Anyone had carpal tunnel surgery?

dedtiredJune 14, 2011

I've had a miserable case of carpal tunnel syndrome since March. The doctor says I've had it a lot longer than that, but the pain just manifested itself.

I'm going to have the carpal tunnel release surgery next week. I can't wait to get rid of the pain and numbness in my hand. Has anyone else had this surgery and how was the recovery? Did you ever gain complete recovery from CTS? My doctor says some people get relief right away and others take awhile. My condition is pretty severe, but only in my right hand.

If I never have anything worse than this in my life I will be very lucky. Still, it's a pain in the patootie and I hope to be rid of it soon.

Thanks for any feedback.

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cloudy_christine

Sorry to hear you've been having so much trouble, Pam. I hope you get relief right away from the surgery.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:20PM
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compumom

Ugh, getting older sucks! However I know a number of people who have had surgery and felt immediate relief. I hope that this is the case for you too!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:29PM
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triciae

Best of luck, Pam, and I'll keep you in my prayers for quick relief. All pain is a "pain in the patootie". I'm glad there's a treatment plan available to make it go away.

/tricia

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 1:24PM
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dedtired

Thanks, everyone. It's just a big nuisance. The surgery is fairly simple and I can't wait to have it to be rid of this.

Some very nice person on the CF sent me an email to point out a thread on the Home Decorating forum on this same topic and it's been a big help. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Another carpal tunnel thread

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:59AM
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beachlily z9a

I was told I can't have the surgery in either hand because of the presence of arthritis. Now that I don't work and don't drive much, no pain at all. The nerves have probably died. I have to be careful around the stove but I can live with that.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 11:04AM
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dedtired

Good that you have no pain, Beachlily. I wish I had no pain! After the surgery by Doogie Howser (my doc is very young)I am hoping to be pain free and then work on getting strength back.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:09PM
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beachlily z9a

Ummmm ... my doc may have been wrong, but you need to talk to Doogie. My doc told me that I would never be stronger than I was before the surgery. Something about the nerves that were cut. Talk to Doogie. And good luck!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:17PM
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sushipup1

I had it done on both hands, separate surgeries, tho, maybe 27 years ago. Immediate relief. Bandaged and in a splint for a little while afterwards, and I recall having to work to build up the strength in each hand, Things like pouring fromj a 2 qt saucepan took two hands for a little while.

But you'll have a great result, I know it!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:43PM
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ritaotay

I had my right wrist done last year but for me... Well I just traded one type of pain for another... Granted, it's not as bad but pain is pain... If I had waited a while longer before going back to the plastic surgeon after the test I probably would have waited a bit longer before having the surgery...

I believe the test is the cause of the pain I have now because I have it in both hands, well thumbs... ( the test where they insert a needle and zap you with electricity )... The plastic surgeon, in my opinion, was excellent, beyond reproach... The only thing this man has done for the last 25 year is hands so I truly believe he knows what he's doing... The so called 'doctor' who ran the test did not know what he was doing... The test was supposed to take about 20 minutes, he was poking me with needles and electricity for more than an hour and a half and I believe that's why I have trouble with both thumbs now...

Sorry for the rant.

I'm sure everything will come out all right for you!

Anyway, the wrist pain and the shooting pain that runs up your arm will go away after the surgery... You may or may not have some pain in palm of your hand after the incision heals... For me it's kinda like doing push-ups with a stone under your hand, most of the time... And, I still have some pain if I move my wrist from side to side... Just make sure you do everything the surgeon tells you to do... I didn't apply the lotion every day and it took a lot longer for the incision to heal and the scar is a bit wider than it should be but it's not that noticeable, you can only see it if I point it out.

If you didn't have any trouble with the test I'm sure the surgery will be a breeze... But I'll keep my fingers crossed anyway... lol

Hugs,
Rita

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:49PM
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dedtired

Beachlily, yeah he did say that my hand would not be 100 percent as strong, but close.

Rita, sorry you had a bad experience with the nerve study. Mine took maybe half an hour, both hands and also included a muscle test. Other than some leftover bruises, I have no effect from it.

