I had outpatient surgery on my right thumb about two weeks ago. It was not a big deal; however, it was surgery. I was unconscious and an incision was made in my skin. When I woke up I had stitches. So it counts.
I’ve had surgery with several incidions in my abdominal area which made it painful and difficult to walk afterwards. My husband also told me about a week after I was feeling better that he thought they had also removed my sense of humor. My thumb surgery was different.. My husband described it as “oppsional pain” as in, I didn’t absolutely have to move my hand if I didn’t choose to. At some point, after you went home you had to move off the bed to pee, but that is another story.
Actually, the surgery was an incredibly great nap. And I know naps. It also seemed like a really fast one. When the doctor or whoever, it was kind of a blur, woke me up, and;literally said “It’s time to wake up.”, I remember thinking, already? It was over already?
So then they rolled me into this waiting area, and the nurse who had taken care of me before the surgery was there taking care of me again. Surgery nurses are some of the nicest people in the world. She was so sweet, kind and calm. I am usually all about being independent and taking care of myself, but I have to say, after surgery and before I, was scared and nervous, it was nice to have someone being all nurturing and nice as could be.
Before surgery, the woman gave me a blanket right out of the dryer. Who does that? It was so great. See, it doesn’t take a great deal to make me happy. I don’t care about material things for the most part. So little things like that when I am scared about being put under and having my hand cut open while wearing a thin hospital gown in a chilly hospital, those little things mean a lot.
Then afterwards since I had not had been able to have anything to drink or eat since midnight the night before the suregery, I was very thirsty. The nurse offered to bring me something to drink AND gave me a choice of kinds of juices and what kind of a snack bar I would like. I was thrilled. I told you, it’s the little things. I drank my apple juice with ice and my little granola bar. I was just happy. Happy. Happy.
The nurse wheeled me down to the front door where my husband waited with the car. I felt a little silly, like I didn’t really need it until I tried to stand up, and then, whoops, dizzy. So, yeah, it was good that I had the wheelchair.
On the way home, we picked up breakfast. I was happy again. Iced coffee and pancakes, oh my. it was nearly a perfect day, except maybe the surgery, but I was not being picky.
The doctor told my husband before the surgery to treat me like a Princess for twenty four hours. Although I didn’t really like that term, I was not going to get into an argument with the man about to open up my hand and cut away inside it. On the way home, I clarified, that I would like to be treated like a Queen. My husband already knew that. My hand was mostly numb so that was interesting and wrapped up so I would not be able to move my thumb at all.
Later that evening the numb started to wear off. I knew right away that I preferred the numb and I took the medication that the Dr. had prescribed and went to bed early. Sleeping a great deal during the day didn’t deter me from an early bedtime at all.
The medication worked and I slept quite well. I woke up during the night, around three am or so after my medication wore off and I was hungry again. I hand’t eaten that much for dinner and I made myself a peanut butter sandwich with my left hand.
I then tried completely unsuccessfully to open the child safe bottle cap of medication for another pain pill for a while. My husband was sound asleep and I didn’t want to wake him. I could have but sometimes he had trouble going back to sleep, so I didn’t want to.
I tried on and off. There was a lot of swearing and then some laughing. After a while the dog who had joined me downstairs and had been sleeping on the comfy chair and stareing at me for a while, just ignored me and went back to sleep. She has gotten used to me over the years. Her thoughts were probably, “There goes Jamie doing weird shit again. I love her but damn.”
Finally, I tried opening the regular bottle of Tylenol and said,”Yes!” out loud when that worked. I mean, I was not in tears from the pain, but it was fucking uncomfortable. Then I went back to bed.Ironically, when I crawled in bed, my husband woke up enough to say, “You okay?” I said , “Yes, I just got up to take some medication.” The next thing I knew he was snoring again, so I am not convinced he woke up completely.
Then the next day the hand started to itch. Not where the stiches were, where the damn wrapping was all over the lower part of my hand. Holy crap. IT continue to itch. I asked my husband how he stood being in a leg cast for nine months. Nine months. He said it sucked. I can see how it did.
I just had to wait four days to ask my husband to unwrap my the bandage off of my hand and every day I looked forward to scratching the hell out of the itchy spots on my hand. And I did, although once the bandage was off, it wasn’t nearly as itchy. It just needed some damn air. I lovingly and carefully washed my hand with soap and water and dried it. (The Dr. said it was okay, just no baths.) And then I scratched the hell out of the itchy spots..
So now my thumb doesn’t pop in a painful way when I bend it. Also I can bend it which is really nice since I had fucking surgery on it. I can use my thumb to type and all the things you need to use a thumb for, picking up stuff, you know, hand stuff. As a relative said, thumbs are very useful.
This past Friday I went and got the stiches taken out. It took about thirty seconds, forty top. Whew, glad to have that done. The doctor came iin and talked to me and I thanked him for fixing my thumb. He smiled. I really meant it. I am so happy to be able to use my thumb again. Not being able to use it is incredibly inconvenient.
I drove home, making a quick stop at the food place on the first floor ont he way as I was not feeling well and slept to late to eat before gogn to my afternoon appointment. Also I had been sick as hell with a cold and cough for the last two weeks, with the symptoms starting about two days after the day of the surgery. So it had been fun. I had called my primary doctor the following week to ask if she could prescribe some antibiotics for me. I didn’t even have theenergy to go to her office so I was glad when she said yes.
I got a delicious tuna sandwich and a drink. I ate some of it in the parking lot and then drove home. I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to buy rubber gloves so maybe I could do some cleaning and keep my right hand dry and clean for yet aother week.. As I shopped I got this horrible feeling in my stomach and I thought, what is that? Often, coffee is a problem for me, diahreaa wise. I hadn’t had any coffee that day. I don’t drink coffee before I have to go somewhere because…. diahrea. Then I remembered, antibiotic and the hell it had been wreaking on my digestive system. Then I thought, well I didn’t eat. Then, oh yes, I did.
I hurried up with my shopping, because of course I thought of a few more things I needed. I checked out, got in my car, and was ready to drive the short distance home to use my own bathroom in private.
And I had forgotten abuot the line of cars that had been sitting on the street when I pulled into the parking lot of the drug store. I had a few moments of panic. I truly did. I hoped for the best. I said out loud, “Please, please let the traffic clear up.” And then I just hoped for the best. Once I was back out on the street with cars behind and in front, there wasn’t much left to do. I wondered how difficult the car seat would be to clean even as I hoped it would not come to that.
Finally traffic started moving, a little at a time. Then a little more. More hope. More rumbling. Holy crap. So to speak.
Finally, the turn to my house was right there. Finally the car in front of me moved enough that I could turn and drive down the street. Inside my house my dog was happy to see me. I said hello to her as I ran to the bathroom.
Yes, I made it home without shitting my pants. So stitches out and I did not shit my pants. It was a successful afternoon. I may have lowered my standards considerably, but a successful afternoon nonetheless. Really, it’s the simple things that make me happy.