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Author Topic: I need emotional support now!!  (Read 4389 times)
annette
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« on: February 05, 2008, 11:15:34 PM »

Hello friends,

Today I found out that I have to undergo carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist (I am a righty). I wanted to put it off until the winter, but the Dr. said I may develop nerve damage if I haven't already, and waiting would make things worse for me. Surgery date is Feb 27.

The problem is I will not be able to lift anything heavy for some time after. Probably the first month I will not be able to lift any supers. I am totally freaked out right now, because with bee season coming up soon, I am worried about not being able to manage the hives properly.

Anyone experience this sort of surgery??? What is the recuperation like???
I am not afraid at all about the surgery, just worried about the bees.

I am going to hussle now and start the powdered sugar dusting and next warm day will check the honey stores. If we have a really warm day before my surgery, then I will check the brood supers and see what I need to do.

How long can the bees go on their own. I am sure I will be able to check the top super for stores.
My husband said he would help me to lift the supers, but I know him and it is not his cup of tea. I don't think I can depend on him, although I may have to.

Thanks
Just upset right now.
Annette
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 11:29:22 PM »

cup of tea or not, he'll just have to suck it up and help.  make sure he has a good jacket  smiley.  i got my husband the one from mann lake and it was under 50 dollars.

i have a friend who was also told she needed the surgery.  she got a 2nd opinion and the 2nd doc had her try some other things.  the problem is not gone, but better.  she has avoided the surgery.  you have had a second opinion by someone who is not a surgeon?

i am not much of a cheer leader.  best i can do is....THINK HOW STRONG YOUR LEFT ARM WILL BE!!   Wink
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 11:39:39 PM »

You tell your husband that if he doesn't help you, we will have no choice but to open a can of, you know on him! Definitely get another opinion or two. I have heard at times that a non surgical procedure can work in some cases, try and seek out that alternative if you can. Best of luck and hell yeah, you got our support!!!! Best of luck Annette,


Sincerely, JP
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 01:03:04 AM »

Hey Annette ,  I've known several people who have had that surgery and say they are glad they did so .  You may have to find someone else who is more enthusiastic to help you .  An unwilling volunteer is really not a volunteer at all .  There has to be someone who would appreciate the experience and opportunity to learn.  But now , just where to find this willing volunteer  ??
We're all pullin' for you Annette , cause we're all in this thing together . Please keep us posted .
                                               ---Burl---
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 01:06:10 AM »

Please before going for surgery get a second and sometimes a third oppinion. Because once they do surgery they can not reverse it and they can make things worse. Please go for a second opinion. PLEASE I AM BEGGING YOU> I wish I had gone to even a third opinion before I had my jaw surgery I would be so better off then I am now. And I would have had a dr that did not lie his butt off and do something totally different then I had approved and jacked me up even more.

Angi
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 01:08:50 AM »

Annette , Every time I see you , you're holding that umbrella !   You don't suppose that has anything to do with your condition , do you ?

                             ---Burl--- azsillyascanbee
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 04:27:39 AM »

About those bees.
I have one hive I didn't look at any at all last year. I think it is my strongest hive. If you check then out a bit before the surgery and make sure they have room, I am sure they will be just fine for a month +.

As others have said. Get second opinion.
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 05:42:37 AM »

i also suggest a second opinion. But no matter what you decide to do good luck!
i think a month of bee neglect will not be a problem.
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 06:54:51 AM »

Annette, I also have carpal tunnel and need surgery on both my hands.  I've put it off now for 2 years and it's getting really bad.  From what I understand the surgery isnt all that bad.  Yes, you'll be out of heavy lifting for a short while but it heals pretty quick and you'll feel much better afterwards.  I have several friends who've had the surgery and they tell me it isnt very bad.  They basically just go in and expand the hole where the carpal nerve runs through so when it gets inflamed it has room to expand.  Right now the "tunnel" is too small and when the nerve gets inflammed it has no room to expand, which is why your hands tingle and like mine fall completely asleep.  Surgery is the only way to correct this, a second opnion will only tell you the same thing (believe me I checked).
As for your bees, a month or two should be okay.  They'll pretty much take care of themselves just fine.
Let me know how it all goes.  I'm going to go get checked out again here soon too.

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 07:08:28 AM »

My aunt has had the surgery twice and it really didn't change her wrist much.  They still hurt her.

but, since everyone is begging you to get a second opinion.... i suggest seeing a chiropractor.  Having the bones in your wrist realigned can relieve carpal tunnel.  It is caused by the bones in your wrist lowering and pressing against the blood vessels.  A chiropractor can bring the bones back in alignment and reduce the pressure that is restricting blood flow.

