Decisions, decisions.

Starburst
Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
edited 29. Apr 2017, 15:22 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello, lovely people. I'm sorry I haven't been around much. Work and life is draining every ounce of emotional energy from me but I do still pop in and check on how you're all doing.

The date for my total jaw replacement is still unknown but I've been told "soon". In the middle of all this waiting, I was referred for investigations on my wrists due to weakness, numbness and tingling. I have both carpal and cubital tunnel, two different nerves (ulnar and median) are getting trapped. Open surgery on both wrists was suggested but I wasn't convinced and I got a second opinion who agreed with the first doctor. The only difference is that this surgeon said he would only operate under local anaesthetic on me. I'm borderline horrified at having it done whilst being awake but it makes sense to not put myself through multiple general anaesthetics.

If I wasn't having the jaw replacement, I wouldn't think twice about the wrist operations. They are causing me a lot of hassle especially as I walk with a crutch. However, I wonder if I'm putting my body under a lot of stress. Also, I'm worried about work. Being at work is very important for my mental health. Somewhere in my head, it made sense to do the worst wrist and the jaw at the same time to limit my time off. I'm not sure if I'm thinking rationally or if I'm just being led by my desperation to feel better without thinking about the consequences of recovering from these surgeries.

Any advice would be much appreciated, please and thank you.

Comments

  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can't offer any words of advice, I wish I could but can only say that from what I know of you from reading your posts on here you will seek advice, do your research and think it through carefully. I fully understand though what you mean about work being good for your mental health, plus, although we work in different fields, I get the impression that it's also the responsibility you feel towards your clients (in my case pupils), that also makes you reluctant to take sick leave.

    Wish I had words of advice but others I'm sure will be able to offer you those.
  • palo
    palo Member Posts: 240
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have had carpel tunnel surgery on both hands in 2010. Honestly it was pretty easy, but have had major surgeries prior to that.

    My worst surgery was cataracts, that really is scary. The local for CT is quick and easy, I'm a bit dodgy for GA so they avoid it if they can and I was nervous before but I shouldn't have been. The surgeon said I could look if I wanted - I didn't...

    Recovery was pretty quick, a few weeks and I wished it had been done far sooner!!

    Obviously you can't have both done at the same time (how do you wipe your behind etc?)

    Good luck.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Crikey, Sophie, do you think that, one day, just for once, you could give us an easy question :wink:

    I know what I'd do but I write as a much older person whose wrists have now fused and who never did persevere with a career, despite so many awful setbacks, as you have done.

    I think I'd see the jaw as a very unenviable priority and want to get that sorted first. I wouldn't want to risk lingering wrist problems while I was recovering from the jaw as I'd want to put all my energies into that. Then I'd consider the wrists later. The local wouldn't worry me (much :wink: ) but that's because, with access problems in my throat, a general would scare me more :roll: Have you actually asked if both the jaw and a wrist could be done together? I'd be surprised if they could but that's based on gut feeling not actual info.

    I understand the work / mental health thing. It makes sense. On the other hand, I think you are such a resourceful person you'd be able to put your work skills and experience to good use in many other, easier jobs and / or voluntary work. Work can be a great incentive but it can also push us a bit too far. If possible, with all you have going on, keep an open mind about it.

    And the best of luck with any / all your decisions.
  • palo
    palo Member Posts: 240
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    In terms of priority I have always worked on the basis of the most urgent first and to leave a bit of time before the next surgery, in case of any setbacks or issues.

    You may find waiting times influences that too.

    In 2005 I had an emergency hysterectomy in February (had to wait about 6 weeks) and the cataracts in September - plenty of time to recover inbetween.

    Good luck.
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You never do things by halves :wink: By way of encouragement my 87 year old mum recently had her carpel tunnel surgery via local anaesthetic, she was hugely scared never having had any hospital treatment other than baby deliveries. She was absolutely fine, said she didn't see/hear anything and 8 weeks later is contemplating the other hand being done soon.

