How Are Your Hands????

Lounge By dguerrant Updated 30 Mar 2011 , 4:24am by dguerrant

dguerrant Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 5:27am
post #1 of 11

I have been off from caking for nearly 3 months due to another hand surgery. This time I had a ganglion cyst removed which had wrapped around the median nerve and artery as well as in between the wrist bones and spead down into my palm. I still have 6 weeks of physical thearpy left and I am really considering quitting all the caking. I could only squeeze 18 pounds with my bad hand (surgery was 7 weeks ago) and 90 with my good hand. I am 37 and had carpal tunnel surgery 5 years ago on my 'good' hand. I am worried that if I continue caking, by the time I'm 60, my hands will be worthless. I was informed that chances are that with repeated work, the cyst may return.

This last surgery has really limited what I am able to do in everyday scenarios. I'm getting calls constantly and I really need some input into whether or not it is worth continuing.

Have any of you had similar surgeries, if so, how was your recovery and ability to do business afterwards?

Thanks so much in advance!!!!

10 replies
justducky Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 1:32am
post #2 of 11

I have not had any hand issues, I just wanted to wish you the best and I hope everything heals quickly.

tryingcake Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 5:07am
post #3 of 11

The piping bag is horrible for carpal tunnel because of the way we hold/move our thumb when piping. There are ways to hold the bag to avoid this.

Rolling fondant - UGH! My shoulders and neck kill me. I've actually been diagnosed with carpal tunnel in my neck!

scp1127 Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 9:46am
post #4 of 11

I had that exact surgery when I was 15. I am now 49. I broke my wrist at 6 years old. The cyst appeared after a car accident where I jammed my wrist and some bones in my hand. I was working on getting carpal tunnel, but I have avoided it. I still only have 20 pounds of pressure in my left hand. Over the years, I have worn those wrist braces from the drug store. The brand is Futuro. I have the one with the thumb, pointer, and three other finger "holes". This brace does two things. First, it reminds me to be conscious of my use of my hand and not put myself in the position of further injury. And second, for some reason, that pressure strengthens my hand and also prevents that yucky pulsing feeling that comes with these injuries. My husband is a doctor and I have taken his advice for twenty five years and have kept it under control. His analysis: Your injuries come from repetition of the same movement that wears your bones out like you wear out the heel of your shoe if you walk incorrectly. Once the wear is present, it can be maintained but not corrected. What I do to keep carpal tunnel at bay is to vary my actions. Find new candies, etc., that use a different movement. USE BOTH HANDS!!! Knowing my injuries, when we rehabbed old houses, I learned to paint, carry things, and saw with both hands. My bakery is new but I ice cakes, squeeze scoopers, and roll fondant with both hands. I have also found that knitting and other related crafts strengthen my hands by using the other muscles. I hope this helps because I have lived with this all my life. Changing how you do things will prevent further injury and hopefully allow you to continue to do the things you love.

cabecakes Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 3:42pm
post #5 of 11

Is it possible you could use gadgets that help with the stress placed on your hands...such as a pasta roller for rolling out fondant or a press to squeeze out buttercream. I would hate to see anyone have to give up on something they love to do. Maybe there are alternatives. Maybe just reducing the amount you do, instead of giving it up altogether. I feel terribly for you, and I wish you the best of luck. Hope it all bodes well for you in the future.

scp1127 Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 8:14pm
post #6 of 11

Cabecakes, thats a good idea. Any new movement will help. Just don't overdo that new machine with too much repetition.

dguerrant Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 1:20am
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by justducky

I have not had any hand issues, I just wanted to wish you the best and I hope everything heals quickly.




thanksicon_smile.gif

dguerrant Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 1:31am
post #8 of 11

Thanks to everyone and all the great tips. I do lots of custom carved cakes which needs fondant (homemade, I hate the pre-made stuff) for the right 'look' and well that has taken it's toll on my left hand/wrist. I will definately take the advice given and try it and find what works best. I hate to give it up, because I do enjoy it so much, but I would rather not do any cakes at all if the finished poduct is not up to my standards.

I also have a couple of braces and I hate them, but wearing them as a reminder/preventative to not over do it may have to take precedence over comfort (they are really limiting).

scp1127 Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 11:40am
post #9 of 11

That Futuro brace is very comfortable. It feels so good I only take it off when I go out.

pat304 Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 12:00am
post #10 of 11

I'm just a hobby baker, but would love to open a (very) small commercial kitchen . . . just for "fun", taking a few cake orders here and there. I am from LaLa Land, USA icon_smile.gif

I've had 6 hand surgeries, from 30 years of hairstyling, and I have 3 more clicking/locking fingers right now. Yes, watch your repetitive habits, ladies . . . they'll come back to bite you in the butt.

Best of luck on your recovery, dguerrant!

dguerrant Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 4:24am
post #11 of 11

THanks!!!!!

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