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Old 12-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
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Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

I hope I am making the right decision to have this surgery (Dec 13). I do have a lot of pain and have tried both cortisone shots and celebrex. I am 39 years old with a 2 yr old boy. My husband is Active Duty military and is very busy. We do not live any where near our families. I do have friends that may help, but they are stay-at-home moms who have their own families to take care of. One reason I opted to have surgery as soon as possible is that my husband is deployable, but will NOT be going anywhere for at least 6 months. After that, who knows where his is going or for how long. Does anyone have any advice? How do I prepare? What should I buy? I read previous thread from some very nice ladies who said: clothing with no buttons, zippers or snaps; 2 ice packs; shower sleeve; and traumeel. After reading these posts and the date is approaching quickly, I have butterflies in my stomach. I am pretty nervous right now. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thank you!!

-Cassie

 
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:25 AM   #2
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Re: Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

I would also like to add that my dr gave me a TENS machine for pain. A medical equipment representative issued it to me and i assume it is for use after surgery. Does anyone have experience with a TENS machine for pain? It is a little intimidating....

Thanks!!

-Cassie

 
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:40 AM   #3
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Re: Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy06 View Post
I hope I am making the right decision to have this surgery (Dec 13). I do have a lot of pain and have tried both cortisone shots and celebrex. I am 39 years old with a 2 yr old boy. My husband is Active Duty military and is very busy. We do not live any where near our families. I do have friends that may help, but they are stay-at-home moms who have their own families to take care of. One reason I opted to have surgery as soon as possible is that my husband is deployable, but will NOT be going anywhere for at least 6 months. After that, who knows where his is going or for how long. Does anyone have any advice? How do I prepare? What should I buy? I read previous thread from some very nice ladies who said: clothing with no buttons, zippers or snaps; 2 ice packs; shower sleeve; and traumeel. After reading these posts and the date is approaching quickly, I have butterflies in my stomach. I am pretty nervous right now. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thank you!!

-Cassie
Hi Cassidy,

You have not told us which hand will have the surgery.

Is it possible for you to get help from your family or your husband's family? for at least the first 2 weeks?

You will also need a shower mat so you dont slip in the shower. Slip on shoes, or shoes with velcro closures as you will have difficulty closes laces, if you wear trainers. An elasticated bra is helpful (no closures)

A very good thread for you to read here is, ''going through the basil joint surgery process-at least, my story. by dajo. There are many tips & much info for you to read.

The Tens machine is not really intimidating. You place the pads on your thumb & wrist, turn it on & will feel a pulsating movement which may or may not help your pain. For now, I think the best you can do is to use an ice pack when you have pain.

Another thread here is,''up coming surgery'' by Janet20. You can find both these threads under Arthritis.

Let me know if you need more info, there is still time before your surgery date.
Haydena.

Cassidy, is there nobody on the army base who could help you with your little boy?

Last edited by Haydena; 12-06-2012 at 04:34 PM.

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:18 AM   #4
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Re: Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

Thank you, Haydena. I posted a lengthy reply on Janet20's thread. I have been reading through dajo's thread, also. I feel that I am much more prepared for my left thumb basal joint fusion surgery than I was before I found this website. Sometimes, military healthcare professionals are more mechanical and less "soft" about thier care.
As for my son, I will be able to put him in the base day care, but wish I didn't have to. I will try to beg for family to visit...but I know it is difficult with finances and with the holidays soon approaching.
I am an active woman, so I think this may also take a toll on me emotionally. I keep thinking that being in the house all day will make me gain a bunch of weight. Do you think that after my cast is taken off that I will be able to go to the pool at the gym and swim? I just can't imagine what my mobility/pain/swelling is going to be post op.
Thank you again for help!! It is very, very much appreciated.

-Cass

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:48 AM   #5
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Re: Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy06 View Post
Thank you, Haydena. I posted a lengthy reply on Janet20's thread. I have been reading through dajo's thread, also. I feel that I am much more prepared for my left thumb basal joint fusion surgery than I was before I found this website. Sometimes, military healthcare professionals are more mechanical and less "soft" about thier care.
As for my son, I will be able to put him in the base day care, but wish I didn't have to. I will try to beg for family to visit...but I know it is difficult with finances and with the holidays soon approaching.
I am an active woman, so I think this may also take a toll on me emotionally. I keep thinking that being in the house all day will make me gain a bunch of weight. Do you think that after my cast is taken off that I will be able to go to the pool at the gym and swim? I just can't imagine what my mobility/pain/swelling is going to be post op.
Thank you again for help!! It is very, very much appreciated.

-Cass
Hi Cassidy,

I will answer this post first & then go to Janet's thread & answer your post there. In future I think we should stick to 1 thread to make it easier for us.
Firstly let me tell you that you are a VERY brave lady to have this surgery at this time.

When you put your son in the day care center at the base, would you be allowed to stay with him so he would get used to it? It would help him having his mum with him for some of the time.

No way do you have to stay at home all day with a cast on. You can go out. I dont know if your car insurance allows you to drive with a cast on, mine did not. (I was in a micro plastic splint, which just covered my hand & wrist, no cast at all)

Once the cast is off you will probably go into some kind of soft splint which you may be allowed to remove when you shower. If this is the case then of course you can go swimming.Remember its your left hand thats having the surgery & not your left leg! As long as you dont use your hand & allow it to heal,
you will be fine.

If you can manage to bath & dress your son using your right hand only, you will be ok. I suggest you try this now to see how you manage.

For the post op pain, you will have pain killers,& the ice pack.
For the swelling, you will have Arnica or Traumeel (Traumeel is better) you will keep your arm raised as much as you can.The ice pack also helps lower the swelling.I suggest you buy an arm sling.

You will be able to walk around. Having the surgery on the non dominant hand is much easier than having it on the right hand.

The first week is the hardest. Ask your doctor to give you pain meds. Extra strength Tyrenol also helps with the pain.


Once you start physical therapy you can ask your therapist any question that you want as they are usually very helpful.

I hope the above will calm you down & please dont hesitate to ask me anything else you need to know.

Haydena.

 
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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Re: Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

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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Old 12-22-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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Re: Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

Hi Cassidy,

I had my thumb done last Thursday and so far so good. I just wondered how you were doing with yours. Lisa posted about a week ago and she is doing fine too.

Have a great Christmas and good healing!

Margarita

 
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:51 AM   #8
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Re: Nervous about basal joint fusion surgery -How do I prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy06 View Post
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
Cassie hi,
In case you were wondering about me & why I have been silent for the last few weeks is because I was away.
I was pleased to read you have had your dreaded surgery & am wondering how you are coping now?
I hope all is well with you. Do let us know here about your progress.
I wish you a happy new year.
Haydena.

 
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