Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hand Surgery

I saw my hand surgeon a few weeks ago and the outlook is grim. Because of rheumatoid arthritis, I have had six artificial joints in my hands, along with a handful (haha) of other finger and hand operations. Dr. Rubin will fix my right hand first, on June 3rd to be exact. Currently I have an artificial joint in the second joint of both my long finger and my ring finger. Those will be removed and instead, my fingers will be fused (not together). The bones in those two fingers are too fragile to handle another artificial joint. The second joint in my thumb will also be fused. Thumbs don't hold artificial joints well. There are three great things about this surgery, 1) God blessed me with really long fingers, so if they are shortened a little, it won't be too strange looking, 2) fused joints don't require occupational therapy afterwards as there are no joints to bend, and 3) I won't have pain after they're healed.

Probably at the end of summer, once I'm recovered from the right hand surgery and I'm out of splints and capable, I will schedule left hand surgery. Pinkie fusion in the tip and middle joints, and my thumb's second joint. Like thumbs, the smallest finger doesn't hold an artificial joint well. The two original artificial joints at the base of my pointer and longest fingers are both aged and ruptured, so they will be replaced with new ones, as well as the same joint in my ring finger. I've never had surgery on that finger, and I'm a little sad to see this happen, but x-rays show it clearly, my cartilage is completely gone and the bone is disintegrating. No wonder it hurts! After this surgery, I'll have weeks and weeks of occupational therapy, and this is the part I dislike the most.

Both surgeries will be done in Dr. Rubin's new outpatient clinic, just upstairs from his office located next door to the hospital in Celebration, FL. Have you ever seen the way-too-perfect neighborhood in Celebration? Something about this strikes me as really creepy, like the Stepford Wives will appear with a platter of cookies from around each corner. Disney built as a planned idyllic community and to me it seems as plastic and fake as The Truman Show. BUT the doctors and hospital are great there, and that's what's important.

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