Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

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misspixie93
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Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by misspixie93 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:16 am

Hello everyone! I'm scheduled to have Carpal Tunnel Surgery about 2 weeks before Burning Man. A few friends have spoken up about me having surgery as planned and not going to Burning Man. Not one of these people have ever been to BM and while I appreciate their input, I like some advice from burners. The stitches will have been removed before going but I'm a bit nervous about being in pain and not having use of one hand. Also, the dust. The stitches will have been removed but I don't want dust to get in there. Should I postpone the surgery? Can you guys offer some suggestions? Thoughts? What would you do? Thank you!
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by trilobyte » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:24 am

The other important consideration is that on the playa, skin tends not to do its normal thing in the knitting and healing department. Even if you keep it clean and take all the precautions you can, scarring would likely be more pronounced.

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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by Elderberry » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:26 am

If your nervous about it, why not postpone surgery until after the burn? Better safe than sorry.
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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by AntiM » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:34 am

On the other hand (sorry), I went to Burning Man two days after my 16 catheters were removed from my left breast. They were in there for brachytherapy radiation treatment after breast cancer. I kept them covered and cleaned them carefully in my tent daily, although I did show the fresh lumpectomy scar and the tiny scar spots to anyone who was interested in what happens with breast cancer. Of course, I was stoned as heck the whole time on vicodin, and I had people to take care of me. Spent every afternoon resting in front of a big ass swamp cooler in the camp of a friend. I was fine, but it was a low key burn. Got a good shower at the truckstop BEFORE entering the playa, to be as fresh as possible.

1. Do you have a support system of people who will take the heavy set up/break down chores for you? Help you in other ways?
2. Can you do a low key burn?
3. How do you do on pain killers? Can you forgo drinking if needed?
4. Can you wear a cotton glove all the time? Do you have a cleanish place to maintain your wound dressing should you need to do so?
5. Do you have an exit plan if needed?

If you have good resolutions to those questions, sure, go. If you do not, then wait for next year or a later surgical date. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.

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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by misspixie93 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:28 pm

The first thing I will be doing is calling my surgeon and seeing if I can get an appt for the surgery for right after the burn. If I cannot then...I'll have to give consideration to going vs not going this year. I also do not know yet if the surgery is endoscopic or open. Endoscopic will have a MUCH smaller incision and will not require stitches. This is something I will also ask on Monday when I call my surgeon's office.

1. Do you have a support system of people who will take the heavy set up/break down chores for you? Help you in other ways?
-Yes, I do have people who will be there to help me with any assistance I may need. I've already spoken to my camp mates about this and they are aware that I will not be able to assist with a lot of the camp duties, if any, and they are willing to help me with anything as well so that I can go this year.

2. Can you do a low key burn?
-I can but I think the bigger question is am I going to be happy with a low key burn? Will I wish I had been able to participate more? I'm not sure. My first burn was rather low key as I didn't know what to do. I imagine this would be quite similar.

3. How do you do on pain killers? Can you forgo drinking if needed?
-I'm not a big drinker at all. I think I drank once during my last burn. I'm rather amusing on pain killer actually as I giggle a lot. This may amuse or annoy my camp mates.

4. Can you wear a cotton glove all the time? Do you have a cleanish place to maintain your wound dressing should you need to do so?
-I am pretty sure I can wear a cotton glove the whole time. We will have a camp shower and I have a giant tent that I keep very clean (I'm a neat/clean freak, or as neat/clean as you can get at BM). I changed my contacts in my tent daily and had no problems with getting anything in my eyes while doing so. I imagine this would be similar.

5. Do you have an exit plan if needed?
-Yes, the person that I am riding to BM with is willing to leave should I need to. I will have all of my insurance information with me should the need to go to urgent care/hospital happen.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by Conduit » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:35 pm

It may really painful when riding a bike, just a thought...

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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by GreyCoyote » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:46 pm

What does the surgeon say? I think over any opinion expressed here, that data point should be considered above all others. It would be foolish to put too much weight on the opinion of John Q Burner. :)
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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by Savannah » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:36 pm

Good luck, MissPixie. I hope your physicians will allow a postponement. Maybe it you take it easy from here til the Burn, and are somewhat sensible during Burn week, it won't make a whole heck of a lot of difference if you have to have the surgery a month after the Burn, or something.

Take it easy now + postpone
VS.
get surgery and then be forced to be careful . .

The first choice just seems a lot easier. But you do seem thoughtful and cautious, and that you have about the best support system possible in place.
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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by misspixie93 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:07 am

Conduit wrote:It may really painful when riding a bike, just a thought...
I've already thought about this and I will not be riding a bike if I have the surgery beforehand. It hurts me just thinking about cycling after surgery.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

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misspixie93
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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by misspixie93 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:12 am

GreyCoyote wrote:What does the surgeon say? I think over any opinion expressed here, that data point should be considered above all others. It would be foolish to put too much weight on the opinion of John Q Burner. :)
I have not yet met with the surgeon. The receptionist said that I had to wait till my pre-op visit to talk to him about the trip. His opinion is ultimately going to be the deciding factor. If he gives me the green light then I'll go ahead with the surgery as planned and BM. The reason why I'm set on going to BM this year is this is the last year my camp is going to be together. There is not going to be an Incendiary Intent next year. I'd really like to be there for our final burn as a theme camp.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by misspixie93 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:18 am

Savannah wrote:Good luck, MissPixie. I hope your physicians will allow a postponement. Maybe it you take it easy from here til the Burn, and are somewhat sensible during Burn week, it won't make a whole heck of a lot of difference if you have to have the surgery a month after the Burn, or something.

Take it easy now + postpone
VS.
get surgery and then be forced to be careful . .

The first choice just seems a lot easier. But you do seem thoughtful and cautious, and that you have about the best support system possible in place.
Thank you, Savannah!

I feel better now that I have gotten some feedback from burners in addition to friends who have never been. I think it is hard to give an opinion on something you've only heard about and never attended. I value my friend's opinions and that they are looking out for me, but it really does help to hear from other burners. My surgeon's opinion and schedule are going to be the biggest factors. Hopefully he can fit me in for right after the burn, if he thinks that it is not a good idea to do the surgery before I go.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:43 am

Losing a camp is pretty damn hard.
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Re: Advice on attending after having carpal tunnel surgery

Post by Rusted Iron » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:11 pm

I recommend moving the surgery date to later in September, after you get back. I've seen people recover in three weeks and others take a lot longer. Post surgical infections and other complications can arise. If your vitamin D level is low, your healing can be slower. Enjoy the sun first.

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