My Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery Story…Complete with Gifs!

Filed Under: Gifs, Life

Friday I had my first major panic attack complete with cold sweats, racing heart rate and general freaking the hell out. 

When I had my emergency induction with Cara back in ’06, a nurse with about as much skill with a needle as a lobotomized polar bear on crack (LPBoC) shoved an IV into the side of my left wrist. Blood went everywhere…I guess LPBoC wasn’t expecting a cannula, not attached to a line, to spurt blood? Damn thing hurt the entire time it was in and eventually became occluded. I’ve never been so happy to get rid of something.

Bad experience but I didn’t expect it to make me all PTSD and crap when, Friday, the (very nice) nurse picked that exact spot to site my IV.

Beeker freak out gif

After Tucker had been let into the pre-op area and I demanded he remove all the blankets and give me something to fan myself, the nurse told me she thought I had looked “really nervous and [she] was glad to see that [I] had relaxed.”

Yeah…not so much “relaxed” as got through the panic attack.

In her defense, I didn’t tell her I was freaking out. She was so business-like about putting in the IV (and I didn’t know I would have such a drastic reaction) that she was done before I thought to object.

Fast forward through two hours of waiting (and napping) and the most awesome nurse anesthetist in the history of nurse anesthetists (Avis McCalla) came in, introduced her awesome self and told me she had a “wonderful recipe” for me. This made me especially excited since I had been told the whole shebang would be done with just local sedation and I was expecting to have to fight for some sort of happy/oblivion pill

Avis said it with such zeal I couldn’t help but love her even more.

Supernatural You're Awesome gif

According to one of the surg nurses, the actual surgery took seven minutes. Yeah, I don’t remember any of it. I’m not complaining. 

Awesome Nurse Anesthetist brought me back to Earth and in about five minutes, I was stone-cold sober. I’ve never had such a great experience with Let’s Have Surgery drugs.

Now, five days later, I’ve removed the massive bandage and replaced it with a little bit of gauze and tape. The entire palm of my right hand is a giant bruise, the three stitches gnarly and I’m still taking pain meds BUT my fingers haven’t gone numb since right before they wheeled me back for surgery. 

weeeeee gif

Considering the numbness had progressed to the point I routinely dropped stuff, I say a bit of bruising, a few stitches and some pain are completely worth it. 

Annoyances of Carpal Tunnel Release surgery:

  1. Not being able to use my primary (right) hand.
  2. Not being able to pull up the right side of my underwear/pants on my own.
  3. Worrying about one of the kids and/or Sophie the Wonder Pit Bull whacking my hand.
  4. Bathing/washing my hair with only my left hand whilst either holding my right hand straight up and/or hanging my hand over the side of the tub so my surgeried hand didn’t get wet. 
  5. A crazy amount of desire to decorate cookies which requires a heck of a lot of manual dexterity.
  6. A crazy amount of desire to play video games which requires a heck of a lot of manual dexterity.

Though I probably won’t get to 100% with my right hand (since I waited so long to admit what was going on), if I get to 75%, I’ll be happy. Once my right hand gets to as good as it’s going to get, Lefty will be going under the knife. 

As of right now, I’m cool with that. 

Thumbs up

Surgeryish pictures coming right up!

For the record, the monitor part of the first picture is due to the fact one of the nurses at my GP’s office hates me and always accuses me of having high blood pressure.

It’s YOU, woman. It’s not me.

Take that, hateful nurse.

Breakfast Club Judd Nelson chuckle

And that hospital coffee was really, really good.

Right after Carpal Tunnel Release surgery complete with my coffee.

My hand after Carpal Tunnel Release surgery


  1. I know it’s down the road for me, but so happy you had such a good experience 🙂

    • I got an extra bedroom for you (the playroom) if you wanna bring a blow-up mattress or you can totally have the couch and I’ll set you up with my surgeon and Avis.

      And then we can drink wine.

      It’ll be like a slumber party but with surgery and booze!

  2. Such a common surgery these days ~ it is awesome yours went so well!

  3. Glad it went well, all things considered. Hope you’re getting as much rest as possible.

  4. So glad your surgery went smoothly.

  5. Glad it went well… and AWESOME gifs to animate the story, as always.

  6. Update on mah hand:

    Had the surgery on Feb 28th. Still had the sutures in my hand yesterday and they were driving me CRAZY.

    I called the surgeon’s office, got a very rude receptionist who tried to shame me for missing my post-op appointment on the 7th. An appointment I didn’t know anything about and have no paperwork on.

    Surgeon’s nurse called me back, agreed with me that having the stitches removed a week after the surgery would have sucked and also agreed that there wasn’t any reason why I couldn’t just remove the sutures myself if everything was groovy with the incision.

    SOOOO…they’re gone! And I did it with my left hand. Yay, Lefty!

  7. I just had my left one done yesterday (Nov.10.2015)…right was done a month ago. Both done in the surgeons office, in and out which was good. Today I’m experiencing fast heart rate and high blood pressure for some reason. I took a half of a prescription 600 ibuprophen that I had in the cupboard so not sure if that’s causing it or the surgery itself. Anyone else have any experience like this?


  1. […] getting surgeried, I took my pain meds like a good surgeried person. As one does. Unfortunately, the first […]

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