If you really want to see that nasty cameraphone shot I took immediately after the bandage came off (stitches still in with all the pea-green bruised glory), click here. I'm not posting it to the blog so that no one can accuse me of making them look, although I know giving the link will probably make almost everyone curious enough to look . . .
Here's what my hand looks like today, only a day later:
(click to go to big Flickr picture)
Trust me, this is a significant improvement! There's a cut on the back of my hand, too (where the cyst was) but that's pretty uneventful compared to this side, so I didn't think it required a photo.
The green bruises are not part of a "typical" carpal tunnel surgery. Remember how I mentioned that my surgeon found significant inflammation when he opened me up? Well, the inflamation was around the tendons, and although I barely understand what he explained to me, I'll sum it up like this: the tendons are normally surrounded by a very thin, see through layer. The layer around my tendons was so thick the surgeon said you couldn't see through it, and he cut it off and removed the layer to release the tendon. The green buising ran from the middle of my palm down my arm in the places where the inflamation was removed.
In that same area I'm suffering from a very "tight" feeling, kind of like if I had paint dried on my skin there and when I stretch in certain directions it feels like my skin is stiff. I know it's not my skin I'm feeling, but that's what it feels like. The doctor's therapist gave me a long list of exercises to do several times a day, and I'm diligently following orders. I have appointments set up with a rheumatologist and a physical therapist for next week, too.
The amount of improvement in the bruising after only 24 hours is shocking, and is making me realize there was one GIANT benefit, psychologically, of wearing the brace: I had no idea what how bad my hand looked under there! I don't even want to imagine what color/shape it was in the day after surgery . . .
In happier news, I'm able to do just about anything that doesn't involve lifting heavy things now! Yay! The down side is that I sometimes forget I'm recovering and try to do something that I shouldn't be doing, which then gets halted immeditely as a sharp pain/pulling sensation shoots through my arm . . . this has only happened once in the last 24 hours though, because I've been trying to be mindful of not overdoing it. I wouldnt want to hurt myself and not be able to KNIT!
I knit this today, and let me tell you, during those first few stitches I felt like stress was dripping off me:
It's a silly project that would have taken about an hour of my knitting under other circumstances, but today this feels like an extraordinary accomplishment. Behold, my new iTouch sleeve!
Knit on size 5 needles with leftover Duet Sock yarn (from these socks), this was a dead-easy knit that I actually really need for practical purposes. The original iTouch cover had gotten stretched out and was crazy-dirty, plus the yarn end had come loose and the thing was in danger of unravelling. This one, which is probably a too-light color for practical purposes, is a better design due to the cushy garter stitch and tight ribbed cuff, so hopefully it will serve its destiny well.
Me, I'm off to do another round of hand exercises before catching up on blogs! It's great to be back folks!
Project specs (hardly worthy of this!):
Pattern: side-to-side garter stitch & picked up for ribbing at top
Yarn: Leftover Duet Sock Yarns in Puddle Jump (multi from set)
Needles: US size 5
Started & Finished: January 17, 2009
It's good my stitches and bandage came off today, because I was really getting to the end of my patience with this thing. I'll post the disgusting photos to Flickr later and give a link if you want to see, but if you want to picture a hand with a tiny cut (it's only about 1.5 inches long) on the wrist, with bruises that are PEA GREEN all around it, well, that's what my hand looks like. The good news is I have very good range of motion now that the bandage and splint are gone, and I'm almost 100% sure I'll be able to knit tonight . . . and let me tell you, I need it!
Did I mention that based on what my surgeon saw when he cut open my hand (namely tons of swelling around my tendons) I've been referred to a rheumatologist? I've got an appointment next week. The fun never ends, apparently.
Oh, and it's been cold as I-don't-know-what and I don't like it.
That is all.
Left arm, sporting hospital bandage and IV point (man that IV hurt!)
Right arm: splint, bandaged, and in a huge foam holder to keep it elevated above my heart.
I'm dizzy from the vicoden and need to go take another nap. Other than that I'm well, a little bored and wishing I could knit, but I can move all my fingers and I'm not in pain. Full details later! This thing comes off in a week . . .