I'm celebrating! Yesterday I had an appointment with a hand specialist and he told me I'll be having no hand surgery! I've been waiting a long time to get in to see him and the wait was worth it. He's a no sugar coating it kind of doctor (which I appreciate) and talked about the pro's and con's of surgery. Interestingly enough he was pretty much the same as the info I got from the sports med doctor I'd talked to. They both talked about how surgery can fix the problem at the time but often leads to problems later and a shortening of the lifespan of the body part in question. I knew this was a major issue in the sports world, surgery often allows the athlete's to keep competing but often results in a shorter life span of the athlete's career.
I have degenerative damage, part from riding (my ring finger has issues from that being my rein finger for many many years) and part from the repetitive work of bead making. Some is probably from using my hands as tools too much.
The gist of it is I need to change my way of working. No bead making for days on end, I need to change things up often to try and break up the repetitive pattern. What was interesting is he asked if there was "a lathe type tool" I could use or have fashioned to stop myself for having to turn mandrels over and over. I guess this means I need to take time to learn how to use my Bearfoot Art mandrel spinner, I've had it for two years now and used it minimally. I'll be spending time learning it now!
I've also got to change a few things in my studio set up and use tools not my hands and while this will be a lot of changes I'm really happy surgery is not happening!