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Thread: Between A Rock & A Hard Place

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Between A Rock & A Hard Place

    Annnnd, the hits keep coming. What a year...I will update you all another time on another thread regarding my daughter's memorial that happened last week (suffice it to say, it all went well and smoothly, as much as an event like that can).

    When I got back to New Mexico, I had an appointment with the orthopedic specialist to go over my MRI and EMG reports regarding my left wrist and hand, which has been giving me trouble for some time now. I already knew that I have Ulnar Abutment Syndrome (in which the ulna bone on the outside of the arm is longer than the radius bone on the inside). The MRI showed that the ulna bone is basically wearing away the cartilage and bumping into the lunate bone in the hand, thus causing a lot of pain when I play guitar, or turn my hand in a twisting motion, or try to hold my metal down when I sawing shapes for jewelry. I also have a torn TCF meniscal ligament and a cyst on the bone. My daily life is already a bit limited because of this and the damage is degenerative. It will not get any better, most likely will get worse over time.

    The only relief apparently is a surgery called the Ulnar Shortening Osteotomy, which means they make an incision in the arm and cut away a slice of the ulna to make it shorter and even with the radius, then put it back together with a plate and screws, and wait for the bone to grow back. Sounds horrible!!!! I spent the day watching and listening to a You-Tube Video Series about a guy who had this done. It's done as an outpatient surgery, but my doctor said it is not a minor surgery. There is a long post-op healing time.

    Oy Vey...there is not really any alternatives. Not doing it means I continue to lose the ability to do anything that I enjoy doing and make money doing. Having it means another fall and winter spent healing from a surgery. The knee surgery last year wasn't so bad, because I could sit and make jewelry and play my guitar. What the hell am I going to do with myself being one-armed for two months?

    I haven't scheduled the surgery just yet; the doctor told me to think about it and I go back in 4 weeks. Well, I tried playing my guitar yesterday for the first time since I got back from Michigan and it went pretty well yesterday, but I pay for it dearly the next day with a lot of pain. I know what the answer is because at age almost 57 I am not ready to give up on doing the things that make me, me! I just dread the recovery process and I am sick of my body being injured in various ways. I am still healing from the fracture on the top of the foot from last month.

    I have tried all the conservative treatment options: ibuprofin, splinting, cutting back on activities, CBD Oil, CBD salve, ice. Nothing really helps that much and the cartilage just keeps wearing away.

  2. #2
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    Oh I am sorry, it is a real impact when a injury or chronic issue affects the things we love the most. I know my son broke his wrist one summer and by the end of a month he was going nuts because he couldn't play guitar or swim. He played hours a day.

    I don't have any sage advice, it just stinks no matter how you look at it. There are lots of substitute activities that may also be not recommended due to healing. It sounds like you have done everything you can to work with it so far.

    I have been thinking about you a lot and the trip and the memorial service. My oldest recently did cold turkey around cocaine since her boyfriend was dealing. I am grateful every day that she and my other daughter quit, I know that it is out of our control as parents. So my heart is feeling for you.

  3. #3
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    As to what to do with yourself, any other one-armed people you could hang out with to get tips on living that way, commiserate, and socialize? Perhaps a VA hospital with wounded veterans?

  4. #4
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    It's a low volume procedure but we do a few a year in my facility. you're right about there being no alternative IF you want to return to normal activity which it sounds like you do. And fudging on post-op instructions won't get the best result. Is this your dominant hand?

    Can you spend 6 weeks doing a lot of prep work for things you can do for fun with the other arm?

    I'm 57 as well. Had to have a knee replacement in June. The knee arthroscopy 3-2016 revealed a large hole in the joint and there is no alternative.

    Best of luck making your plan moving forward.

    Hugs to you...it's been a tough year for you.

  5. #5
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    My sister feel and shattered her wrist at 72. She has plates and screws. Months later despite physical therapy and acupuncture she has lots of pain and limited movement. Now she found out she has the longer bone like you and no clue why the doctor didn’t fix it as the same time as the other. She was told she may need a second surgery but she won’t do it. Thankfully she is not working. She can’t get the lids off of jars etc and lives alone. I am so sorry this happened to you.

  6. #6
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Sorry SiouzQ, Do the people that own your gallery provide health insurance for you or do you buy your own. So sorry you've had so many bone expenses. The wrist thing definitely sounds like its to the point of needing the surgery and recoop time. Sorry that will put you back a bit on jewelry production but take the time to heal.

    I've been chatting with a friend who was recently hit head-on by a dump truck with full load of gravel that blew a tire. She's had 3 surgeries so far and every time they redo x-rays they find more breaks. Up to 23 so far and a hip joint that is slipping. Poor thing has an incredible amount of metal both inside and outside her arms and legs holding her together. She is currently at home after 2 weeks in ICU and she's waiting for a room to open at the rehab hospital so she can start learning how to bend her knees again. I remember how long and drawn out it was for my one broken ankle...I just can't imagine.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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