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Swollen Hand

Posted by molineux 6b (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 14, 07 at 12:20

My left hand is swollen. Started on Sunday night. I spent Sunday morning finishing up one the flower beds in my mother's Tidewater VA rose garden before driving back to Maryland. Sunday night I noticed that there was this spot on the palm of my left hand close to the index finger that was itching something fierce, yet I couldn't see a mark or thorn. On Monday it started to swell. By Monday night the whole hand had puffed up. Rob practically freeked out when he saw it and wanted to take me to the hospital but I said no (I hate-Hate-HATE doctors). It was a little better on Tuesday; only half of the hand still swollen and no swelling on the fingers. Today it is about the same but there is knot between the thumb and index finger. The veins are all enlarged and purple. No redness though. It also didnt start to hurt until today. The pain is really mild kind of like a dull ache.

So this morning I called my doctor and made an appointment for 4:30 this afternoon.

Has anybody ever had something like this?

I confess I'm a little scared since I'm well past due for my Tetanus booster. I know, shoulda-coulda-woulda. What can I say? I hate shots as much as doctors.

BTW, when I see her I will ask for the dang shot.

Patrick


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Swollen Hand

let us know what the Dr. says------It could be a lot of things but sometimes we just have to bite the bullit and get medical advice-----

Florence


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RE: Swollen Hand

It sounds like something bit you! It doesn't sound like cellulitis (no redness) but it sounds just as bad in its own way.

Make sure you keep that appointment!

MichaelAT


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WHY are men so afraid of doctors? Well, I've won a battle. I finally convinced DH to get a physical.
Patrick, you are smart to check on your hand, it does sound like a bite or allergic reaction.

Carla


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I have had something like that on my thumb. I got a thorn prick, and tried to make it bleed, but it didn't bleed much, and then the next morning, my whole thumb was huge. It also didn't hurt much. I eventually went to the Dr., and got a prescription for an antibiotic, but it went down and got better on it's own. I am glad you are seeing the Dr.

Carla, I have had no luck convincing my DH to go in for a checkup. He is way overweight, has sleep apnea, smokes, eats nothing but meat and never exercises. Glad he has life insurance. :-(
Kathy


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Patrick, I was just thinking about you yesterday and musing about not having seen any posts from you lately - and I'm sorry that this one had to be about something gone wrong. Please be sure to let us know what the doctor says and how you're doing. Take care!

Anne


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RE: Swollen Hand

Maybe a bug bite and allergic reaction? I swell up like that from some bug bites. If it's an allergic reaction, seems like oral Benadryl would relieve it to some extent. Though it takes a while for Benadryl to help me once the edema starts. If it's an infection, Benadryl would not help at all.

I am also a chronic doctor avoider. :-)

Cheers,
Michelle


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Okay Patrick, are you gonna leave us hanging? What's the diagnosis?


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It is an allergic reaction. Either to a bug bite or some kind of chemical or weed. Given my extensive allergies it could be anything. Personally I think it was a baby spider but that is just my opinion.

She told me to double up on the Benadryl and call her Friday morning if it isn't 50% better. Good news is that the veins aren't so purple and have practically faded away. Still some swelling though and I'm high as a kite on the antihistamines but at least there is some improvement.

Now I've got to find a way to stay awake until this work day is finished.


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RE: Swollen Hand

Do take care of yourself. This is not the time of year to be incapacitated!


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RE: Swollen Hand

  • Posted by jody 7b - NC (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 16, 07 at 11:37

Asked my doctor for a tetanus booster (since my RN son "reminds" me constantly). The doctor (TN) said he didn't have any tetanus - doctors are not doing that now - have to go to public health.

I haven't found a doctor in NC.

Did your doctor give you a tetanus shot?

Glad you are better. Wear gloves :-)


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My hand is a little better. Swelling has gone down some but not by 50%. I just called the doctor's office and left a message.

BTW, I forgot to ask about the shot.


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My left hand isn't any better. My doctor referred me to a hand specialist. Had the appointment yesterday. The specialist took one look at the hand and immediately ordered a STAT MRI. What a wonderful experience that was - NOT! Anyway, the MRI revealed a large mass imbedded deep in my hand. He thanks it is an abscess from a rose thorn. The specialist has seen it before. Apparently, rose thorns can carry a fungus that has been linked to this kind of infection. On a positive note, my body has done an excellent job isolating the infection. The mass is fully encapsulated. Textbook is how the Orthopaedic Surgeon described it. He even called in an intern to take a look at the MRI. I feel so honored.

Of course, there is a 1% chance it is a malignant tumor.

