Eventually Carpel Tunnel Will Catch Up With You

Photo: nickwijnan - http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nickwijnan
Photo: nickwijnan – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nickwijnan

This past holiday season I had some time off, during which I planned to reorganize the entire house, but instead was sick and didn’t have much energy for anything but watching TV. The thing is, I do not just watch TV. I like to cross-stitch and wanted to make some progress on my Vermeer cross-stitch of doom, so I stitched, for hours and hours.

When January 3rd arrived, I went back to work, like everyone else. My hands had other ideas. This morning, the pain and immobility was so bad that I couldn’t even put on my make-up. Finally, after procrastinating for years, it was time to do something about my carpal tunnel.

I’m not sure when I first started to suffer from the symptoms of carpel tunnel. I’m sure working on a computer all day doesn’t help. It also may have been some marathon weekends of Roller Coaster Tycoon. Regardless of the culprit, since I had my daughter eight years ago, things have gotten progressively worse.

About a year ago, I went to Penn (Pennsylvania Health System) where they subjected my already sore hands to electric probing and poking which was very unpleasant, formally diagnosing carpal tunnel. I was supposed to get some braces of some sort and report back. I didn’t, mostly because they are rather expensive and we’re on a very tight budget. Also, as long as I put my hands into the neutral position, it seemed to provide relief.

But any long term use of my hands, such as stitching or very repetitious typing, causes a fair amount of pain. I also wake up at night in agony only to be relieved by hanging my arms off the bed. You’d think I would have be motivated to do something years ago, but no. Procrastination, even avoiding something that will greatly improve one’s life, is a classic hallmark of ADD. Thankfully, this week has been so horrible that I am finally doing something about it.

I work with doctors and remembered seeing something about a non-surgical carpal tunnel treatment (steroid injection). So I sent an email to one of the doctors, who told me about his colleague who provides the treatment. He called me back this morning and voila! I have an appointment at 9 a.m. tomorrow. It was all so ridiculously simple that I am kicking myself, although the pain in my hands is torture enough and reminds me that procrastination only fools us into thinking waiting is for our benefit. And, it’s not a minute too soon since my hands are more or less useless for anything except typing.

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