Adios, Security Blanket.

For the past two weeks, I have been wearing a hard splint to keep my thumb still. I hated it. It was like wearing a hard piece of plastic right against your skin all the time, except in the shower. I had to wear it at the beach, even. Trust me when I say that the tan line I got from that is ugly and just draws attention to it in public. Awkward. And it makes my hand sweat. That sweat is trapped between the splint and thumb because there is no ventilation. Then it rubs the skin off of my thumb. And smells. When I went to see the doctor yesterday morning, and he told me that three weeks post-surgery meant no more splint, I couldn’t hide my excitement. I am THROUGH with it! YAY!

Violet, Me, and the splint, on vacation. The splint was not welcome, but it crashed in anyway.
Violet, Me, and the splint, on vacation. The splint was not welcome, but it crashed in anyway.

Then, I tried to move my thumb, and it is STIFF. Stiff as in “you need physical therapy.” I could barely make my thumb touch my pinky, and it took me about 5-10 seconds to do that, with my thumb shaking the whole time.  (This morning, I couldn’t even do it at all.) So, all day yesterday, I found myself favoring my thumb. Whenever I had the splint on, I felt that I could use my thumb if I was just allowed to take the splint off and move it. But, lo and behold, I find that my splint was some sort of security blanket. My thumb didn’t hurt quite as much when I used my other fingers. I got a false sense of what I would be able to do when it was removed because I felt so capable when wearing it. Yesterday, I swept and mopped, made dinner, drove around doing errands, fed and played with the dogs, and hardly used my left thumb at all. I have a sore on my left pointer finger from holding the Swiffer between it and my middle finger instead of using my thumb.

I am hoping that once the incision is completely healed and the stitches fall out that I will want to use my thumb more. Right now I worry too much that it will bust open if I’m not careful, but it’s healing up. In the meantime, I’ve been catching myself doing stuff without my thumb, like picking up the dog’s bowls, opening packages, etc, and Tom and I talked about how crazy it is the way that our bodies quickly learn to compensate for loss of function. Now I have to get out of that habit and start using all my digits again.

~Meghan

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