Rare Complication After Ganglion Cyst Removal Surgery
Life is a funny thing. The reason for my lack of posts was a painful issue with my wrist. After working all day, I didn’t have it in me to write at night. In January I met with a surgeon, had the MRI and was assured that this is a very routine surgery and I would be back to 100% within 4-6 weeks. I decided to move forward because my hands mean the world to me and not being able to use my hand because of pain was simply not an option. I put in for short term disability at work and February 19th I had the surgery.
After the procedure the surgeon called my husband and said everything went great, his only concern was the severe inflammation covering the tendons in my hand. He said it looked like Rheumatoid Arthritis and suggested that I see a rheumatologist. But, after that he also assured my husband that I would feel so much better and in a short time I would be 100%.
I wore a cast for two weeks, then went in to see the physician’s assistant to have it removed. At that time, I could not bend my wrist. She said this was normal after being in a cast and in a few days or a week it should be back to normal. That did not happen. After a week passed I called and requested to have an order written for occupational therapy. I was hopeful that with therapy my wrist would somehow loosen up and work.
After the OT session I began getting nervous since March 22nd was my return to work day. The pain at the time was not as intense, but on March 22nd when I began to type it was like burning hot embers had been imbedded into my hand… then came numbness and sharp stabbing pain. I was in tears so I called the Doctor in a panic. Of course, I could not reach anyone on his team so my increasing pain suddenly threw me into an intense panic attack when I realized I couldn’t work. After three failed attempts to contact my doctor and messages to my manager I called the disability company.
I told them I could probably make it 2 hours a day, so they allowed me to do so. That evening I received a call from the physician’s assistant and they agreed to add restrictions. Every day I struggled to merely make it two hours… did I mention I was promoted while I was off work for the initial month? So, when I came back and couldn’t perform my job duties it was just insult to injury. After a month of OT and working very limited hours (2 hours 3-5 days a week) I was mentally and emotionally done. I needed to find a solution, but my doctor was stumped to the point he was making me feel like somehow this was my fault.
Flash forward to May. My doctor was out of ideas, it wasn’t rheumatological and he didn’t believe it was a surgical error. He had thrown prednisone, anti-inflammatory medications, therapy… everything he could think of at the problem, but it persisted. I followed up with an amazing surgeon one of the best in the country. He had seen this before. He said .5% to maybe 1% of people who have this surgery experience this unique response. My entire wrist all the way around was inflamed. But, hope was not lost because typically it goes away on its own. He scheduled a 6 week follow up to check the status of my wrist, but also discussed a game plan for that visit. Cortisone on the underside since he could not inject the cortisone near the surgical site because anything going into that area within 6 months of the surgery could cause permanent damage. I really felt hopeful.
By the time I had my June follow up my wrist had progressively gotten worse. I went from 30% mobility while on prednisone down to about 5% the day of my visit. He was shocked and so was his physician’s assistant. They really thought I would have turned the corner by that time. So, he tried the cortisone on the underside of my wrist, prescribed another dose of prednisone and said he wasn’t sure if it would help, but maybe it would be enough to move the needle. He also said that if it didn’t help he would schedule an MRI and then a second surgery with a scope.
It’s been over two weeks since I had the injection now and while I did get back to 30%, I am now falling under that number again. So, it looks like a second surgery is in my future. It’s okay though, while there is no guarantee that it would help, at least it’s a chance. Now you may be wondering to yourself, “If her hand is so bad, how is she writing this?” Easy answer… Dictation on my MacBook. It finally is working well enough for me to use while only making minor corrections. At work this is not a viable option, but here on my blog it is. I use it in MS Word, then copy and paste the content into the blog.
The be-all and end-all of this situation is, my life has changed. Every day I struggle with chronic and debilitating pain. It worsens with repetitive motion and my fingers just don’t move the same. Passions like playing the piano and writing have been extremely limited. Crochet? Out of the question completely. A skein or two of yarn may have been hurled across the room when I realized I couldn’t use that for relaxation any longer. Mentally and emotionally it has taken a toll. But, even with that I am trying to remain positive, look at other options to enhance my life and find joy.
I sponsored 3 baby goats that I love with all my heart and watching them grow has been something that fills my heart with joy. I have been working on a modeling portfolio. When I was young I modeled, but at the time I liked cheeseburgers too much to give that up for a runway. Now it’s different. I am finding so much joy in just being the curvy and confident person I have become. I am happy with who I am and how I look, so I believe now is the time for me to delve into that area and explore that option. I’m also looking into work as an extra in movies and TV. These are things I can do with or without the full use of my hand and wrist. Currently, I’m still working for my company, but my hand and wrist really isn’t allowing me to contribute like I was prior to the surgery. I appreciate the time they are giving me right now, but know that it can’t go on like this forever.
Like I said in the beginning of this post, life is a funny thing. If my hand and wrist doesn’t bounce back, it will be a struggle financially, but that won’t be forever. I fully believe that if the worst-case scenario happens, it just means that the universe has something else planned for me. I am up for the challenge. The reason I’m sharing this is for those of you who have also had curve balls thrown at you, especially with the lockdowns, job loss and etcetera. You will be okay, because I’m okay. I’m not saying you won’t have bad days, we all do… but ultimately you will triumph and land on your feet. All you have to do is find a new passion, see the silver linings and be thankful for the great things in your life. The love of family, friends, fur babies… whatever… find the joy, find your smile and forge ahead!
PS: If there are errors in this grammatically, I’m blaming Siri