op procedures are pretty general such as "cast, suchers removed, pt", but I did not realize, until reading here, that it is going to be so debilitating! My doctor was as informative as the other websites....he simply said that I will be in a cast from finger to elbow for about 6 weeks. I thought I would be able to still take care of my son, lift him up using my left forearm, and throw a plastic bag on my cast to bathe him.

I am pretty depressed at the moment thinking about it. I am pretty active and love to drive. I know that it is the right thing to do right now b/c if I wait, I may have less help in the future! Who knows where my husband will be and when he will be deployed. I also know that it is the right thing b/c typing this makes my hand ache.

I have less than a week until surgery. Here is my preparation list. Please let me know if I am missing anything:

pull on clothes w/o buttons, zippers, snaps
slip on / velcro shoes
arnica ointment
ice packs
Search online reviews for a good cast protector for showering
electronic entertainment

Anything else?

Thank you all SO MUCH for your help!!

-Cassie
Cassie, hi,

No way did I find it debilitating & I was not depressed at all. You will not be bed-bound. You will be able to move around, go out, walk, & you will find ways to only use your right hand for your chores, just like I did. Granted, I did not have a young child to take care of. I cooked with only using my left hand after the first week was over. I even washed the dishes by placing them in the sink covered with hot water, using only my left hand (I dont have a dish washer)

Depending on your car insurance, which you need to check, you may not be insured to drive with a cast on. (I was'nt)

Instead of bathing your kid is there a possibility to shower him instead? I think this would be much easier for you. Cover your cast so no water splashes on it.

Add onto your list to buy, arm sling & shower mat. If you are able to shower your little boy, let him stand on the shower mat so he doesnt slip. When you shower, of course you should also use it.

I agree with all your reasons for having this surgery now. Somehow I dont think its going to be as bad as you think it will be. Try to be a little more possitive & hang in there Cassie, we will be here rooting for you.

Please let me know if you need more info.

Blessings & good luck to you.

Hugs,
Haydena.

 
Old 12-07-2012, 08:07 AM   #116
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Smile re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy06 View Post
To clarify, I am having Thumb Basal Joint Fusion Surgery on my left (non-dominant) hand.
-Cass
Hi Cassie,
I think if your inlaws come to help for a while, you'll be fine. You're young and are having the fusion which I've heard is great if you're young! If you get a cast protector for the shower I think you'll work out fine. I had my right dominant hand done twice and I learned to use my left hand almost completely for everything. It's amazing how that works.
You sound prepared and know what to expect so I wish you good luck. Christmas time just makes it harder to deal with but you have no choice. You'll have years of Christmas celebrations. I liked a small pillow too to rest my arm on in the car or at home. Having extra pillows in bed helps too. You have to keep your arm elevated for a while so this helps.
I wish you well and please let us know how you are after surgery.

Hugs!!!!!!
Janet

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #117
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Hi Cassie,
I think if your inlaws come to help for a while, you'll be fine. You're young and are having the fusion which I've heard is great if you're young! If you get a cast protector for the shower I think you'll work out fine. I had my right dominant hand done twice and I learned to use my left hand almost completely for everything. It's amazing how that works.
You sound prepared and know what to expect so I wish you good luck. Christmas time just makes it harder to deal with but you have no choice. You'll have years of Christmas celebrations. I liked a small pillow too to rest my arm on in the car or at home. Having extra pillows in bed helps too. You have to keep your arm elevated for a while so this helps.
I wish you well and please let us know how you are after surgery.

Hugs!!!!!!
Janet
Cassie, I dont remember if I told you to have pillows stacked on your bed so you can raise your arm whilst you sleep. Your arm needs to be elevated above your heart to enable to blood to go back to your heart (pardon my bad English!) Raising of your arm also helps lowering the swelling.
This may sound difficult to do, but you tend to get used to sleeping with your arm raised.
Janet is correct in telling you to have a pillow near you when you are sitting down so as to rest your arm on the pillow.
Hoping to hear from you soon.
Haydena.

 
Old 12-09-2012, 02:05 PM   #118
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

I had the same surgery 18 months ago on the thumb of my right (primary) hand, and it takes months of therapy to regain strength. My grip is less than before the surgery, but I also had the first digit of my second finger fused. Recuperation does take months, and PT-3 times per week- did help. However I am pain free!

Some things I did that were helpful: Bought an electric jar opener since my left hand is also weak from nerve damage which surgery did not completely fix. Opening food packages with a plastic/foil seal and using scissors to cut material or paper are still a challenge, so I use a sharp knife to cut the seals. I have no problems using a knife to cut meat or vegetables, but paper or fabric is difficult using scissors because of my grip.

After PT, I continued the exercises and I kneaded bread dough to help my thumb regain some mobility. The surgeon was pleased with the outcome even though I will never be 100%, but I can live with the limitations.

Patience is key since you cannot rush the healing process. Good luck, Cassidy.

 
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #119
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Mom View Post
I had the same surgery 18 months ago on the thumb of my right (primary) hand, and it takes months of therapy to regain strength. My grip is less than before the surgery, but I also had the first digit of my second finger fused. Recuperation does take months, and PT-3 times per week- did help. However I am pain free!

Some things I did that were helpful: Bought an electric jar opener since my left hand is also weak from nerve damage which surgery did not completely fix. Opening food packages with a plastic/foil seal and using scissors to cut material or paper are still a challenge, so I use a sharp knife to cut the seals. I have no problems using a knife to cut meat or vegetables, but paper or fabric is difficult using scissors because of my grip.

After PT, I continued the exercises and I kneaded bread dough to help my thumb regain some mobility. The surgeon was pleased with the outcome even though I will never be 100%, but I can live with the limitations.

Patience is key since you cannot rush the healing process. Good luck, Cassidy.

Hi Happy Mom,
Welcome to our discussions. I agree with all you said. We are all different. I do many of the same things as you and my grip is not good yet. I had the second surgery in Aug after having one done last Nov. Now my left hand needs to be done but I'll wait until next Fall. PT is key and I still do many of the exercises like you. I still have some pain in the hand I had done but it's not as bad as before. So we just have to do the exercises and keep working it. Thanks for posting.
Janet

 
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:01 PM   #120
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re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

I am going to post this question on my thread also as to get as much feedback as possible.

Today, at my pre-op appointment, the anesthesiologist offered to give me a nerve blocker in my arm....from shoulder to fingertip. It blocks pain for about 24 hours to allow yourself to ease into healing mode. He says it is perfectly safe. The only drawback is that i will not have any feeling in my arm whatsoever. He says to be careful that i don't bump into anything...should i choose to have this nerve blocker on the day of my surgery. Any opinions?

-Cassie

 
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