    Like others I think I'd concentrate on the jaw as the most urgent. I don't think getting both hands done at once would work as you can't use the hand post operatively for a few days, and it has to be kept dry and covered....your crutches would be impossible, not to mention ablutions :oops: .

    Hope what ever you decide it all goes smoothly.

    Deb xx
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your kind and helpful words, always appreciated. As it happens, today turned out to be eventful. I got a phone call saying I'm pencilled in for the first week in June. A new jaw so I can smile like this. :D It definitely won't be any sooner due a delay in the prosthetic joint manufacturing process. With this in mind, I have tentatively booked the operation on my bad wrist for 2 weeks today. I'm fully covered by my insurance and the consultant works both NHS and private. It makes sense to have it at my convenience. I'm hoping that I'll be back at work the following Monday. I'm a nifty typist, so being one hand down shouldn't impair my typing ability too much.

    I've chewed this over all day and I can still change my mind. I'm not overly fussed about my non-bad hand but what swayed me is that my bad hand wakes me repeatedly throughout the night and I'm going to need my sleep after recovering from the jaw op. I'm not certain that I've made the right decision but it's a minor operation that has the potential to dramatically improve my quality of life.

    On a positive note, I'm going to be auntie Sophie in September. My sister is having a baby which is exciting news for the family. I'm living with her at the moment until she finds somewhere suitable for a little one but she's going to be very local, so I'll get lots of baby snuggles. Also, it's my birthday soon and I'm going to be 29 which is very old and I intend to make the most of my last year of being in my twenties and behave disgracefully. :lol:
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Go for it. Sophie, and we'll all be behind you.

    Definitely behave disgracefully too :lol: It's the only way to go.

    As for the baby snuggles - they are wonderful but the price is baby sick and smelly nappies. However, as auntie you can always behave disgracefully and avoid these :wink:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had a double carpal tunnel at some point in my operation history and life became very interesting for a fortnight or so after the op - let's leave it at Mr DD needing to assume rubber gloves and a clothes peg, 'nuff said? :wink: I opted to have both done together to save myself time, the surgeon was happy to do it and I marked the mid-way point in his day's surgery. He began with the right handers then did me last, his minions then swung the equipment around to the left, he did my left and then carried on with the lefties. I too was uncertain about the local anaesthetic but it was OK but my thinking was that thousands have had all kinds of ops under local and if they can, I can.

    Now, work. I agree entirely with what you have said and have always lauded your determination to battle on through. With what is coming up, however, I am wondering whether some kind of sabbatical could be an option? I cheerfully admit I know utterly nothing about such matters having been self-employed (my boss was very understanding :wink: )

    I think you have made a good choice, the right one for you. I wish you very well with both procedures and will be thinking of you when the times come. ((( ))) DD
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good luck will be thinking of you.Congrats on going to be an Aunty.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sophie, how's things? I've been thinking of you and I hope you are as OK as possible. DD
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you. I remember your op DD but didn't remember that you had both done at the same time. My surgeon said he wouldn't recommend it and given that one hand is much worse, I need to deal with that one first.

    I've been up and down. I'm not tearful any more but I am still quite stressed, although work have been amazingly supportive. I've been practicing mindfulness for my op on Wednesday and I'm not feeling too nervous. He said I can play music to distract me and I've decided that I will sing along and he'll be scared too. :lol:

    As for the jaw op, I'm putting that to the back of my mind. I still haven't signed and returned the consent form as I was very upset that I may risk losing my some or all of my hearing permanently. I had no idea of this! Anyway, my date got pushed back and I'm 7 weeks away. I'll put that in a box in my brain and deal with it later. Work are being very kind by ensuring that I have so much to do, I barely have time to pee, let alone worry. :wink:
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I like your decision to deal with the jaw thing later. How scary that it could affect your hearing!

    Now, about singing along to the music - is it really a good idea to scare the man with the knife???
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Now, about singing along to the music - is it really a good idea to scare the man with the knife???

    I did not consider this. You are very wise, SW. I will keep my singing to myself.

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