Surgery Is As Good As A Holiday

Note the medically professional dressing of panda band-aids. I ran out of the 'proper' tape, so am making do:)

A few weeks ago I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. The good news is that it has been extremely effective in relieving the carpal tunnel symptoms I was experiencing, and after the first week, not particularly painful. The other good news is that for weeks I have been hardly able to do a thing that requires any sustained effort or lifting anything or even twisting with my right hand. I haven't been able to do the dishes, sweep the floor, chop wood, work in the garden, cut vegetables, write or type. For almost two weeks I didn't even drive. It has been marvellously relaxing!
I have been.. pottering. Reading, weeding with my left hand, rearranging books and eclectica, tidying shelves, having cups of tea with my friends, and being very grateful for the sustained help from Paul and my lovely daughters. This afternoon Posy and one of her school friends chopped a load of kindling for me.

I even went to Melbourne and had my older two children cook for me and do the dishes, and in return I tidied their shelves and rearranged their books and educated them about all the edible weeds growing in their lawn, for which I am sure they were very grateful..

Paul gifted me with banksia cones from his garden. I put them in a dish on the table. This is about the level of activity I have been indulging in.

I parked my Granny's chair in front of the fire so I could read in comfort, and now the dog thinks he has a throne. I have to use stern words if I want to use the chair..

Over the last week I have recovered lots of strength and mobility in my hand. Yesterday I swept the floor for the first time in a while, and it was entertaining in its novelty. I can now type using both hands for twenty minutes or so at a time. I can lift slightly heavier things. I can dry some of the dishes! I can do the laundry and hang it up, I can cook but I still can't cut up the veg.

It has been a really lovely life hiatus, hibernating in front of the fire in the depths of winter and contemplating where I've been and where I'm going. It is also good now to be able to start to pick up the threads of life again and get back to being a bit more useful.

Spring is coming, and with it a whole year of fresh new ventures. I can't wait!


simplelife said…
So lovely to see you back here. Sounds like your hand surgery has done more for you than just fix the carpal tunnel. I love the idea of all that enforced rest and contemplation but in reality I know I would really struggle big time. Although the chair by the fire, that did look inviting, I can see why the dog has moved in.
I wonder what you discovered about yourself in your resting time?

Welcome back
Cheers kate
Treaders said…
Damn, more housework now!
Beznarf27 said…
When nature hands you a forced break, you made the very most of it Jo. Sorry to hear you had to have surgery however I seriously WISH my house was as "unkempt" as yours ;) Love the banksia cones and Earl and Bezial now have their very own couches alongside Brunhilda so that they don't hog my chair. Its almost time to come out of hibernation and get stuck into the blackberries for another year. I am thinking about resurrecting the blog as I have found myself using Facebook as an artificial blogging medium and where your blogging audience actually "care" about what you are doing enough to follow you, your Facebook friends and family just sigh and roll their eyes when they see another "this is what I did..." marathon ;) Here's to a lovely gentle spring with an equally gentle summer (HAHAHA! I just made an hilarious joke right there ;) ). I hope your wrist heals incredibly well, that it allows you to now get stuck in again to whatever you have to do and that life is treating you incredibly well :)
Kathy Aylward said…
Sounds like you had a nice rest. I had a melanoma cut out of my shoulder and then had to go back to get way more out as it was a level 2 so I had a 12 cm incision on my shoulder and taped up so I couldn't move. I was told not to move it for 2 weeks however single Mum life I managed to do nothing for one week however full Mum duty for 2nd week...makes you appreciate your health even more. Glad the surgery was a success for you that's good news. Kathy
Anonymous said…
So nice to see your new post, Jo - I think we all missed you. I'm happy to read that your surgery went well. Well done for having the grace to accept your temporary limitations, and the good fortune to have friends and family who rally around to help when that's what you need. Now there is spring to look forward to.

Linda in NZ
Anonymous said…
What a delight to see your new post! You have been missed. I hope you heal from your surgery soon. Continue to enjoy your forced time of "being" and contemplation. I look forward to future musings.
Enjoy your week end!
GretchenJoanna said…
I missed you, too, and assumed you were just having too much fun with various people and activities to sit down and type. In a way I guess that was true, but not at all as I imagined! I’m glad it’s still winter when sitting by the fire and relaxing fits in a little more naturally with the mood of the earth, and also that your friends and children are so supportive. I envy your tidy shelves! XO
Jo said…
Kate, thank you:) Yes, I have done a lot of sitting down and thinking work, and looked at various paths towards the future. Taking stock can be so useful and fascinating!

Anna, you are so right!

Fran, tidying is eminently possible with one hand, and luckily, photos don't show the dirt/dog hair/cat hair/human hair all over the floor:) Wooden floors are the best, so forgiving of dirt. Paul vaccuumed thoroughly two weeks ago, and then it was two weeks until I swept. That was some haul of dust. Still haven't cleaned the bathroom. Almost a month now! The girls have been fabulous cooks and bottle washers and I haven't pushed their goodwill too far..
I'd love to see you crank up the old blog again - it was always a joy, and spring is a wonderful season of new beginnings..

Jo said…
Kathy, ouch, that surgery sounds painful. I think surgery is wonderful in what it can achieve, but recovery time is so important as well - like you I am a single mum, as my partner lives half an hour away. He is great and useful when needed, but day to day I am on my own. Thankfully, at 14 and 19 my daughters are very capable and useful, and crucially, the 19yo can drive, and did all the errands for the first two weeks! I honestly don't know how i would have gotten on with small children and no help. Luckily I have good family and friends who would have stepped up, but it certainly made me think about the many, many folks who have to recover from surgery without help, and that will be an issue on my radar into the future..

Linda, thank you! And yes, it is very humbling to realise the generosity of friends and family, from the neighbour who brought me soup, to the friend who folded my washing for me, to my girls who have uncomplainingly stepped up to do more of the household chores.

Patricia, thank you, and yes, time for contemplation has been very fruitful. I hope your weekend is enjoyable and that the Florida summer is not wearing you out too much. I love every change of season, from warm to cold and cold to warm, so I hope your cool season is just around the corner..

Gretchen Joanna, yes, i chose mid-winter for surgery as I had a lot of pruning to do in other people's gardens before i could indulge in surgery! And it has turned out to be a perfect time for hibernation and re-evaluation. i should take six weeks off every winter for that purpose:)
PS Only some shelves are tidy. There are plenty to go on with:)
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

Winter is the time for sleep and recuperation, and you have done that in true style. Glad to hear that your hand is healing and that Paul (and I also assume the Jo-collective) are looking after you.

Did you get the snow last week? Bonkers...


Jo said…
Chris, I saw the fabulous snow-cover at your place on your blog. Amazing, like a Christmas card (Northern Hemisphere, that is!). Launceston is at sea-level, so no snow for us. Well, it snowed for 10 minutes one winter morning several years ago, but didn't settle for long. But on the day it snowed for you I was up on the hill at the park walking the dog, and I saw a snowstorm blow in across the nearest mountain, which was stunning. The mountains are all white around here atm. August is generally our snowiest month, but spring is just around the corner. Hope you didn't sustain too much damage to your fruit trees?
Anonymous said…
Oh dear! Glad to hear that you have recovered. And well done on making the most of your enforced rest. Travel to Melbourne! Did you fly?

Now don’t you go typing for extended periods and wreak your wrist again.

Love Lucinda (bugger the Wordpress Blogger feud. I have to post anonymously)

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