Thanks, Sushi. That's the kind of encouragement I need.

My hand is really hurting tonight, so Tuesday can't get here fast enough.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 11:45PM
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compumom

Hey Pam, wishing you the best of luck with Doogie, the surgery and your full & speeedy recovery!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 3:33PM
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jude31

Good luck with the surgery Pam, you'll do great. I know what you mean about Doogie....when I had an emergency appendectomy, about 5 years ago, my daughter commented that she bet the docs' mother dropped him off because he looked too young to drive.

My fingers will be crossed that surgery goes well and is successful.

jude

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:38PM
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dedtired

Thanks Jude and Ellen. I will just be happy when it's over. Today the hand is not hurting so much. That's kind of like the way your hair always looks great the day before you have an appointment to have it cut!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 5:53PM
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jude31

Good luck with your surgery tomorrow, Pam. Look forward to hearing that it was successful and you are pain free!

jude

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 5:09PM
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ann_t

Pam, I hope your surgery goes well tomorrow and that your recovery is fast and pain free.

Ann

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 10:30PM
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triciae

Good luck, Pam. You'll be in my thoughts & prayers.

/tricia

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 7:41AM
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jessyf

Thinking of you today Pam and wishing for a GREAT result!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:42AM
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dedtired

Thanks, everyone. I leave in about an hour. I'm not allowed to eat anything, so I am kinda hungry. Mostly miss my morning coffee. After I sleep off the sedative, I'll report back. Nice to know you are thinking of me. It should be a simple procedure.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:46AM
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cloudy_christine

I hope it all went well.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:40PM
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dedtired

it did. i am home and typing w my left hand.no pain so far but local anesthesia is not worn off. more later.

thanks all!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 6:36PM
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cloudy_christine

Good! I'm glad you're feeling up to letting us know.
--- Karen

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 6:37PM
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triciae

Just checking in to see how you're doing. So glad it went well & you're already typing! Thanks for the update.

/tricia

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 7:33PM
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jessyf

Keep ahead of the pain meds.....

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:12PM
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jude31

Very glad it went well, Pam. Looking forward to a pain free report without meds.

jude

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 4:27PM
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ann_t

Pam, hope you are having a pain free day.

Ann

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 5:31PM
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lsr2002

I'm glad it went well and hope you're not hurting a lot. I'll be watching for your update and keeping you in my thoughts.

Lee

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 8:36PM
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dedtired

Hi. i am doing well, all things considered. Two of my fingers that had been so painful before the operation are starting to feel better. yay. The bandage is a pain and I have to wear it for two weeks. When I look under it, it is very black &blue under there.

Amazing what you can do with one hand! Thanks again for your well wishes. it means a lot to me.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:25PM
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lpinkmountain

Here's wishing you a speedy recovery Pam!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:41PM
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spacific

Pam, glad to hear you're up and about and already at the keyboard. Wishing you have a speedy full recovery.
Ann

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:19PM
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mustangs81

Pam, I sure hope that you are feeling better day by day.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 7:31PM
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annie1992

Pam, I'm sorry I missed this, I had knee surgery on June 21, so we were recovering together, I think!

I have carpal tunnel syndrome, but I've never had the surgery. I did spend 2 weeks with hand/wrist/forearm in a brace and instructions to not pick up anything, not even a coffee up, so I know what you mean about one hand. Kind of tough to put on pantyhose, though, isn't it? (grin)

I hope you're feeling great and your recovery is going quickly and well. I have one of those young docs too, I call him "The Boy Wonder". He didn't do my knee, though, an "older" doctor did that, he was probably 40. "Older". LOL

So far I've done very little that he told me to do, other than the exercises. If he says do 3, I do 6. If he says do 10, I do 20. I told him I wasn't going to physical therapy because I was not going to pay someone to watch me do what I can do in my living room by myself and free. He agreed that I could. The office says they figure if the therapist said anything like "come on, hon, can you do five more?" I'd probably ask if he/she could possibly just take a hike and leave me alone. I carried the crutches around in the back seat of the car for a couple of days, and he tells me that I'm "doing amazingly, astonishingly well.....for a woman my age". Yeah. I called him a punk...

