"I'm so severely left-handed, I reach across to pick up items on my right side," I joked ruefully.
Fifty years of weightlifting and poling hard while hiking, downhill skiing and cross-country skiing. Scrambling up steep rocky inclines on hands and feet. Grabbing rocks and tree branches to prevent falls.
Cooking from scratch. Kneading four loaves of bread at once. Gardening. Sewing. Keeping my hands busy for 68-years.
So. I'm going to have joint replacement in the base joint of my thumbs, starting with the left hand. Naturally, the left hand is the worst. Bone-on-bone. Scared I'll lose use of my hands.
For fifteen years, I have worn gloves while hiking even in summer. For some reason it helps with the pain. For twenty years, I relied on a hiking pole in my right hand. Of course I use two poles while descending steep trails to prevent falls.
Luckily, my knees are fine despite decades of running and hiking.
Before seeing a surgeon, I'm trying physical therapy and hand exercises. Also slathering prescribed ibuprofen gel on my hands topped with cotton gloves. It helps with pain.
The doctor recommends CBD cream for pain. So I'll check out a legal marijuana store, looking around guiltily before ducking in the door. Reminds me of college.
Am forcing myself to use the opposite hand. This strengthens neural connection in your brain and even builds brain cells.
Benefits of Using Your Opposite Hand
Getting older is a bugger and not for the faint hearted, but it beats the alternative. Sorry to hear about your hands. Do they give you any info on the success rate and the degree of recovery you can expect? I understand that masseuses often have similar problems. Good luck
I have to have problems with my hands. Wear the same device as you do, not all the time but when it is really painful. It helps. I also do exercises every day. It helps. My doctors have not suggested any kind of operation. I would get a second opinion if I were you. Good luck and take care.
Seems like there's an opposing side to "use it or lose it." Overuse it and still lose it. I think a lot of health problems can be partially 'nature' (genetic) and some is nurture. I have a fused ankle on one foot. Hiking uphill has been little problem but downhill has been difficult and I found I would turn my fused foot to the side which placed extra pressure on the other knee and by the time I got down the slope there was a lot of pain in that knee. I believe the way to reduce the impact of arthritis is a strong support muscle but obviously that doesn't always work. I too do a lot of weight bearing exercises and once prided myself on the size. I have learned it's far better to lift a lower weight slowly than a heavy weight fast. I am right handed (can one call that a north paw) but tried doing things with my left. Supposedly that helps the brain add neurons and avoid brain issues but one has to go slowly. Learned the hard way. At least we live in a time where things like this can be remedied. Let us know how it is going.
My left thumb is also painful, and I'm right handed. For me, it is genetic, I remember my paternal grandmother rubbing her left thumb and referring to it as "my damn thumb." I notice pain in that thumb especially when crocheting and knitting, or other hand intensive activities. My right thumb is fine. So far I'm doing OK with it, I take Motrin daily, but that is for more than just the thumb. When I worked Short Term disability claims I had a dental hygenist who filed a claim, she had just had a bilateral thumb joint replacement. Her employer also invested in new equipment for her, ones with bigger handles. I don't remember how long she was out of work. I am hoping I won't need to have any replacements, but time will tell.
Oh WOW...I have to wear a brace like that also(but mine is black)...i have severe pain at the Base joint on my left hand and the right hand is giving me trouble also. I knocked the left thumb out of joint when I was about 11 or 12 playing football...the ball hit the tip of my thumb and pushed the whole thumb out of joint at the Base. Stretched the HELL out of the ligaments and it was about 4 or 5 hours before it was popped back in. I should probably see a specialist. It hurts CONSTANTLY now and immobilizes my ability to grip anything that involves the thumb...like my Guitar...Arghhh...glad you posted this...good luck...yours is swollen I see...mine isn't. Are they "replacing" or "repairing"?
My only advice is follow your doctors advice to keep moving it.
Also fine a hand specialist. My biggest hero is a hand specialist in Grand Rapids Michigan who put my hand together after a farm accident 40 years ago.
Been using it all this time with little pain.
I can only say 'keep on keeping' on'. Every situation is different and the choices will be yours.
Oddly enough. My symptoms are much worse on the right side. I tell people 'I used to be right handed. But now I can be clumsy equally -- either side'.
Everybody makes their own way. Only let it slow you down if you absolutely have to
-- to avoid getting hurt.