Saturday, March 08, 2014

None of THAT Now.

I've been battling carpal tunnel syndrome for quite some time now. I recently had the numbness, tingling and pain in my hands evaluated by a specialist. He said it was advanced enough that it wasn't likely to heal on its own or by using wrist braces or physiotherapy. He recommended I look into having surgery. Sounded okay to me until I looked up the recovery time!

From what I've been able to find on the internet, recovery from carpal tunnel surgery takes a minimum of about 2 months and can take many months. And then there is the fact that both of my hands are involved, almost equally. It is not recommended that both hands receive surgery at the same time because then the patient is completely reliant on someone else for nearly everything. That means that after recovering from surgery on one hand I'd have to go in again for surgery on the other hand. The total recovery time for both surgeries could be a year. Whatever would I do with myself when unable to use both of my hands for that length of time?! I'd be looking at about a year of sitting idle not able to do most of my hobbies!

I decided to look into a therapy that I'd heard about several years ago. At that time acquaintances highly recommended German New Medicine for some back pain I was experiencing. While looking at practitioner Candace Brown's site I discovered she also treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I called her yesterday and was dismayed to find that even with her therapy she also recommends lengthy periods of refraining from repetitive movements like knitting, crocheting, hand sewing and the like. So it looks like one way or another I'm in for some long periods of time without my hobbies. ACK! I find the thought of forced abstinence from my hobbies more frightening than the surgery and the possible associated pain. What to do? What to do?!

So now I find myself wanting to knit more than ever so that I can finish up a few projects that are in progress so that I don't have a bunch of half finished items laying around causing me to fidget even more. Bit by bit I'm working on the vest I have in progress for myself.

This is the beginning of the side increases on the Drops Designs asymmetrical vest pattern.

Side increases

The perfectionist in me just has to provide a disclaimer. NO, that is not terribly uneven handspun, it's commercially spun yarn that is supposed to look like --- um --- terribly uneven handspun?


Cyndi in BC said...

I had the surgery done on both hands about 10 years ago. I had the first done and then two weeks later the 2nd. Yes, it's a pain but it was so worth it. I haven't had any problems since.

I didn't knit for about a month or six weeks but then started doing small easy projects for short periods of time with my braces on and worked my way up from there.

The initial healing takes 6 to 8 weeks but it took about a year before I could say that I felt totally healed. I wore my braces for the almost the whole year then gradually less and less. I got pretty good at knitting with the braces on. :)

It's not just the handwork that slows down while you heal but I learned just how many little things one does everyday that requires hand dexterity. Hope you're able to find a solution that works for you. :)

Marlene said...

Thanks for all the information about your experiences Cyndi. It's looking more and more like I will end up having the surgery. There really doesn't seem to be an easy solution at all.

cjbj said...

So sorry to hear this! Why does life 101 have to note us in the butt like that? But I see from some later posts that you are still able to create...and vacuum. Any idea when the surgery might be?I know, wait lists, etc. But perhaps once it is done you will be pain free. I had a spiral fracture so for three weeks I wore the plastic support just wrapped in a tensor. And I did get frustrated but it healed fine. (but I still want to learn how to ice skate!)