Friday, March 9, 2012

Needle aponeurotomy - success!

It's been awhile since I've posted. I've been trying to use the power of gratitude in my life to continue a physical healing path. Practicing gratitude is a nice thing to do during Lent (or during the springtime in general if you don't observe Lent). It's the time for new life and change...we have to embrace it!

What I'm grateful for this week? The results of my hand procedure - needle aponeurotomy, or NA release for short.  Last time I showed you a couple of pictures of my right hand and the cord that was pulling my middle finger toward my palm. I have Duyputren's in both hands and fairly extensively, but most of the nodules have stayed mostly flat...except this finger.

I mean really - I couldn't flip anyone off in traffic!  Who lives like that? It was horrible!

Anyway, I had this procedure last Friday, and so one week out I thought I would show you the results.  The procedure didn't really hurt much. It was like going to the dentist where the only part that hurts are the shots of novocaine before the drilling.  As with my dental experiences, I have some resistance to novocaine and it takes extra shots to numb me. But still...not too bad and I didn't have to go under general anesthesia, so the whole thing took less than 45 minutes there at the doctor's office. I even drove myself home.

Once my palm and most of my fingers were numb, the doc used a sharp larger gauge needle to nick and saw at the cord in about 10 different spots.  Every once in awhile he'd stop and try to open my hand to straighten.  He warned me that there may be some popping sounds when the release happened. But I still wasn't prepared for the loud CRKCRKCRKKKCKPOPPOPPOP sound when my cord finally gave out.  He said probably due to diabetes the cord was a little more gnarly than on non-diabetic patients (makes sense to me since there could be passive glycosylation and bond formation in the collagen structures in presence of excess sugar).  Anyway, I felt like such a bad patient already - wincing and "ouch"ing with the shots - when that sound hit, I instinctively drew my knees up toward my chest in some protective (knee jerk, duh) reaction. It didn't hurt at all! Just an unnatural breaking sound that you instinctively feel is just plain wrong coming from your hand.  There was a second popping at my middle knuckle, but it wasn't quite as bad and I was more prepared for it.

Then he bandaged me up and sent me on my way.  It's been a bit stiff, not too sore except when I stretch it out which I'm trying to do frequently.  Typing has been a bit of a challenge, but I was able to go to work right away on Monday. Easy peasy!

Maybe you can see a couple of the punctures and a little swelling on my palm, but not bad. 

Below is the "before just to refresh your memory (and mine!)

And my hand is nearly straight!

Before - I couldn't place my palm on the counter at all. 

I am very GRATEFUL for this success on my hand!

And I'm feeling good overall - no stomach issues lately (I'm still on the experimental drug regimen), no migraines or unmanageable headaches.  I really need to plot out a fitness regimen, because I'm still not in very good condition and my blood sugars are still somewhat unstable. Exercise really helps even all that out.

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