Need some advice on one handed living

sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)April 23, 2008

I had carpal tunnel surgery this morning and the bandage and splint are so bulky it is going to be a hastle to get any thing done. I think I may need a couple of skirts to wear instead of slacks and does anyone make a bra with velcro instead of hooks? Working on the computer is hilarious. I have seen more help screens pop up than I knew existed. One in particular is a voice simulator and keeps talking to me out of the blue. I am not even able to identify the key I am hitting to activate it. What is worse, there may be several overlapping screens at the same time and you have to close them off in a particular order. Very strange. Any advise you can give or any encouragement would be appreciated. In the meantime, DH can fold the laundry and I am going to order chinese tonight or maybe Italian. I need to find some really long rubber gloves. Sandy

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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

YIKES! Sorry to hear of your surgery. How long will you be one handed? Is it the one you normally use to write with and everything else?

I have seen the bras with velcro instead of those hooky things but don't remember who made them. A front closing one may be easier to manage or ask your DH to help with getting dressed. You can also pre-close it and place your arms through and wriggle into it. It can be done!

To open stuff like a pill bottle or jar, place it on a towel on a counter or table (for traction) then using the palm of your hand press downwards and turn your wrist. I managed to open lots this way when I had broken my elbow(s) and was in a splint.

For future ease, replace conventional door knobs with lever type handles. You need only press down on the lever with whatever body part is available and the door is easily opened.

Taking a shower and washing your hair will be the most difficult one handed. Trying to keep a water tight seal on your arm over a plastic bag to keep your splint dry is a tough one too.

It is rare indeed to have no one at Camp Nappy in some sort of splint or cast. Even the cockateil had one! We *always* get a water leak somewhere around the seal so we figured out to wrap a hand towel over the end of the splint or cast ... then put the plastic over ... then tape it to seal it. That way should the seal fail and water does leak in, the towel will hold the moisture and protect the splint more and keep it drier.

That's about all the tips I can think of right now.

Hope you are on the mend and well soon, Sandy.

C3D :-)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:55PM
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I had both of mine done. First I recommend baby wipes in the bathroom. I liked the sporty sweat pants for day wear. lol

If it is any consolation you will find out how quickly you will become good at using the opposite hand. I had to relearn how become "right handed" again. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:51PM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

Sandy, here's hoping you'll get much better soon. I had trigger finger surgery twice, on my dominant hand. It's annoying, but I found people are very eager to help. Lisa and Chicka already covered my helpful suggestions except one - a sportsbra, it goes on over the head, you wriggle in, pull a little at the band at the bottom, and you're done. Don't go buying a real strong one (unless, of course, you intend to do major jumping-jacks style exercise while you wear it!), the less intense ones go on easier.

And, go and buy yourself some nice new things now that you have a good excuse!

:) Mary

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:23AM
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All great advice, which is good, since I have none. :D

Sandy, I sure hope you're healed up nicely soon! My folks both went through those surgeries, and I hear it's not too fun.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 8:58AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Just here to wish you a speedy recovery Sandy. And be careful not to overdo it on your good hand. And don't try to open that beer bottle with your teeth! Hang in there.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:10AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

LOL!Some of the things that require more coordination than I can manage at the moment: opening the front door, carrying anything in my left hand without using the right to keep it steady, grasping anything in my right hand since only the finger tips are free, opening kitty food cans with a pull top (I had DH open two cans and cover them before he went to work), wringing out a washcloth, reaching the toilet tissue, turning off the water so it won't drip, working a non electronic cigarette lighter, using the right handed computer mouse, brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush, Squeezing out toothpaste!!!, putting on lipstick, contact lenses. And that is just the first hour after I woke up! I keep reminding myself this is only a temporary thing and I'm lucky it doesn't hurt in the slightest except when I try to grab something. When I get the splint off I won't be dropping things any more and my arm won't go numb or all tingly. The left wrist will be much easier and DH is bringing home carryout.
In the meantime, the front yard is totally white with the Spring Beauty blossoms and the daffodils are everywhere and I can hold a shovel with my left hand. I love spring. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 5:32PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

All I have to say is, Get well soon Sandy.
But I think that maybe, that velcro application could be of interest to the squadron!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 6:28PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

My only suggestion is - take it easy!

And do your exercises. Two friends have had it done and one was not-so-good about doing the exercises and she had a much longer recovery.

Take care and good luck!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:19PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Wishing you a speedy recovery Sandy! I only know about one-footed stuff....

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:26PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Many thanks to all of you. You all made me smile, including you, Horton.
I went to the grocery store last night and got a weeks worth of thin plastic bags from the produce department. They cover my arm up to my elbow and a wide rubber band makes them pretty waterproof. Now I can feel at least halfway clean.
I still have not had any pain. The worst is itching from all the Betadine left on my skin. An iced tea spoon is just the right length to reach it. Maybe I will be one of the lucky ones that heal up fast. The info sheets say 2 to 6 weeks. DH says everyone he has talked to that had the surgery said they had a lot of pain but one secretary was back to work in two days. A couple of Master Gardeners said they didn't hurt but more said they did. I guess I am one of a minority and I am very grateful.
Jeanner, What exercises? No one mentioned anything about exercise! Sandy

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 3:51PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

They are just hand exercises to rebuild the strength, nothing too strenuous! I don't think you start them for at least a week.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:02AM
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How's that hand doing, Sandy? Hope everything is healing nicely!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:15AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey there, Brenda. I am happy to say I am one of the lucky ones who heal fast. And it is a good thing. Last week I lost my balance in the yard and from habit tried to grab something to catch myself. It happened to be the Skippy. The very well bandaged and splinted right hand went in to the elbow. I peeled the soaking bandages and cottonwool off and cleaned it up but there was no salvaging the splint and packing so I dug out the splints I had been using before and they were exactly the same length as the doctor's splint. I went in to get the stitches pulled on the 6th and he said what I used was just fine. I can't trust the strength and dexterity yet but that should return quickly. I got a kick out of seeing the doctor was able to keep scarring to a minimum by making the incision an extension of a line in the palm of my hand. He made sure I noticed it, too. LOL! I haven't had any numbness or tingling at all so I am quite content with the results. I am so glad I got it done. Thanks to all of you for your encouragement. Sandy

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:13PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Glad to hear you're coming along Sandy! Keep up the good work.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 8:00PM
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I had reconstructive surgery on my dominant hand and had to wear a cast clear up over my thumb for six months.
they have a cast cover that you can get at a medical supply company if you have any locally. for about 20 dollars. It is a dark thick rubber mitt that is loose lower but had a skin tight piece at the top. It is so good that I even wore it swimming.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 11:35PM
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Wow, Sandy, I'm SO glad to hear you didn't hurt yourself! That sounds like something *I* would do! LOL Glad also that you're healing nicely!

My dad had that surgery, and when he went back to work, he explained he couldn't be doing the heavy lifting he'd done prior. They didn't he ended up destroying all the work the doc had done. :( He got an earlier-than-expected retirement out of the deal, though. Trying to find the bright side here...:D


    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 8:19AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Brenda, I sure hope your dad got a good settlement. That sounds absolutely crazy. I sure hope someone got into hot water for that brainless decision. I hope your dad found some relief for the hand, too. I am trying to be cautious but it is easy to forget. I really am anxious to see if I get back the dexterity I lost. I love to make jewelry and it is hard to string beads or drill tiny little holes when you can't feel what you are doing. Besides, I am only 5' tall and finding clothing that fits without hemming is hard to do. It is even harder to thread a needle. Sandy

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 12:07PM
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