Worth a try?  No surgery.  Not that expensive.  No pain. 
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 07:41:02 AM »

carpal tunnel is NOT bones pressing against blood vessels in the wrist... it is a trapped nerve in the wrist usually brought about by swelling of soft tissue. This can be anywhere in the lower forearm.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Sometimes Surgeons use injections to release the pain. I would however seek a second opinion from a chiropractor and see if you can get help that way before having the surgery. My Mum had the surgery twice and it didn't help her.  Check that website out its fairly informative

good luck with what ever you decide to do....

Stephen
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 07:41:45 AM »

I agree with Kathy.  IMHO You married this person for true support which works both ways until the day either of you die.  Time for him to pay up and help out while you are recovering from surgery.  For sure you would help him out if he had to have surgery.  Regardless the task.....  
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 09:12:26 AM »

Good luck with the surgery. If you have to, move one frame out of the super at a time rather than move the whole super at once.
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 09:26:49 AM »

Annette, oh, you have had lots of wonderful comments.  Surgery, no matter how you look at it, should you chose to have it, is not a piece of cake.  I had rotator cuff surgery in late October of 2005.  The surgery was done arthroscopically, thank goodness, the tears I had in my shoulder were severe, the surgeon didn't even know how well he could repair them, because of the extent of the tears, he even didn't know he could perform this arthroscopically, it might have had to be open shoulder surgery, thank goodness it was the latter.

You will be just fine.  Your bees will be just fine.  Do what you can before the surgery with the bees.  You will be able to observe the bees any time that you feel like it, you just won't be able to work them for awhile.  BUT....at the same time, you may be surprised at what you can do with the left side of your body.  Don't be freaked out about the bees.  You shouldn't be in the swarming season yet.  (I don't understand your seasons or climate), but I would think that you have some time yet before you have that worry.  That should be the only worry this time of year.  I think I remember you saying that you are pretty sure they have enough food stores.  Check that out too before you get the surgery done too.

Things will be well, keep your chin up, keep smiling, that will help you to heal even faster.  Keeping up a good attitude is one of nature's helpers with healing, and I know that you are a positive and upbeat woman, that shines through, you will heal fast, you will be strengthed by the surgery, if you decide to have it, and you will more than likely be released from the pain of the carpel tunnel syndrome effects.  Positive thinking, positive attitude, and most of all girl, have a most beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2008, 09:33:58 AM »

Oh Hi Annette,

Carpal tunnel release is very easy & quick...Just follow your MD's directions to the "T"...it'll be hard jus being an "observer of the hive"...but I am sure your bees will be fine under your "care" and maybe your hunny will begin to enjoy the work??
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2008, 09:50:45 AM »

About the bees, if you are able to time your surgery right before your honey flow, you could put a couple of supers atop each hive and let them fill them. When you are done, you'll have all that honey to look forward to. Of course you gotta watch your temps for drafts, but just an idea, Annette. If you have to be out for a while, I'm sure your husband will help, of course there's always the can of woop... we can open up on him if he's not cooperative!  Wink Wink grin

Explore laser surgery as an alternative as well.

Sincerely, JP
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2008, 02:43:38 PM »

http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=582

Get yourself a pair of these for easy lifting. And consider harvesting late in the year.
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2008, 02:55:58 PM »

Annette,

Don't sweat the small stuff. Take care of yourself first, your bees will be fine and the Hubby will shine  grin


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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2008, 03:13:46 PM »

Hi Annette,
 What a stressful time for you.  I'm sure the bees will manage whether you can help them or not--and your husband can help too. 

But growing up in a conservative medical family (my father retired at 87 last year from practicing internal medicine and both of my brothers are physicians - one's a gastroenterologist and the other a pulmonologist) I will join the others in encouraging you to talk to someone else before depending on just one opinion about surgery...and that from a surgeon.  You may have already gotten a second opinion before making the surgery decision.  BTW, a second opinion does not mean another opinion from another doc in the same office with the one doing the surgery.

Much needless surgery is done on many parts of people's bodies and it is always a risk.  I find it interesting that my brothers and father all take the conservative route about their own bodies - none of the three of them have ever had surgery for an injury - they work through it in other ways - physical therapy, etc.  And none of them take any medication for anything except my father who takes a baby aspirin every day.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2008, 04:05:30 PM »

Hi Annette

I worked in injury rehabilitation for 9 years and worked with well over a hundred carpal tunnel repairs. 