This afternoon I go under the knife to have it removed. Im on hold as I type with the office to find out what time. I will have to be put under (yeah I asked; rather be awake but you don't always get what you want). Sure hope the recovery time isn't too long.

$*^&*%%#%&^#@ rose thorns!


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We will expect a full update.

MichaelAT


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RE: Swollen Hand

PAtrick---Pleas keep us posted as soon as you are can

I've seen pictures of what a rose thorn can do---It makes me love my Zeffys even more---I can just hug her with not repercussions.

Good Luck ----I'm so sorry this had to happen ---especially in the spring when you want to be gardening.
Thinking of you,

Florence


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Good luck Patrick. I'm glad you found out the problem and are getting it fixed. Those thorns are nasty.

Carla


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They couldn't get an operating room until this Friday. I've got to be at the surgery center at 7:15 in the morning. I've been told that I can expect the hand to be out of commission for two days and NO gardening until the stitches come out (on April 9th) and the skin is completely healed. Like I'd risk this again.

After much reflection I remember the incident that caused all this hassle. It happened on a Sunday while I was visiting my mother. I was wearing gardening gloves (the expensive kind) when my mother's CLIMBING FOURTH OF JULY pierced the nylon mesh, between the leather pads, and got me between the thumb and forefinger. A freak chance and not even a bad prick. I didn't think anything of it because I've been scratched/stuck by a rose hundreds of times nothing bad has ever happened. That night it started to itch and their was this tiny (just barely visible) prick. No inflamation, scaling or redness. Unbelievable.

I'm dreading the surgery. I almost wish I had just let nature take its course.


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So sorry to hear this we were just discussing somthing like this Sunday in our Garden. Telling any new commers to get Tetanus shots and to be carefull pruning roes as there are some diseases like Sporotrichosis or (rose thorn disease)that can be gotten from a simple stab of a thorn.


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  • Posted by aprille z9 CA bay area (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 28, 07 at 13:08

Patrick, I'm so sorry to hear about your hand. Been following your progress on this post. Good luck at surgery on Friday and I hope you make a speedy recovery.

I sure am going to be more careful in the future with my roses - I had no idea that something I loved so much can cause so much damage. I just checked out rose thorn disease - scarey!!

Good luck
aprille


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I've been rose gardening for over 30 years. Started when I was about 8. Never had an infection or serious illness from the "hobby". I'm 40 now. Guess I've been lucky all these years. One thing is for sure - growing roses just got a whoooooooole lot more expensive. LOL!


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Now Patrick, its just that when you get old, every health issue is multiplied by 10.

Nowadays, each time I go down to get a weed, I make sure I have everything with me. Not just tools and gloves. First aid kit, cell phone, water, lunch - who knows when I may be able to get up again?


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Harry---I know what you mean----LOL

Florence


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I'm sorry about your poor hand. I had one of those infections, also caused by a rose thorn. It should feel MUCH BETTER after the abscess is opened.

I will stomp on my Fourth Of July Climber if you will feel better. ;-) Beastly, uncivilized roses.

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: Swollen Hand

  • Posted by jont1 Midwest 5b/6a (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 29, 07 at 1:07

Coincidentally I am fighting a very infected left hand thumb where my roses got revenge last week for pruning.
My thumb is very swollen and red and full of puss. I have lanced it myself and soak it every night in hot water with epsom salts. I use triple antibiotic ointment and keep it covered with a band aid. It is extremely painfully throbbing all the time and very hot to the touch.
I guess if it isn't any better tomorrow I should probably call my doctor as well. I have a multitude of other health problems--ulcerative colitis, diabetes, panhypopituitarism, sclerosing colangits, a heart condition, and a blood clotting disorder, so I certainly don't need this infected thumb to muck up the works any more than it already has.
Good luck with yours Patrick and let us know how the surgery goes, okay???
JOhn


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RE: Swollen Hand

  • Posted by roselvr Burlington Coun (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 29, 07 at 7:06

Good luck with the surgery. I've had a thorn stuck in my finger, thankfully the doctor was able to get it out.

I really need to make an appointment, I have something in my right hand, it's been a black spot for a few months.


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REVENGE OF THE ROSES!! It could be a bestseller!!

Seriously, ya'll take care of yourselves and keep us posted!


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Oh gosh, this is a frightening encounter with a rose thorn. Best wishes to you for a successful surgery and speedy recovery!

LIR


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RE: Swollen Hand

Oh my goodness! I just got caught up... I'm so sorry you have to have surgery. And yet surgery is so nice that it fixes things ;) I hope it's not very painful [it probably hurts worse now!] and the recovery is very fast.

