Last November I fell down a flight of stairs, dislocated my thumb, stupidly popped it back into place on my own with a resounding crunch (I sometimes have a freakishly high threshold of pain), and the result was a nasty case of De Quervain’s Tendonitis in my dominant hand. I was in agony and a wrist brace for a long, long time. I could barely write. I couldn’t lift things. I couldn’t shake hands. Even wiping my own behind became a challenge. I only slept sporadically due to the pain. I shed more than a few tears of frustration.
Recently, though, after several unsuccessful non-invasive attempts to resolve the problem, I finally resorted to surgery. That was a little scary because they had to cut the sheath tendon, which is a bracelet type tendon that keeps all the tendons that radiate down from your hand to your forearm in place. And to cut it, they had to move a nerve bundle, which meant if things went wrong I wouldn’t have feeling in my hand anymore. That’s a rather daunting proposition.
After the surgery I had a hard cast on my wrist and hand for a week. Cooking was difficult. Showering one-handed was not fun. And if I thought I had trouble wiping my butt before…
The good news is that the surgery was a success, and while I’m still healing, most of the time I feel pretty much back to normal. It only took nine months. I will never take my hands for granted again.
You shouldn’t, either. You have no idea how much you use your hands in the course of a day until you can’t anymore. Your hands are the most unsung heroes in your life. They really deserve some appreciation. Maybe some nice lotion or a hand massage. Trust me, it’s the very least you can do.