Whether you decide to get a second opinion or not, I will give you one bit of advice: 

Follow the instructions of your surgeon to the letter.  If he says not to lift anything over half a pound in weight, don't.  If he says not to lift until X-date, don't. If he says to brush your teeth five times a day with a toilet brush while hanging by your toes from the lightshade, do it.

Assuming your surgeon is averagely competent, YOUR OWN ACTIONS after the surgery are the single biggest factor in the quality of your surgical result.

Deciding that you think you can handle just doing one quick hive manipulation before you should can be the difference between you being able to continue beekeeping in two years or not.

Incidentally, in my experience chiropractic treatment can help signficantly in some cases in the very early stages - in releiving pressure within the wrist that can cause nerve inflammation... but once the inflamation has developed and the nerve sheath thickens to protect the nerve, the damage is essentially done and manipulating bones will not alter the physical state of the nerve sheath - that's a surgical job.
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« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2008, 04:35:39 PM »

!!!WOW!!!. I am overwhelmed by all the good advice and good positive energy I am feeling here. I am feeling the love!!!

I have some good news!!! One beekeeper here on this forum has PM'd me and offered to come to help me on the weekends when he is off work. He lives about 1/2 hour from me. So I am feeling better now as I feel some hope.

This is a workers compensation injury and the insurance company has not been easy to deal with. They have basically denied my treatment for over 3 years now. I have had at least 2 other opinions from good surgeons. My hands tingle and fall asleep and have become very weak. I have had an EMG and a Nerve Conduction Study. All parties agree I need this surgery. For some reason, now the insurance company has decided to send me to a very good hand surgeon in Davis California and I am scheduled for surgery Feb 27. Since they finally decided to treat me after denying me such a long time, I do not want to rock the boat now by requesting other treatment(chiropractor)

I will rely on my husband and this kind gentleman to come through for me.
My biggest fear is not being a good patient. I know my nature and I would tend to try things I should not do. I appreciate hearing how important it is to be a good patient and do what the dr says. I am going to try very hard.

I am overwhelmed by the kindness and understanding here from all you wonderful people. It truly feels like a family.
Thank you so much for all the wonderful words of encouragment.

Annette
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« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2008, 06:32:33 PM »

Tell the L&I people that if they don't let you have the surgery or therapy to alleviate the carpal tunnel syndrome that You'll be forced to file a disability retire claim because of being unable to use your hand for work.  That should get a response.

I had shoulder surgery when I couldn't lift my left arm above my belt.  I waited too long and the sheath of scar tissue that built up around the nerve has hampered me ever since.  Later I had to have Ulnar Nerve surgery to alleviate a similar problem in the left elbow.  Both times the ring and pinky fingers of my left hand started to curl into the palm and I couldn't straighten them.  I now have scar sheaths around the same nerve at both surgery sites.  I can straighten my fingers out about 95% but have lost 20% motor control and feeling there.  I have sciatica due to pinched nerves in my back (had surgery there too).  Once the nerves get damaged you can only regain a portion of what you lost.  The faster it can get attended to the better, but get a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinion.  Different doctors will use different procedures, choose the best procedure for you.
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« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2008, 10:22:30 PM »

Annette,
 1.  Do everything you can think of for your bees before your surgery.
 2.  Have surgery.
 3.  Have your beekeeper friend come over while you are recuperating to take care of any necessary tasks.
 4.  Ask your husband to move a comfy chair near the hives.
 5.  Sit in said chair and ENJOY your girls.
 6.  While enjoying your bees remember all of us support you and wish you well.
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annette
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2008, 10:38:47 PM »

I cannot even mention all of you by name. I just love you all and appreciate all the sincere advice.
I will take all the advice you have given to my heart and I will do the right thing.

Will keep you all informed, hopefully I can type after.

I did not want to make it seem like my husband is mean. He is a wonderful man, just has his own things he likes to do and doing bees is not one of them. He gets impatient just putting on the bee suit. I accept him, and hopefully I will not have to rely on him to much. He is a good man anyway!!!

Sincerely,
Annette
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2008, 12:13:22 AM »

Annette, don't forget about ventrillo chat.

.....JP
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2008, 01:05:08 AM »

Kimbrell,

Those are wise words!

Annette, you and the bees will be fine fine fine!
<3
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2008, 02:11:21 AM »

If I lived closer to you I would come and help you out. But you are about 3 to 4 hrs from me. You will be fine and it is right around the cornor. Make sure they are feed and have sugar syrup to eat and they will be fine for a while.

Angi
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« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2008, 09:23:11 AM »

Annette, your gratitude shines through, you are a lucky woman to have all of us that will provide you this support that you will need.  There is nothing more important on this earth than people who care.....you have seen this power, it will be with you.