Meanwhile I still have a nerve condition/swollen bone in my wrist/thumb from a respiratory virus I had this past summer! Who knew these things were out there? Craziness, I tell you.

Still in a cast and sick of it... surgery sounds fast wham bam thank you m'aam and kinda nice actually ;]

Take care and keep us posted!


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RE: Swollen Hand

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 30, 07 at 22:47

No news tonight? Or Patrick, do they have your hand wrapped in a way that makes typing too difficult?

Hope the worst is behind you!


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I got my little order from Chamblees today and got stabbed by something while transplanting. Of course I immediately thought of Patrick and started looking at the stab wound (aka tiny dot of blood) wondering if my hand was going to puff up. Patrick, I hope you are doing a lot better now.


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Where are you Patrick ??

Please post as soon as you can.

Florence


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  • Posted by aprille z9 CA bay area (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 31, 07 at 19:35

Patric, I really hope that your surgery went well - we are all waiting to hear how you are doing. Get well soon.

aprille


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RE: Swollen Hand

Patrick, I'm so sorry you had an encounter with an orthopod aka Dr. Pain. I suppose you have that hand held up higher than your heart. Heal well and don't scrimp on the physical therapy Dr. Pain recommends. You want to keep that whole apparatus moving and flexible. Good luck to you.
Cass


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Can you perhaps get Rob to report to us?

Carla


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Hey Patrick!

Just popped in here and saw this. I hope everything has worked out OK and you will heal on schedule.

I'm STILL working on my project. I've had two Climbing Pinkies in pots for the last couple of years, which I will plant this spring on an arch I bought from Germany. Cl. Pinkie has NO THORNS!!!

Best to you and Rob


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Sending my best into the ether for Patrick! I bet he's feeling our vibes and going 'can't type, folks!' OK, OK but take care and know we are thinking about you.


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typing with one hand. came through surgery fine. waiting on biopsy. surgeon had to basically cut hand in half to get all of the mass out. pain excrutionating on friday and saturday. vicodin barely made a dent. cried into my pillow on both nights. rob has been an angel. he rubbed my head and back for hours to destract me. pain broke on sunday. stitches hurt and some swelling but can stand it. full feeling in fingers but strength in hand is shot. will need therapy. that is all for now.

:( patrick


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RE: Swollen Hand

  • Posted by jody 7b - NC (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 3, 07 at 12:23

Sorry to hear how this turned out Patrick. I have a mostly numb right hand due to an accident - won't let them work on it anymore because its not worth it. I know from experience that your hand really really really HURTS. I cringe just thinking about it.

I know you don't want to hear about physcial therapy now, but it is important. I thought I could get by without, finally did it months later - sooner would have been better.

I hope you will heal well and that the pain subsides quickly. Take care of yourself.


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So sorry, Patrick. I broke my right hand once and it s*cked beyond compare. Rob sounds like the bestest. Take more vicodin and feel better soon.


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Oh Patrick,

I'm sorry. It sounds so horrible. :-(

(Hug),
Michelle


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I've been away for a bit and just saw this. That's so horrible Patrick. I hope your hand heals soon.


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Gawd, all this from a rose thorn!!! How awful for you Patrick! take your meds and does ice help numb the pain?? I will send my scary black snake over to your house - he can lie in wait to pounce on you and chomp your leg and take your mind off your hand... (seriously, I hope you feel better soon!)


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Hi Patrick, sorry to read about your experience but very happy to hear your surgery went well. Please report back once the biopsy results arrive and best wishes for a speedy recovery!


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What a thing to have to go through, you poor dear! Thank goodness for your Rob, bless his heart. Take care of yourself, and be patient. Therapy will bring your strength back soon enough. Right now you just need to heal and put this painful experience behind you. (I just don't know about Pagan's idea of a distraction, though - LOL!)
Hugs,
Anne


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Geez Patrick, I'm sorry you are having pain. Don't forget to keep the pain meds in your system instead of waiting until it hurts.
Feel better.

Carla


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Michael I'm so sorry!


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Patrick------thinking of you

Florence


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Patrick, oh no; I didn't realize it'd be such a painful surgery. Take care, drink a glass of wine and try to get better.


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Patrick - so sorry to hear about how much pain you are in. Rob sounds like a real special guy! Take care and get well soon.

aprille


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Wow, that sounds terrible. I think I will be MUCH more careful in the garden working around all those thorns. I hope your hand gets better very soon..


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Patrick, do you have that sporocitis (sp) infection that is common with rosarians? I am so sorry that this happened to you. Does anyone run inside when we are scratched by a thorn? This was real bad luck. I usually think that remnants of a thorn would work their way out, not go down inside your hand and form an absess.