If Doogie Houser gives you any guff, slap him with your good hand!

Annie

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:26PM
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sushipup1

Pam, Annie, we're a fine bunch, aren't we? On June 1st, I had a total hip replacement (anterior, minimally invasive). All's well, I've been driving since last week, and getting stronger every day.

Nice to see that we are all on the mend!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:33AM
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dedtired

Sushi and Annie, sounds like you both had much bigger procedures than I did. I am just a big baby whiner. Within the next year I'll be having cataract surgery on one eye, so prepare yourself for another dose of whining.

Annie, what did they do to your knee? You really sure follow doctors orders, kiddo. Don't push it too much. A woman of your age? What does that make me?? Yike.

It is taking all my strength not to rip off this bandage. I have another nine days to go.

Glad we all are bouncing back!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:53AM
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annie1992

Aw, rip it off!

I was wrong, I actually had surgery on the 13th, I came back to work on the 21st, so that was stuck in my head.

The doc was planning to just to some miniscal repair but he eneded up doing something called a lateral release too, cutting the connective tissue on the outside of the kneecap. I'd fallen last autumn and it just didn't get better, apparently I injured the patella/kneecap itself and it was "mistracking", so the bone-on-bone contact was wearing my knee unevenly. This surgery is supposed to allow the kneed cap to fall back into the proper position but I have exercises to strengthen the muscles that hold the kneecap in place. They gave me SIXTY Tylenol 3 because Vicodan makes me throw up. I did take about six of them, but every time I took one I fell asleep for about 5 hours! and he did it all arthroscopically, so I have a 3-4 inch incision inside my knee, but only two tiny holes that you can see, and he gave me pictures. It's just amazing what the heck they can do anymore. I'm still pretty swollen and black and blue from the to of my calf to about half way up my thigh, but it's getting better all the time.

So, I still can't drive the Jeep because it was my "clutch" side, left knee, but maybe next week. In the meantime, the doc says I can do whatever I want and if it hurts, stop doing it. Yeah, that makes sense, if it hurts I probably wouldn't do it for too long anyway!

Helene, I'm glad you're doing well too, boy, they can just replace parts like we're Bionic Women, can't they? (grin) Take it easy, though, that's some serious surgery in spite of the minimally invasive explanation. Mine was "minimally invasive too, but still.

And Ashley had her appendix removed last Friday, and they did that laproscopically too, 4 tiny little holes, it's amazing. Thankfully, since she's pregnant, they can do that so easily, she was home the next morning and will be back to work next week.

So, Pam, you probably have a bigger incision than either Ashley or I do, I'm not speaking for Helene...

Annie

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 2:19PM
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sushipup1

My incision is just 4", and it hasn't bothered me at all. I couldn't take anything narcotic at all, so just had plain old Tylenol, now Aleve with the clotting danger passed.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 2:31PM
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annie1992

Wow, Helene, 4 inches and they could replace the hip? Doctors are just getting better and better at this stuff, aren't they?

That's what Ashley got too, for her appendectomy, they wouldn't give her anything stronger because of her pregnancy. she whined the first day but after that was pretty good. I mostly took generic Tylenol too, because the Tylenol 3 put me to sleep for hours at a time, then I woke up with an upset stomach and a headache. It was worse than the surgery, geez.

I'm glad we're all healing well, though. So, where are you going to go first, since you'll be able to drive? I know someone will take me anywhere I want to go, if I just ask, but it's not the same as just saying "I think I'm going XXX" and jumping in the Jeep and going, if that makes sense. Drives me crazy...

Pam, I'm assuming you are right handed? That sucks, I hope you have a great result and no more pain. Oh, and that you never have to put on a pair of pantyhose!

Annie

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 4:22PM
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sushipup1

I've been driving for a week! We went out to dinner 2 weeks + 1 day afterwards, when I started using just a cane.

