I Can High Five Again!
It’s been a little over five weeks since my surgery for Dupuytren’s Contracture on my right hand. The incision has closed and healed, and I’m able to use the pinky again for most day-to-day stuff. I can even give (gentle) high fives!
The tissue underneath is still healing, and that’s going to continue for a while. It’s stiff, swollen, and a little tender. But I’ve been working with the occupational therapist, doing my stretches and exercises and massages at home, and I think overall we’re making progress. The biggest problem is that it’s a bit sensitive and achy, especially at night, which has been making it harder to sleep.
I’ve also been able to get back to exercising again, after a month or so off the weight machine. There are a couple of exercises my hand just won’t do yet, but I can get through most of them. I’m averaging about 10-20 pounds less than I was pre-surgery, which is frustrating, but I’ll get back up eventually.
The lightning bolt scar is coming in nicely. We’re trying to keep that from tightening up and restricting movement, but I do like the whole “I high-fived Thor and all I got was this lousy scar” vibe!
I met with the doctor again today, and we talked about next steps. The ring fingers on both hands have Dupuytren’s nodules that will need to be treated eventually. They’re nowhere near as advanced as I had on my pinky, thankfully. It sounds like both will be treated with injections to weaken the cords, then simply flexing the fingers backward to break them, freeing up the tendons and restoring motion.
I’m not looking forward to that.
But hey, I can once again put my hand in my pocket, don and remove gloves, type with all ten fingers, and much more. Yay, progress!
November 18, 2020 @ 7:57 pm
Awesome! Up high!
November 18, 2020 @ 8:33 pm
I fractured part of my finger a 8 weeks ago and have been going through physical therapy the past two weeks. Its hard, painful, but the pain is worth it. Keep it up, look forward to more of your work in the years to come!
November 18, 2020 @ 9:20 pm
I was excited for you until you described the process for the ring fingers, and now I’m going to go hide.
November 18, 2020 @ 9:26 pm
You make coming down with gout this year seem pleasant by contrast. I just have to avoid all foods with purines and take a couple pills. Is it me, or does every year seem to be a roulette wheel of ‘What’s Gonna Hurt Next?’
Oh, and I gave Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen a nice review on GoodReads. Here’s hoping it finds the person who needs it most.
November 19, 2020 @ 3:38 am
Hi, quiet fan here. I have had a few surgeries and a broken wrist just 18 months ago. I found propping my hand so it is sort of resting on my chest, helped with the pain. Not sure how that would do for surgery IN the hand, but maybe? Also, check with PT about putting heat on it before you head to bed (heated rice or a heat pad?). Good luck – it sounds like you are doing everything right. When is the next book ? Stay safe, stay sane-ish!
November 19, 2020 @ 10:25 am
So happy your surgery went well. If you or your followers need more info on #dupuytren and related diseases, visit our website http://www.dupuytrens.org.
November 19, 2020 @ 10:35 am
Congrats Jim! Glad it’s healing nicely 🙂
November 19, 2020 @ 11:17 am
Hand PT is hard… but keep at it. When I broke my wrist I had to have surgery and PT, and it was a literal pain… but I have full range of motion and only one lamentably uncharismatic scar to show for it.
I was also fascinated to learn that hand PT is a separate specialty from regular physical therapy, given the complexity of the structure and function of the hand. Because I’m me, I used my PT time to ask all sorts of questions about the training, etc. (Most of which I no longer remember, because I’m me…)
November 19, 2020 @ 5:27 pm
“flexing the fingers backward to break them” Aaaaaaaaaaarrrgh!
Oh, right, breaking the nodules. (mops brow)
You gave me full-on screaming heeby-jeebies there for a minute, picturing some nightmarish doctor who goes around torturing his hapless patients, no doubt for some nefarious purpose of his own.