Are there any of you out there who are ambidextrous? Hone that skill razor sharp. It may be more important than you think.
This past Thursday, I had surgery on my right wrist. Nothing serious, but the location called for immobilization. My right hand is my dominant hand, and you don’t appreciate that until you can’t use it. It was orthopedic outpatient and I got great care. My anesthetic was a Bier Block – no you don’t drink it and there is no hangover. If you ever have surgery and they tell you that’s what you get, say “yes, please” and hold out your hand or other body part. You will be thankful you did. The recovery is quick, with almost no side effects – at least for me.
I had two IV’s; does anyone like them?! The first one starts pumping fluids in, because you are dehydrated from being banned from even water for several hours. (Although I wonder how many people pee the bed in the OR – weird thought, but I bet you wonder too.) Then they roll you into the freezer and start the prep work. You’re strapped down, as if you could get up and walk away. Then the antibiotics start oozing into the IV, burning like hellfire. The next IV goes into the surgery hand. I got a case of the jitters from being both cold and nervous. I say so, and the anesthesiologist starts the calming fluid. Thank God. They start prepping my arm and I’m out. Next thing, I’m being wheeled out of the freezer and into recovery. I am awake and coherent, not to mention starving, courtesy of the magical Bier. I get crackers and OJ, and before long I’m dressed and out the door faster than I came in. How does that work?!
Going on again about the Bier Block, I was hungry. The paperwork said start slow with liquids. Hell with that, I needed substance. McDonald’s drive-thru scored me two Egg McMuffins and I inhaled one of them within the ten-minute drive home. The second was gone once I got in the house. Amazing, even for me. And I was awake. Anesthesia typically makes you pukey and out of it. So when I say, opt for the Bier Block, yeah baby!
Recovery now, is a whole nother story. No lifting, no pushing, makes sense. They didn’t say anything about twisting. When the bandage rubs across the incision it hurts like motherf*cking h*ll. TRULY. I dare not get it wet. Simple things like brushing teeth or putting on deodorant require grit and determination. My Sweetie has to wash my hair, which is sweet but requires much direction from me. Guys just don’t usually have the understanding of female rituals and why we use all that stuff. I tried curling (well, uncurling for me) my hair on Saturday and caused my hand to swell. Tylenol, ice and rest eventually fixed that, but still. Appreciate your ability to do the simple things.
So if you see someone with a cast or bandage wrap, give them a little assistance. You don’t have to pick them up and carry them, just provide an extra hand and feet. Open doors, carry their items, bring them coffee. Cut up their dinner – eating left-handed is a whole new experience. If it is your loved one, help them with some of those personal care things. If nothing else, it keeps them from being crabby.
Oh, and just in case, regularly practice using your mouse with your non-dominant hand and typing one-handed. You will be glad you did. I think it has taken me an hour to write this post.