I'm getting the tendon in my thumb repaired tomorrow and I'm looking for advice for keeping my life on track during recovery.
I severed the tendon in my left (dominant!) thumb in a freak dishwashing accident (ceramic plate shattered). I'm getting surgery tomorrow to repair the tendon and I'll have a plaster cast to the elbow for 6 weeks. I'm told my other four fingers on my left hand will be free to use.
I've never had surgery and I'm a little nervous about a few things. Any counsel on these topics or any other advice so, so welcome. This post
is very helpful but I couldn't find anything about thumb surgery specifically.
1. I'm a writer by profession, so not having full use of my dominant hand is freaking me out. I am told I'll be able to type (without the thumb, of course). How soon? Will I truly be able to type? Is it a fantasy that I'd be able to write messily with a pen after the pain goes? Can I feel confident the cast won't be too much of an impingement on my work?
2. I'm concerned about exercise. In the past six months, I've been on a rigorous 1-2 times daily exercise plan that's helped my body and mind get stronger than I ever thought possible. I run, do Pure Barre
and Jillian Michaels DVDs
. Can I still do these things, with modifications? How can I get the arm workout necessary to keep my biceps/triceps strong? Will I be able to do forearm planks, lift free weights with my four fingers? If not, how can I get the full-body benefits of push-ups/burpees and not lose the strength I've worked so hard to build? And I'm assuming I will be able to run once the pain of the surgery passes?
3. As luck would have it, I have to move on March 7. I plan to hire people to pack and unpack, but any other tips for moving without full use of a dominant hand/arm?
4. What are some things I should know about having my dominant hand/arm in cast? How much pain should I expect after thumb tendon surgery? Will I be able to do a lot with those four free fingers?
Thanks for any and all advice/experiences. I know I can ask the doctor tomorrow, but I'd like to get as much in place to prepare myself (mentally and practically) today.