So, just in case you noticed, I've been gone for almost a year from blogging and updating the site. It has been a very long and interesting year. On October 1st, 2018, I had the first of 2 CMC Arthroplasty with LRTI surgeries, on the basal joint of my right thumb. This consists of removing the trapezoid bone in the wrist and replacing it with a tendon from the forearm. What it meant for me was that PsA got its hooks in me in a big way, because that surgery meant 2 weeks in a splint, 3 weeks in a cast (purple) and a LOT of occupational therapy afterwards. Since my right hand is dominant, it meant a lot of finger foods, no handwriting, no buttons, snaps, clasps or zippers on my clothes. It meant leggings and long shirts and very few shoes I could put on by myself. It also meant that the burning, grinding feeling of a hot needle from my wrist to my thumb was GONE!! Yes, there was pain, yes it was a huge adjustment, but that pain...oh, to be rid of that pain that had dogged me for years was like a little slice of heaven.
Fast forward 71 short days, and I had the second surgery, this one on my left CMC joint. This one was a lot harder...maybe because the left joint was much more damaged, more likely because I now knew what to expect. Or not. This time was 10 days in a splint, and a whopping 55 days in that cast (pink)...that is awhile, especially when I had to depend on other people to take care of so many basic ADL's-although I did pretty good at brushing my teeth and putting on a minimum of makeup left handed, there was no cooking, driving, feeding the animals, typing blogs etc. What there was a lot of was a lot of eating, a lot of sitting on the couch, a lot of sleeping and a lot of therapy.
I started back driving around a month ago, and finished therapy shortly after that. These thumbs still ache, and are still pretty weak. There is a lot of healing left to do, and they won't ever be like they were...but man, oh man, I do not miss that awful pain at all. I am still working on my food cutting etiquette, my buttons and snaps, and tying my shoes is still a distant dream. But I can pull up my own damn pants (on the list of the hardest things to learn one handed), shave under both arms and I no longer have to use an arm condom in the shower or tub anymore. I am beyond grateful every day that I had these surgeries. I am grateful to my Orthopedic Surgeon, who is amazing, my Occupational Therapist, my family, who are even more amazing (and yes, they pulled up my pants more than once!!), and to my friends who entertained me, zipped my boots, chauffeured me and even cut my food for me. And I am ever grateful that no matter how much my thumbs and wrists ache, and sometimes hurt like crazy, and won't quite do what I want them to, I don't have to go to sleep every night and wake up every morning with THAT PAIN ever again.