Week 26 – Stenosing Tenosynovitis

It seems that since I left the States almost a year ago, I haven’t used my middle finger all that much. Although the gesture is probably understood worldwide, people in the countries I’ve been to use local variations to express their discontent. Still, I had to have surgery to alleviate discomfort in my middle finger, likely stemming from overuse.

While discussing the upcoming surgery, my doctor explained that it’s a routine procedure done through a small incision on the palm of the hand, under local anesthesia. I’d leave the clinic with a Band-Aid.

The clinic was a mere couple of kilometers away, right off a bike path. I thought: why not to go there and back by bicycle? Of course, the voice of reason, Julie’s, told me: “Not a good idea”. But the other voice, the one from the other shoulder, said: “You know what you’re doing, so go ahead”. And so, I did.

On Thursday morning, I got up around 6am. At 7am I had a sign language discussion (no, I still don’t speak a word of Spanish) with the receptionist regarding the payment arrangement. This reminded me of a money laundering scheme: I had to pay the doctors by wiring US dollars via an intermediary US bank to an account in Uruguay. But by 8am I was in the surgery room. Although they were only operating on my finger, they made me strip completely. I was put on a table with six doctors and nurses around me as if I was headed for hip replacement surgery. However, 15 minutes after they covered my entire arm with some antiseptic stuff – at least they didn’t shave it – I was done.

Of course, the Band-Aid turned out to be a thick wrist bandage that wouldn’t let me grasp my bike handle. Not that it mattered much since I couldn’t feel my hand anyhow. So, the voice of reason – yeah, yeah, Julie’s – was right. But I managed: I was going slowly, making sure my hand didn’t slide off the handlebar while I was watching the road.

My middle finger should be fully recovered by the time I get back to the States.

This week in numbers:

1 – stenosing tenosynovitis fixed
2 – stitches to close the incision
12 – the number of surgeries up to now; I hope to avoid any more
17km – distance covered: the number just slightly higher than number of surgeries