I hope you are more comfortable now.
I am truly sorry to hear that this happened to you.

Sammy


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Patrick, I am sorry to hear about your surgery, and hope it turns out ok. I am thinking of you.
Kathy


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My hand is much better today. The pain has subsided down to a dull ache, which is a good thing when you consider I took my last vicodin last night. I can even type for short periods of time (of course I'm not supposed to use the hand at all for two more weeks). Only time it really hurts is if the stitches get pulled or jarred. Then a sharp spike of pain goes from the site to the rest of the hand. Very annoying. The stitches itch too. Can't waite for them to get removed on Monday.

After gutting my left hand my specialist promptly went on holiday. A Jewish holiday to be precise. Political correctness prevents me from complaining. Nobody from his office has called me either. Yesterday I called and they gave me some vague answer. Basically I will have to waite until the attending physician removes the stitches. He had better be prepared because I want to know EXACTLY what the mass was and how it got there.

Before he operated my specialist said he thought it was SPOROTRICHOSIS caused by Sporothrix schenckii, i.e. rose pickers disease. The thorn introduced the fungus to the tissues in my hand. It migrated down where it met resistance by my immune system. The body encapsulated it, formed pus (yuck!) which mixed with dead cells and other gunk forming a mass. That is what he THINKS it was. Again I won't know for sure until the doc reads me the lab results.

One positive. If it was Sporotrichosis then we got it before it could erupt and spread to my lymphatic system. Had that happened it could have traveled to my internal organs becoming a VERY serious illness.

Yeah I know. From a single rose thorn prick. Scary.

Patrick

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Picker's Disease at the ARS


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I would have never ever thought that roses could be a life threating obsession. Hope the worst is behind you, get well soon.


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How about that, we've got our own disease.
Ooh stitches do itch, I've had knives, coat hangers down my leg cast and my arm too. Glad to hear you're feeling better but don't use that hand.

Carla


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Patrick, wishing you a speedy recovery. Who would think something so very serious could come from a thorn?


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Patrick, just saw this post. I am really sorry about this painful experience. Wish you a fast recovery. Please take it easy and don't stress your hand too much.
Do you still want the SDLM Rouge? I can give you a fully grown bush, if you want. I am planning to substitute my with a no spray rose. Of course at first you have to recover, but I hope this story didn't make you a rose hater :)

Olga


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Olga,

I most definately want Souvenir de la Malmaison Rouge. Same goes for Yolande d'Aragon. I'm rethinking Darlow's Enigma though. Frankly, hyper thorny roses are not too appealing right now.

Patrick


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RE: Swollen Hand

  • Posted by jean Zone 7/TN (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 6, 07 at 9:26

Patrick -

I hope you are now on the mend. Do be careful and do not rush to the garden. It is important to let it heal properly. Take care of yourself.

Jean


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Jean,

You read my mind. As I sit here nursing that useless left hand I've been complating the difficulty of wrapping it in plastic and securing with a rubber band. Why? So I can get in some weeding this afternoon while Rob is at the gym. All I really need is my right to loosen the soil with a hand spade. What with the recent rain it should be easy to pull the weeds out with one hand.

Frankly, I'm desparate to get out there and do some gardening. Sitting here cooped up like an invalid is the pits.


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  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 6, 07 at 16:35

Hmmmmm. If that was me, I'd have my bad hand and both knees down on the ground while weeding with the good one though....It's hard to think and garden at the same time unless you have enough pain to remind you :)

Any possibility you could take a book out and just sit and enjoy your space - and not set yourself back in the healing process? Be well soon.....:)


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Patrick---I understand completely how difficult it is to want to work in the yard but know it is not a wise thing to do---Following hip replacement and back surgery I wasn't permitted to do anything but I sure didn't want to go through surgery again ----so please allow you hand to heal---the garden will be there waiting for you.

Florence


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RE: Swollen Hand

Hey Patrick, your hand story takes me back a couple of years when I had the Carpal Tunnel surgery. It sounds so minor compared to yours. But all the same, it was October, I had a brand new garden and could not be in it. The recuperation was not as quick as I wanted and that's when the hand doc said I must dedicate myself to 5-6 weeks of physical therapy, I did and it was a life saver. My right hand is fine now except for a little arthritis. The timing of your surgery must be so difficult. And we know the lure of spring and fall. I'm sending you all my good thoughts. And boy, does this make me think twice about being out in the garden at dusk with pruners in hand. That's when I get in trouble with thorns, when I cannot see as well and am probably tired. We are all now more aware of the dangers. Thank you for that!


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Oh my. I am just reading about your ordeal for the first time today. I am so sorry that happened to you, it sounds positively awful. And scary.

