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Friday, January 8, 2010

What good is a thumb?

Plenty I've discovered. I'm right handed & I've long said my left hand is pretty much there for balance. I never thought I did much with it.

Like many of you, I'm a quilter, knitter, crafter & I'm always doing something with my hands. And also like many of you, I've also had hand "problems" for a number of years that I've managed to ignore thinking they'd go away. Then my left thumb and wrist started to bother me - what the heck? I'm right handed, why the left? So I went into my usual routine of ignoring it, then when that didn't work, babying it and then finally digging out the carpel tunnel brace and wearing that. Nope, self doctorinaztion wasn't working so the day before Thanksgiving I took myself off to the hand specialist thinking he would do some magic and FIX IT!

Let me just say that I don't hate going to the doctors, I just don't like it. They're NEVER on time, it's expensive and most times I come out wondering why the heck I bothered since whatever was wrong, is pretty much still wrong . . . So I didn't hold out much hope that I would come out of the hand surgeon miracuously cured, even though I was hoping it would be so.

I did leave with a diagnosis of tendonitis, arthritis, a bone spur and no cartilage left between the bones in the base joint of my thumb. After he mentioned surgery and taking out that bone & replacing it with something I didn't hear because at that point his lips were moving but nothing he was said after removing the bone was registering in my brain that had basically stalled. I left his office with orders to wear an immobilizer and come back in three weeks. He wanted to give me a cortisone shot but the horror of the first one I recieved in my elbow about 8 years ago managed to claw it's way to the front of my brain and I demured.

Yes Virginia, you do use that thumb for MUCH more than you think you do!

Now it's after the holidays and my wrist is bothering me so much I'm wearing the thumb brace AND the carpel tunnel brace on the same hand - it's SO ATTRACTIVE! So Wednesday I take myself back to the hand specialist determined to get to the bottom of why my hand/wrist hurts and how to fix it.

He looks at my thumb - still swollen, bone spur still there, tendonitis, arthritis - yup a mess. Then he looks at my wrist. I explain what's going on. He says it's one of three tendons and he'll press on them until he hits the right one. Third one is a charm & I scrape myself off the ceiling in enough pain to agree to a cortisone shot to try to avoid surgery. EEEEOOOOOOWWWWWW!

This time I find myself in the car, in the same brace, in more pain and I've paid for the experience. Hmmm, did I mention I don't like going to doctors???

A friend has suggested getting out my Glitzer Wand and crystals to decorate the braces for the wedding. I'll take pictures.


Jerzy said...

I hear your pain ! I went to the ortho Friday after Thanksgiving - x-rays showed a heel spurt and plantars fascutis. I was in enough pain to agree to the cortizone shot. The pain went away - for all of 2 days. Finally went back to see him this past Monday - he explained that the inflamation was too severe which was why the cortisone shot didn't work - and I had 2 options - months of PT - or surgery. Since he said the months of PT sometimes ends in surgery anyway - I chose to have it fixed now - I go in Monday .... hopefully I'll be back on my feet (no pun intended) in short order ! If you don't get relief soon - perhaps surgery is the way to go ???? Good luck with whatever you choose - I'll keep you in my prayers !

peggy said...

Sorry to hear you're in such pain. It is however comforting to find someone else who just puts off going to the doctor for all our pains. I haven't slept a full night in over a year since I fell on both shoulders...The thought of a cortizone shot just makes me want to go to the dentist for root canal first...another dreaded place. I guess when I can't lift my arm I'll go...