Posted by: vjicha | December 23, 2011

Our Hands and All They Do

It is amazing out intricate and absolutely essential our hands are. I have learned more about them than I ever wanted to know in the past month or so. You see, neither of mine are working very well. After several careers worth of using them to play the flute, piano, harpsichord, organ, hammered dulcimer, and recorders, not to mention all of the quilting, needlepoint, and knitting I’ve done in my life, my hands have suddenly said, “That’s enough! We’re done.”

So I sought out a hand specialist. After X-rays and an EMG at a neurologists’s, it has been determined that carpal tunnel in my right hand is severe enough that it must be operated upon immediately in order to save the nerve. That’s a pretty simple, out-patient procedure that I am hoping to bounce back from within a month.

That leaves the left hand. That one is not so simple. The trapezium ( a bone at the base of the thumb) is out of place, and the cartilage between it and the next bone has disintegrated. The second knuckle from the tip of the thumb has collapsed in toward the hand. The surgeon is going to reconstruct the thumb by removing the trapezium and replacing the cartilage with a tendon from the wrist. (Apparently, we have 3 tendons in the wrist and don’t really need all 3.)

The recuperation from that surgery will take a lot longer. It involves a cast that completely covers the thumb up almost to the elbow for about 6 weeks, rehab, strengthening, etc. about 3-4 months in all.

The carpal tunnel will be done in January, and the left hand reconstruction in late Feb. or early March. In preparation I’ve been thinking about all the things I will have difficulty doing, such as getting dressed, washing my hair, hooking a bra, washing the dishes, etc. Egad! The list is endless. The light at the end of the tunnel, however, is that I will have new hands when all is completed. Maybe I will be able to knit more than one row without losing feeling in my hands. I will be able to practice again, and type, and…that list is also endless.



  1. Oh no! I suspect I’ve got carpel tunnel problems too. My fingers get numb when I type, write by hand or knit and last week at yoga I swear they threatened to leap right off my hands. This is crying in yoga, don’t let ’em tell you different.

    Enjoy your private Christmas celebration. Listen to the silence. Drink hot buttered rum and eat cookies after the Roast Beast. Before too!

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