I am using the temp handicap placard, tho. ;-o So far, I avoid long trips to the grocery or Costco, etc, because that sort of standing wears me down fast. But driving is no big deal. It's my non-driving leg, tho.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 6:39PM
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dedtired

I still haven't seen my incision, but I think it's about 2 inches long. I have trouble doing anything that requires strength in my palm. Squeezing a chip clip hurts! I have trouble releasing the hand brake on my car -- something about pushing down the button and the handle at the same time hurts, so I do it with my left hand.

Tonight i accidently whacked my hand, so it's hurting. I also had a jar of fudge sauce fall out of the fridge and hit me in the shin that has been sore, so that's got a nice bruise, too.

I took vicodin for the first three nights, but it was knocking me out and I wouldn't wake up until 9 a.m. Not good.

Helene, my legs always hurt at Costco. The place is so darn big and the floors are concrete. Yesterday I went to the gym and rode the recumbent bike just to get a little exercise without aggravating my shin splints. Of course, then I hit it with the jar.

Annie, I've only worn panty hose once since I stopped working a year ago. As God as my witness, I'll never wear panty hose again!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:51PM
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annie1992

LOL, Pam, that sounded vaguely "Gone With the Wind"-ish. Now don't go fainting away on me, or get the vapors or something. sorry about the shin too. Actually, though, I had a doctor tell me that we have more nerve endings in our hands, our feet and our lower backs than any place else, so those places are going to hurt more. Plus, you have to use your hands for so many things, even to pick up a coffee cup or turn the pages of a book, or turn on the TV! I hope you feel better soon.

Helene, that's amazing. I started driving the Jeep today, the only real problem was the clutch. It was my "clutch" knee that got fixed, I could drive the Bravada and the Cavalier with no problem, they are automatics, but those were both at Elery's, 3 hours away. We didn't plan this very well, LOL.

At any rate, I went to the beach yesterday and walked a mile out onto the pier and back, and today I drove the Jeep to work, so it's coming along nicely. It seems like just the last couple of days everything is starting to heal nicely and it feels pretty good.

I'm going shopping with Amanda and Ashley tomorrow, we'll see how long I hold out before I find a place to sit...

Annie

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 10:25PM
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beachlily z9a

Pam, sounds like you are recovering OK. It will improve shortly.

Have to tell you, however, that the cataract surgery is a piece of cake. I've had both eyes done and it is a miracle!! Even 3 hr. after the surgery, your eye sight will have improved immensely! Go for it!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:11PM
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dedtired

Annie, funny how you reach a turning point in the healing process. Just when you think you will be an invalid forever, you wake up one day and realize you're getting better. How was the shopping trip?

Beachlily, friends have told me that cataract surgery is miraculous. I can tell my eyesight has declined. Things are hazy. Guess that procedure will be coming up next. I feel like one on-going renovation project.

This morning I went out to get the newspaper from the front lawn and my heel slipped off my sandal. I could feel the muscles in my bum leg kind of give a tug. I immediately iced it, but all I could think was "here we go again". The sore leg is slowing me down much more than the hand.

I feel like the rambling wreck. Glad I can come here and vent because my friends are getting tired of listening to me!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:45AM
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annie1992

but Pam, we ARE your friends, and we aren't tired of listening to you.

I know how you feel about all the cumulative problems, though, it seemed like every other week I had something new go wrong, or hurt, or give out. I told the boy Wonder I was falling apart!

As for the shopping, Ashley, Amanda and I shopped from 9:30 am until 6 pm, with a stop for lunch. No problem! And I got in the pool today and played with the kids, it's all good. Tomorrow I'm checking fences. I have this lump on my wrist though.....

Yeah, yeah, I'll get it checked out, but the Boy Wonder will be able to afford a vacation if anything else happens, LOL.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 1:16AM
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dedtired

Annie, you are so right. I have a lot of friends here with sympathetic (and tolerant) ears. Glad you made it through the shopping.