I don't think that you ever gave any impression that your Husband is mean, hee, hee,  evil Wink Smiley Smiley. Birds of a feather, you know that old saying, you are a wonderful person, I am sure he is the same.  I understand where you are coming from about saying that he doesn't particularly enjoy to don the bee suit and do stuff.  Neither does mine.  He will.....if I MAKE him....ooops, did I say that?  I didn't mean that I force him really, he will, but it takes some persuasion.  It just isn't his baleywick, not one little bit.  But he loves to build beey things for me.  That is his gig.  But, just like you, if I really needed to lean on him, well then he would don that knight in shining armour demeanor and do what needs to be done. I am sure your Hubby would too.  Anyways, good luck with the surgery, speak to us often to let us know how all is making out.  And yes, that is wonderful that you have found a beeekeeper that will come to your aid when you need this extra assistance.  Have the most wonderful and beautiful day, love your life you live.  Cindi
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2008, 11:53:35 AM »

I am lucky to have attracted all this good advice from all you wonderful people and yes lucky to have a good husband. I cannot thank you all enough for the care I am feeling.

I do have a question:

If I made up batchs of sugar syrup ahead of time 1:1, how long would it keep??? I could have several jugs made up the week before my surgery and just sitting and waiting. I store stuff in an outside barn at my friends house where I also have my bees.

I am now in the process of cutting up burlap into strips and placing into zip lock bags so I will have that ready for probably the whole summer of smoking. All other equipment is ready to go. I could, if I had to, drive over to Mann Lake in Woodland and pick up a ready made super all painted if the need arises.

















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« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2008, 12:00:12 PM »

I think you all know that I am not a person of many words, but I could not let all these posts go unnoticed as I was truly touched by each and every one of them.

I would love to thank you all:

Angie thank you for that wonderful offer of coming over to help me. I know that each and every one of you would do the same if given the chance.

Kimbrell yes those where beautiful words of wisdom and I will do just that. Take it easy and enjoy the bees.

JP, I did think about the ventro since I could just speak. Maybe will give it a try then. February would be to early to place honey supers on top. Sometimes in March we get good hail storms and cold weather for short periods. Will keep the can of woop close by (only kidding)

DayValleyDahlias Thanks for the encouragment as well about this type of surgery and the reminder the bees will be fine. Probably better off without me Hee! Hee!

Brian, you have sure seen your share of how deceitful the body can be. You are an inspiration to people with less than perfectly strong bodies and show how everyone can continue to do what their heart desires.

Deejaycee, You have definitely inspired me to be a good patient and I will make every effort follow the dr's orders. You were right on about making that one hive manipulation that could make the difference on how the healing goes. I will have to read your post over and over again if I even have the thought to do this.

Tillie, wow, a family of dr's. No wonder you are so smart. You are so correct about avoiding surgery whenever possible. Believe me I do not take this lightly and if I had any doubt about it, I would not do it. I can hardly feel my hands sometimes. Thanks again for the good advice.

beehooper, love that advice as well. Very upbeat and positive and yes my hubby does shine (usually)

mrilovetheants, I am going to purchase a pair of those claws to life the frames. I was always meaning to get those. Thanks for the advice.

Cindi, thanks always for your upbeat and happy view on life. You always bring people over to the light and that is a special quality you have.


KathyP, I love your tough and to the point way of looking at things. You are definitely a "no nonsense woman". Thanks

Burl, Maybe I should put that umbrella down, Ouch!!!!

Sean, sorry you are having these same issues as me. Good luck with your treatments as well.

Jerrymac and Randydrivesabus, both these opinions are great. Makes me feel better about letting them bee. Good to know they can do so well on their own.

Nate and Steveouck, I agree with the second opinions and how important that is. Yes, I have done that. The chiropractor would have been a good thing had I known about this perhaps years ago. I believe my hands are to far gone now. Thank you both

Moonshae, good advice about moving one frame at a time and I probably will have to do this later on when I can start working
them.

BMAC, I like your view of marriage. We are in this to support each other for sure. Hubby is a good person.


Thanks and Love
Annette - I have printed this entire post out as well and will keep in my beekeeping journal.


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kathyp
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« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2008, 01:04:01 PM »

Quote
If I made up batchs of sugar syrup ahead of time 1:1, how long would it keep???

you can freeze it and either take it out the night before to thaw, or if it's in a heat safe container, thaw it in some warm water in the sink.  i freeze any extra that i have and use it for humming bird feed.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
annette
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« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2008, 01:38:00 PM »

Ok this is great because I do have access to a very big freezer.

