Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Trigger Thumb

Say hello to my right thumb; it’s the star of my show today and in fact has been a focus for a couple of months. Back in April, it decided to give me trouble and signed up for the “trigger” option. That’s when the first knuckle (the one in the middle of the thumb) pops when you bend it. Like the cocking of a trigger.

My orthopedic surgeon gave it a cortisone shot and that cured it for a few weeks, but then Mr. Trigger-Happy Thumb decided to come back with a vengeance. Not only is it bothersome, it hurts too.

So … last Friday I had it operated on. One would think a “not-so-big-deal” event was in order. Uh uh. Nope. They reserved a big-ol' hospital operating room for me. The operation was at 8:30 in the morning but I had to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. I then moved from one waiting room to another, either shuffling about in that air-conditioned hospital gown or being wheeled around on a gurney bed, talking to maybe a half-dozen different people who kept asking me the same questions over and over again.

Specific questions: What’s your name? When is your birthday? Which thumb is it? What medication do you take? Do you have any allergies? I do understand why they do this, of course, but perhaps the next time I do something like this, I’m going to bring a card with all that information printed on it.

They stuck needles into the backs of my hands and eventually wheeled me into the OR with its lights blazing and another half-dozen masked strangers milling around. I felt like I’d been abducted by a UFO and was going to be experimentally prodded. The only familiar sound was my ortho-doc’s voice, which I heard throughout the operation.

I wanted to see what was going on because the sedative they used didn’t put me to sleep, but they draped a sheet between me and my outstretched right arm. Shucks. All I could do was count the holes in the acoustical tile above my bored face.

The operation was short, it ended pretty quickly and after a little cup of apple juice and three graham crackers, and a brief recovery period, they stuffed me into a wheelchair and sent me on my way to the front door.

You know what the hardest part of the whole ordeal was? I have a stretchy wrap around my right hand and can’t get it wet for a few days. So I’ve been taking my evening shower with the hand all wrapped up in a plastic shopping bag, taped to my arm so water won’t leak in. It's hard taking shower with only my left hand.

There are places I can't reach with the left hand, and as a result, I haven’t been able to wash my left underarm since the operation. It’s gotta be stinky.


Bevlove said...

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Thumb who?
Thumb like it hot and thumb like it cold.

May *your* thumb be on the road to recovery.

Sue said...

It amazes me that you can type so good after your thumb has just been operated on!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Thumb who?
Thumb day soon we get to meet!