Right now it's taking all my will power not to get out a big ole pair of shears and cut this damn bandage off. I am now using duct tape to hold the elastic bandage shut. It's supposed to be the self-stick kind, but it lost that ability a while ago.

I wonder if that lump is a ganglion cyst? Yes, get it checked out.

Patch, patch, patch.....

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 12:03PM
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jessyf

That bandage tape should be available at CVS. I think it is called Kerlix? I'll be happy to hunt some down and make you a care package!

I'll take various failing body parts as long as some *ahem* are working. (get your minds out of the gutter, I'm talkin' eyes and bladder control)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:52AM
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dedtired

Thanks, Jess. The bandage comes off on Thursday morning, so I am just muddling through. You are nice to offer.

As you get older you will learn to sneeze verrry carefully.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:25AM
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cloudy_christine

Hang in there, Pam. It's funny how when these things are over, they're really over, and the recovery time that seems so long just disappears from memory. I try to imagine that future.
I'm also having that falling-apart feeling. Something is always going wrong. But thankfully I don't yet have to sneeze carefully!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 1:24PM
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dedtired

Stitches are out and bandage is off. Nice to see my hand again. The incision is very sore, but tylenol (my BFF)helps. I go back AGAIN in two weeks. I am supposed to work on getting my wrist to stretch front and back.

I also have to sing the praises of my new shoes. My shin splints were killing me so I went to a comfort shoe store to get something with support. Salesman recommended shoes from a company called Abeo. Wow. I LOVE them. My leg feels better already. They provide really good arch support and have built in orthotics and a cork sole. I can't believe the difference. Worth every cent of the $129 price.

How's everyone else coming along?

Here is a link that might be useful: good shoes!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:52PM
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jessyf

*YAY* bandages off!
*YAY* shoe find!

(counting down to Aug 24th, you better be ready lol)

Following sentence is TMI

I have no problems sneezing since I found I can do it with poise (coupons on ebay, wait for a sale at Target)....THANK YOU Kimberly Clark!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:18PM
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sushipup1

I'm doing great. I saw the doctor today, first time in 4 weeks, surgery was 5 weeks ago yesterday. I'm walking pretty well, a tad wobbly for the first couple of steps when I first stand, but I don't need my cane any more at all. He promises that it will be in the third month before I can go up and down stairs normally instead of one at a time, so I guess that I am on schedule there. And he says that statistics show that after 6 months, there's little difference between patients who go to PT and those who don't (but try to be active.) That's good because it's the deep massage on my thigh that makes me horribly sore for two days afterwards.

Nice shoes!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:19PM
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annie1992

Hooray, Pam, I'm glad that itchy and annoying bandage is off, at least. Keep working on range of motion, it'll be better a bit at a time. And after you get the cataract surgery, you'll be able to see it too! (grin) Actually my mother, my stepmother and my Dad all had cataract surgery and they all said it was really quick and easy, so hopefully it really is quick and easy!

I'll have to check with Ashley's new MIL about those shoes, she works at the local orthotic footwear store, the place that makes special shoes and sells stuff like Birkenstocks and Uggs. They might even be available here in the sticks!

I especially like their advertisement about how if you are old and fat and your knees ache, they'll fix you up with shoes, LOL.

Helene, I'm glad you are feeling so well. My doc says the same thing, that I can maybe recover faster with PT, but rehab is normally 4 to 6 months and I'll be fine without it if I choose not to participate. As for the stairs, heck, I'm still going down one at a time, so you're probably doing very well. I'm amazed you're getting around so quickly, I can tell you that.

I'm doing pretty well too, I think. I'm back to walking to work, and I went to the farm and cut a big maple that had fallen onto the fence line during our last storm. That entailed crawling onto/into/over the tree to cut the ends of the branches that were lying on the fence, and I managed to at least not hurt myself further, balanced with each foot on separate limbs while sawing branches with a hand saw. If I were a REAL farmer I'd have a chain saw....

And I have no problem at all sneezing or laughing, thank goodness, so it appears that my problems are at least dry!

Annie

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:12PM
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