Thanks
Annette
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tig
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« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2008, 09:30:38 PM »

my mother had it on both hands and did surgery on the right.  it didn't make much difference and so she refused the one for her left hand.  the severe syptoms came back after several months [which the doctor kindly warned her about before the surgery].  i have the same problem [probably genetic] on both my hands for the last 15 years.  i can only say one thing....getting stung often on my hands has relieved my symptoms. of course the relief last only a few days then i have to get stung again.  one reason i don't wear gloves....i HAVE to get at least one sting, preferably 2 on each hand weekly.  i noticed that multiple stings have a better effect once the initial swelling has gone down which it usually does several hours later.

BTW:  i also have arthritis on both hands and i feel the same relief as the carpal tunnel with bee stings.  i only wish i were a beekeeper when she was still alive because maybe it would have helped her as it helps me now.
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Cindi
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« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2008, 08:37:20 AM »

Annette, your gratitude shines through, you are very special.  You took that time to thank each and every person that gave you support when you reached out to us all.  Wonderful.  You will do just fine, your bees will do just fine.  AND.....most of all....your Husband will do just fine.  By the time he is over the trauma of having to do all this work with the bees (just kidding), he is going to need a break and you will have to help him out  Lips Sealed Wink Smiley Smiley  Have the most wonderful and beautiful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2008, 07:57:26 PM »

annette,

I'm late to the fair for advice. There are lots of different approaches to the surgery. Some surgeons will still do an 'open' approach, most go in using a scope. Please take the advice and get several opinions before you let anyone do surgery. Then do your homework on both the surgeon and the approach. Find a surgeon who has done lots of carpal tunnel surgeries. Preferably a fellowship trained hand specialist.

Research has shown that the more they do they better they are at it, no matter how "simple" they say it is.

Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions and expect frank, truthful answers. If you don't get them. Find someone else.

Getting a second opinion saved me from having sinus surgery when I actually have a problem caused by a diseased jaw joint. Thank God I talked with a surgeon who told me he saw no reason to do surgery.

Hope this helps. Don't be afraid to approach medicine with gumption. It's your body; you deserve good treatment.

Kev
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One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
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« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2008, 11:09:49 PM »

This surgeon is a hand surgeon. I feel I am in good "hands" (pun!!)

Kev, thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. This is the 4th opinion I have received from all different dr's. Also emg and nerve conduction studies done. All point to the surgery.

I am feeling very upbeat and positive right now. Probably from all the good vibrations from all the people here and in my life also.

I know the bees will be fine also. I will not abandon them even if I had to hire someone to help me,which as it turns out I do not.

Have a great weekend to everyone.
Annette
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Brian D. Bray
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I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


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« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2008, 11:19:30 PM »

This surgeon is a hand surgeon. I feel I am in good "hands" (pun!!)

Kev, thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. This is the 4th opinion I have received from all different dr's. Also emg and nerve conduction studies done. All point to the surgery.

I am feeling very upbeat and positive right now. Probably from all the good vibrations from all the people here and in my life also.

I know the bees will be fine also. I will not abandon them even if I had to hire someone to help me,which as it turns out I do not.

Have a great weekend to everyone.
Annette

I assume that includes a nerve conduction test--that's the one that showed how much damage had actually been done prior to my surgery.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
annette
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« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2008, 11:24:26 PM »

Yes, Nerve Conduction Study, Test, same thing.
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abejaruco
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« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2008, 02:45:17 AM »

Annete, if you have heard about the doctor, and is good doctor you can sleep laid-back. If you have to do it, be brave, we´re with you. Smiley

On the other "hands", you´ll operate of carpal (from the latin carpus) on feb 27, and the feb 23 is Saint Policarpus...Annete...you are in divine hands. Smiley Good luck!
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annette
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« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2008, 11:56:07 AM »

Thank you Abejaruco,

This makes me feel even better. Have a wonderful day.

Annette
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gunny
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« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2008, 02:27:52 PM »

Annette:

Sorry for the problem.  Wish you a speedy and trouble free recovery.

I'll be having shoulder surgery at some point in time and not looking forward to that at all.  Lucky its the left one and I'm right handed.  Probably end up with an artificial joint, that arthritis is not nice stuff.  Hope to be able to hold off until late fall of '08.  That way I can recover through the winter.  Wife doesn't want a thing to do with my bees, she doesn't even care for honey but have friends I can depend on to help if need bee.
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annette
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« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2008, 08:17:41 PM »

Thanks for the wishes Gunny

Sorry you have this problem with the shoulder. Good luck taking care of that. Yes, it would be good to wait until the winter if you can. I wish I could wait also.

Annette

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