From now on I am putting on the goatskin gauntlets even for little jobs.

I hope you feel better every day, and Happy Easter!


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Yikes, what a painful experience, I hope that your hand is healing well and you don't suffer any long term difficulties. I too would wrap the bad hand in plastic, put on a glove and do what I could with the other. Spring is not a time to be held back in the garden. Be careful though.

Valerie


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Patrick, I just read down this whole post, and you've had quite a time!!! I'm so sorry, but am glad the surgery is over and you are on the mend. Thank God for your immune system!! Take it easy now, Patrick, the roses aren't going anywhere.

My best wishes
Brenda


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As I remember from back when I had carpal tunnel surgeries on my hands (not at the same time, but successively) the problem with using your "good" hand is that you start sneaking in a bit of help from just a couple of fingers of the other hand (that is supposed to be healing) and next thing you know you forget you're not supposed to be using it and....suddenly, Ouch!! You can really set yourself back that way, so don't be a silly like me; I know it's frustrating, but try hard to do what the doctor says. The more you follow instructions to the letter, the faster you'll get back to full use of that hand. Your garden will wait for you, really it will.
Best wishes,
Anne


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Patrick - if Florence and I can do it, then you can! let yourself heal!! the weeds will be there - and there may even be MORE of them for you to appreciate when you are able!


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They didn't remove the stitches today. Apparently I'm a member of the one in 50 people club who heal slowly. Not too happy about it. Now I have another followup appointment on Thursday. My specialist will be back that day so hopefully he can take the dang stitches out.

Lab results came back. What they removed from my hand was a tumor. The attending physician read the term "lymphoma" from my file. Scared the living daylights out of me but he told me it was not something to be concerned about (I'm assuming it was a non-malignant lymphoma). I've never heard of such a thing. I'm also having a hard time comprending how a soft bodied cell mass could form in a person's hand over the course of 24 hours.

One thing is for sure, it was not Sporothrix schenckii. Completely negative.

When will this be over? I've used up a lot of SL over my left hand. Very frustrating.


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Followup

They physician may have said Lipoma (i.e. a fatty tumor). They can occure following a minor injury or stressful event. This sounds about right given how hard I worked in mom's garden the day before the tumor appeared. I'll verify with my specialist on Thursday.

Patrick


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  • Posted by jean Zone 7/TN (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 9, 07 at 17:28

Patrick -

I think he must have said lipoma. If he's said lymphoma, he would have also uttered the word 'oncologist'. I think you can rest easy.

Still, take it easy and do not overdo it.

Jean


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It sounds like the lipoma was an incidental finding, and that your original symptoms were from an allergic reaction. My BIL has lipomas on his arms and he has no symptoms.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery so that you can get back into the garden.


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Just reading this....

Glad everything is OK. Rest and feel better soon!

Ronda


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Just got back from the hand specialist. It was definately a Lipoma. He told me that he got out all of the tumor and capsule so it should not recure in that particular spot. The bandage and stitches are gone. I must say that he did really nice work. The incision was made along the lifeline, so the scar won't be very noticeable. The most likely cause was the repeated striking of my left palm against the shovel along with my weight. Folks who are overweight yet still exert themselves (i.e. middle aged rose gardeners) are more likely to develop these things. I've gained most of the weight back from last year's weight watchers diet. So there it is.

As for my hand the only covering is a series of surgical strips. These should come off in a couple of days. At that time I start the hand exercises. Full strength should return in 3-4 weeks. Then I can use it in the garden.

Other than loosing weight there really isn't much more I can do to prevent this from happening to other parts of my body. The health benefits of gardening far outweigh the risk of getting more lipomas. BTW, the hands, feet, knees, and back are the most likely spots to develop fatty tumors.

Needless to say I start another diet TODAY. Better break out those weight watchers books.


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  • Posted by jody 7b - NC (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 13, 07 at 8:43

Excellent news. I'd loan you Drew (who rarely lets me touch a shovel now), except I'm selfish.

So this is another middle age thing - great.


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Good news-----Patrick---

Most of us will understand the weight thing---I have to constantly watch or the weight creeps on.----I'm not as active as I once was so that means I have to eat less.
I have a little spiral book and I write down every morsel that I put in my mouth----When I get careless about doing this I gain weight.
good Luck-----Florence


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Patrick, I know you had good success with the WW program before. So get back with it, and you, your body and your hand will be better just in time for summer. Good luck, and enjoy those veggies!
Kathy


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Let's revive this.
Sammy


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RE: Swollen Hand

Just checking in again---How are you Patrick ?-----Hope all is well

Florence


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