Had my second op (on the left hand this time) last Monday and just got the plaster/dressing off a few hours ago so now finally able to type more easily, although have to take it easy for a while yet. In comparison to my first one tho (read details here) this time I’d a different surgeon and a very different surgery and outcome. Where the first op was over with fairly quickly and caused me no pain, this was an hour of painful torture from beginning to end. Started off with the doc only putting in a small amount of local despite my having told him I’d required a lot on the right, and in fact that my entire hand had been frozen – he insisted I shouldn’t require that much, so it was a bit of a surprise to him and a shock to me, when he made his incision and I almost leapt off the table. A few more cc’s of local later he started in again, this time only managing about another 10 minutes of exploration before I once again was feeling it. This went on for a bit until he finally did stick in a fair bit more local and left me more comfortable, but that was an ill-founded feeling on my part, and about to change very rapidly. About 15-20 minutes into the op, I ran into a lot of discomfort from my primary disabilities (fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome) because I’d forgotten to bring in my air cushion with me to lie on, and the pillow they’d put underneath me just wasn’t doing any good ( I require continual positive pressure flotation equipment for comfort). So that started the downward slide into the rather rough half hour that followed. The doc had asked me beforehand about how the last op had been achieved without a tourniquet, and whether I’d have any problem with one this time if he needed it. As my right arm has always been my worst for trigger points, and although I have one TP in my upper left arm, I figured I’d be able to cope with the tourniquet, and told him so, but obviously had no real idea whether or not that would actually be the case. So when he determined he wanted to use it because I was bleeding too much to let him get anywhere easily, I agreed. If I’d had any idea what I was in for I’d have told him to forget it. I should have realised I’d find it impossible given I can’t even cope with a BP cuff for more than 30 secs, and so it was with the tourniquet (which for the uninitiated, is just like a triple strength BP cuff) – as soon as it was on I started feeling more uncomfortable, and within 30 seconds it was combining with the pain in my pelvis to make for an overwhelming torture experience. Fibromyalgia is a condition of hypersensitive pain responses anyway (allodynia, hyperalgesia) but I like to keep deluding myself that I have a high pain tolerance (sounds so much better than saying you’re a wuss now doesn’t it!!). So when I started tearing up and the staff started asking if I was alright as I’d gone suddenly very quiet, I just kept saying I was okay and to continue. Oh the madness of pride and stoicness (is that a word!?)!! Unfortunately for me, between pain and hormones perhaps, once the floodgates opened to any degree (I ordinarily never cry and esp not in public!!) I was lost and ended up losing it completely with convulsive sobs that only served to self perpetuate the feeling of being out of control in a situation I was beginning to wish I’d never put myself into to start with!
At any rate, he eventually let the tourniquet off and things settled for a few minutes before he had to put yet more local in once more, before continuing on. But after another 5-10 mins or so I realised this was all taking rather more time than expected, so queried whether he needed to use the tourniquet again, and sadly he did as it seemed I was bleeding a lot more than anticipated. So another couple of minutes of torture where I once again lost it halfway through (used to be a time I thought I’d never talk if I was tortured for information – HAH!!), eventually things were getting wrapped up and he was starting to suture which we were both shocked at my actually feeling, and then it was over. Course, as is often the case, that’s when I really lost it – bawled my head off like a baby, which just made the poor doc feel 10 times worse I think even though I accepted that it wasn’t all down to him and did tell him that. Just a bad combination of issues that led to a rather distressing morning. He did warn me though never to have tourniquets placed under local ever again and to request a GA if I felt it was warranted at any future point. Trust me – I’ve no intention of ever needing such type of surgery ever again if I’ve a choice in it!! Ironically given this was my least affected hand too part of me did wish I’d not gone through with it but it was a cancellation appt, and as always in such things I felt it was entirely in the Lord’s Hands with respect to the timing so just meant to be.
Today a week postop the incision has certainly healed well once more but I’ve a lot more numbness and pain than before – the doc just phoned me to discuss it with me as I’d missed him this morning, so I’m going back to see him on Friday – he feels much of it is most likely down to postop swelling and nerve irritation, but regardless, neither of us has any way of knowing whether it will ever improve, and ultimately if it doesn’t not much I can do, so may as well just get used to it! At least it’s my left hand, and thus not as big an issue as it would have been with my right, as I’ve a loss of function in it too currently but that should improve over time.
Just another reminder that any operation can go wrong to a degree no matter what – and quite likely I may have had just the same problems if I’d had the same surgeon again. Few of us ever really think things could go wrong when the docs read you off the list of risks etc – we always, like everything else in life, have an “it’ll never happen to me” attitude and then can’t cope when it does. So lessons are being learnt by me on this one, and that’s still what I love not only about life but being in God’s Will – you can trust Him, regardless of how anything in life appears on the surface, to have your best interests at heart and see you through. To Him be the Glory!
NB – for anyone following my normal line of posts on Christian based topics, I’ll be taking a short break as typing is something I need to go easy with just now, but not be too long before I’ll have something up.