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wild and awful Robyn. I hope the surgery goes smoothly and life moves along. these things are so chastening. xo n

Dominique Potvin

I really hope your operation will work. But if not, I can assure you you will learn to do everything with your thumb not flexing. I was born with no articulation in both thumbs, and there is nothing I cannot do :) Don't worry too much :)


Really sorry to hear that and hope it all works out. Rather than thinking "ONLY a 72 percent success rate," think "a 72 percent success rate" before you go into it. Yeah, easier said than done. But as a fellow worrywart who worried before sinus surgery this spring only about the bad things that might happen, and didn't even consider the good - breathing through my nose for virtually the first time in my life - I thought it was a good lesson in positive thinking. I'm a journalist too so yeah, note-taking and other issues would be a major pain, no question. Do you have an iPhone with a recording app? Having a phone might be less obtrusive than a recorder and you could put it in a pocket etc. They work pretty well and in this era of ubiquitous phones....? Wishing you the best


Oh no. Hope you recover soon!

Amanda  (@lambsearshoney)

Oh Robyn, I know you were uncomfortable while you were here in Adelaide, but unaware of how much worse it had become. I wish you every piece of luck in the world with your surgery. xxx


Robyn this must be a horrible thing to be going through, I hope you are in the 71% success rate!


Poor Robyn, why don't you try taking diction using a speech-to-text software.. and reduce the amount you would have to spend time to physically write. Big adjustment it'll be.. but it'll save your hand. Work wonders for me for emails.

For interviews, you can discretely record via a wired mic to the shirt or something.. and that gives you even more time to focus on the interview & the flow of the conversation instead of jotting this down...

Just some thoughts to help a writer we love to read...



I sincerely hope the surgery worked for you, looking forward to more great stories on this blog and your upcoming book. Best wishes.


Oh dear that seems very stressful - best wishes for a smooth recovery!
Your readers look forward to your words.


Wishing you successful surgery and a quick recovery!


Oh dear. All my best wishes that the surgery will be successful for you!!!


I hope the surgery is a success and that you recover quickly. Our hands and fingers are our livelihood. Take good care!


Such irony! Of course this happens once you have a book deal. Hope the writing mitt gets better!


I'm cringing just reading this. I pray all goes well.


Oh Robyn, I know you will be fine and dandy. Don't worry I will pray for you. Good luck with your (minor) surgery, and yes you will finish your book and you will hold chopsticks and eat more laksa and curry mee. It's corny but I have Bob Marley's song in my head for you "don't worry, about a thing, coz everything is gonna be alright!" ;)


Thanks everyone, for the good wishes.
Dominique -- that is encouraging. Thanks for that.
Elaine, you're right. I can't wait till the surgery is over and all is as it was. And if it isn't, onward.
skchun, thanks for that. I am thinking about it whether the surgery works or not, to give my aching wrists a break.
Bee -- :) I'll be humming that song going in to surgery.


Oh no! What a drag, but think positive thoughts and I'm sure it will go well.


The loss of full use of the dominant right hand is miserable. Of course wishing all the best with surgery. I can tell you that when I shattered my humerus it tore up my radial nerve and I had radial nerve palsy for almost a year. Against great odds the nerve re-grew. With the condition your hand is permanently pointed down so writing is not a functional option. I was able to get my brain to let me be left handed to a decent degree. Mastering chopsticks was a big day. I have other nerve overuse issues in both hands. Not fun but the body and soul is amazingly adaptable. As a professional gardener my hands are my tools also. Never a dull moment ;)


So sorry to hear about your AINS -- as you say, it may not be the worst thing that could happen, and yes there are definitely scarier diagnoses for all of us, foodies and non, but that doesn't make it any less painful, any less frightening or any less of a big deal for you given the impact it has on what you do. So don't let yourself feel guilty for feeling upset about it, it's totally understandable.

Wishing you all the best for a successful and pain-free surgery and quick and full recovery.


Thanks Katrinka!
Heidih -- that is very encouraging. Thanks for that.

Kavey -- thank you for the good wishes ... and for your long-time readership.


Clearly missed this at the time. That doesn't sound like fun. All the best with it. I'm taking the fact that you managed to write this post as a good sign. Let's see as you enter recovery.

I've found that getting old - on the physical side - after about 38 ish is generally shit. You lose energy, sight and hearing and gain lumps, grey and neurosis. What a crappy trade off. Just to finally bloody grow up.

Bon courage


Thanks Graham -- surgery currently on hold while I argue with my insurance company about whether or not the surgery is actually "necessary" and they will therefore cover it. (Who needs a working thumb, right?) Fairly constant pain but I'm still typing.
RE: aging -- as my father says: "Getting old sucks." :)


Hi Robyn, first time commenting here. I used to live in Penang and feel compelled to mention that I had an excellent experience with Dr. Aaron Lim, an orthopedic surgeon, at Island Hospital. He's well qualified, takes time to explain, and opts for less invasive measures whenever possible.

Anyway, I wish you well. I slashed my left thumb recently and that felt crippling enough (I'm right handed).

All best, Ann


Hi Ann, thanks for your comment. Dr. Lim was my first stop in Penang, and after my diagnosis he referred me to my surgeon in KL. Waiting on an appeal to my insurance company, which refused coverage for the procedure, deeming it "unnecessary". Grr.
Thanks for reading!


Oh man. So sorry to hear this Robyn! Two years ago I had a bad case of tenosynovitis in my dominant hand. Like you, I depend on my hands to make a living, this was pretty depressing and stressful. Living in constant fear that I would never be able to draw without pain again. The fact that the condition is also called "wash-woman's wrist" or "gamer's thumb" helped me try to make light of it though. No where near as serious as AINS, of course. Hoping for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for you!

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