Six Good Reasons to Avoid Hand Surgery

Far away friends, many of you know that I had my busted up paw repaired on June 1st. While things have gone quite well, considering the fact that my dominant hand has suffered a major overhaul, there are a number of reasons I am feeling reluctant to have the procedure repeated on the left side. Read on for the reasons why you, too, might feel sorry for yourself after paw renovations.

Reason One: You will be unable to dress yourself.

True, terrible story. I have worn stretchy pants since my surgery because there was no way for me to close buttons until this morning. I had visions of being stuck in a public place, completely unable to button my pants back up and forced to ask a companion or (worst case scenario) a complete stranger to help me put myself back together.

Reason Two: Speaking of public places, most restaurants, malls, and major stores use unperforated toilet paper. Try this the next time you’re in such a restroom: attempt to tear off your tp with one hand. Undoubtedly, you will struggle to create a break in the ribbon of paper. Avoid the urge to just use the dangly end and leave the fallout for someone with two hands to deal with. If you’re really creative (like me) you will figure out some way to wiggle your good fingers like pincers and tear the toilet paper off.

Ooooh, sheesh, I just realized that I was smarter, I would have brought my own! Uh huh. Now that my right hand is somewhat functional, I figure out that I could have tucked my own squares into my purse. Excellent. Mental note for next time.

Reason Three: You will be unable to eat normally. Never mind being unable to cook yourself anything without a struggle that could have been an event on American Gladiators; this is about the simple act of moving the food from the plate to your mouth. Since my left hand is seems to possess about 27% of the finesse and accuracy of the right, the adjustment has been rocky.

Case in point: I went out for a fabulous meal with The Electrician’s family to celebrate his little brother’s university convocation. It was in a shmancy restaurant downtown, and I was dressed up in my nicest pair of stretchy pants, a blouse that has to be hand washed, and big sparkly earrings to take attention away from my bruised and swollen paw. I actually felt classy for the first time since the surgery, and was looking forward to the dinner. My classy feelings crashed and burst into hot pink flames when I dropped my first bite of risotto down the front of my top and it bounced down one pant leg. The Electrician also had to cut up my lovely duck like I was a child because I was only able to use the left paw.

Reason Four: Your personal hygiene will suffer.

Don’t get me wrong: I bathed regularly during the recovery period from my little procedure. Unfortunately, it’s exceptionally difficult to wash and style long curly hair with one hand. At one point, The Electrician had to make a ponytail for me to at least get the mop off my face, which flustered the poor man. Interesting that he can climb up towering ladders and deal with high voltage scenarios with ease, but a hair elastic overwhelms him. I guess being a girl is more complicated that I thought. Please note that it’s also nearly impossible for the left hand to shave the left armpit. I’ve just abandoned my legs for my own safety. It’s very Gorillas in the Mist around here right now. Cue the jungle soundtrack CD.

Reason Five: The mammals in your life will try, and fail, to understand your plight.

Numerous times since the procedure I’ve had to double over and swear because the dog’s propeller tail whipped me in the incision. On one especially memorable morning, Sherman even kicked my stitched up wrist as I was trying to boost him into the SUV to go to daycare. It was a dark moment in my life. Leroy has attempted to sleep on the bad arm and also made several determined attempts to lick my sutures. I know they love me. I know they want to help me feel better. I just wish they would bugger off and let me heal.

Reason Six: You will be bored out of your skull.

It’s not that I haven’t had things to do, and it’s not that I haven’t done some good reading and written a ton of stuff for my little spotted dog blog. The problem for me has been that I have not been allowed to do any of the things that I want to accomplish. Pull the dandelions out of my flowerbeds? Heck no. Those yellow buggers are flourishing out there in the June sunshine, and I’m going to need to borrow a chainsaw and a tree spade (or perhaps some napalm) to take them out at the rate they’re growing. I have been very close friends with my couch, looking around at the things I want to do, like hanging pictures, cutting the cat’s claws, or playing Donkey Kong. Oh, man have I wanted to play video games. Having no use of my dominant hand has been as much a mental challenge as a physical struggle.

Now that I’m done whining, I’ll say this: I am very grateful to have my damaged hand repaired by a competent surgeon in a safe, sterile setting. Even more so, I am so blessed to live in a country where this necessary procedure is covered completely by healthcare and has not been a personal expense. I am also very lucky to have a job that allows me paid sick leave so that I can correct potentially degenerative health issues, like my hands, without worrying about my bills or how I will make my mortgage. For all my complaining about the ways the last few weeks have sucked, I’m a fortunate woman, and I know it.

Thanks to all the lovely folks who have helped me in my pathetic post-op state, and those who have sent messages or called to see how I’m doing. Things are, at long last, well underway in the healing department, and I’ve got grand plans for my right paw, gardening, writing, playing the piano and mascara application, which should be underway very soon.

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