Monday, September 8, 2014

Not An Ideal Way To Start A Week

Monday 8th September, 2014

Today has been a rather stressful day.  We had to be up early (like 5.30am) and be at the Royal Adelaide Hospital by 7.00am as Tony was going to have his hand operated on.

For the last 7 or 8 years the tissue from his fingers to his palm have been contracting, forcing his fingers, mainly his ring finger on his left hand to become bent.  We have always thought it was due to his years of electrical work where instead of using screwdrivers like us normal people do, apparently some electricians use the palm of their hands to turn the screwdriver.

The condition is known as "Dupuytren's Contracture".   Researching the condition we found that it is quite common among the Northern Europeans such as the British, Irish, Dutch (which he is) and the French and also among the Scandinavian countries.  It can be hereditary (but he knows of no other family members that have had it).  It is also found in those who have epilepsy, diabetic or alcoholics which thankfully he is none of those.

According to the doctors it is a very common problem especially among men.

In the last 12 months his finger has been forced forward more. He couldn't remove his wedding ring because it was so bad and in the end had to cut it off.  When he was last at the doctors he mentioned it to him and the doctor put the wheels in motion for him to have it looked at.

An appointment was set up for him at the Hospital and because his finger was more than 35 degrees they decided to operate.  Last Monday he got the call to say that his operation had been scheduled for today and last Thursday he had to go in for his pre-op.

He was first on the list to be operated on and so I decided to stay at the Hospital.  By 11.20am they rang me to say that he was fine but they wanted to observe him for a further 60 minutes and then he could go home.  They said that I could come and sit with him which I did.

When I went in he was sitting in the chair eating a sandwich.  He looked good but about 20 minutes later he lost all his colour, started sweating profusely and was feeling nauseous.  The nurse said that this was common after an anaesthaetic and told him if he could be sick he would feel a whole lot better.  

He didn't vomit but after about 30 minutes he started to feel much better and his colour returned.  Armed with some pain killers we ended up leaving the hospital around 1.40pm.

He has to keep his arm elevated which is supposed to stop swelling and reduce any pain.  So far he hasn't had to have any pain killers and his fingers are still feeling numb though he said he can just start to feel his little finger and thumb.

On Friday he has to go back to the Hospital for a follow up visit.   I'm afraid Hospitals aren't a good way to start a week but i am glad it is over and done with.  

Now to get him back to where he can do the dishes again, make me breakfast and make the bed.  I wonder if he will be able to do that


  1. Oh dear, I don't think Tony will be serving up breakfast for a little while yet, but it is good to hear that his hand will soon be back to normal. I have not heard of anyone having this condition before. Gosh, I imagine it would make a lot of things difficult to do. I can't imagine trying to cook or crochet with this problem. I'll bet Tony is very happy to have his hand normal again. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

    1. Thanks Edna.
      Yes he was having difficulty trying to grab hold of things and then putting them down as his finger was getting in the way. He's happy to finally have the operation done.
      They say it is very common but we too have not heard of anyone with it. My Dad's hand, when he was alive, was a bit like how Tony's looked but we just thought it was arthritis. On reflection, maybe not.
      Hope you are enjoyed your day, we are just about to go into ours here....8.44 am.
      Hugs Judy xx