Thursday, 22 March 2012

Newsflash: on the edge of my nerves

Hello you gorgeous souls. I can't thank you enough for your fabulous support and enthusiastic responses to my last post about Mr PB's new job and opening my Pandora's box. I hope to finally catch up on replying to all your comments on my recent posts over the weekend. Do you know I have eleventy-seven million things to tell you all (as gorgeous Kerry would say)? Really - my brain is bursting with ideas following on from your suggestions as to what I could work at next, events I've been to and general happenings here on Planet Baby. 

But at the moment, I can't. Typing is painful. Why?
Well, I've been diagnosed with moderate-severe carpal tunnel syndrome in my right (and dominant) hand.

I know. I just can't take a trick at the moment.

The symptoms

I'd been experiencing numbness and pins-and-needles in my right middle, ring and little fingers for about the past 10 months. Given it started at about the time Dad was first admitted to hospital, I kept putting up with it (as we parents often do) as I had far more pressing matters to attend to. 

It typically started at night when I was trying to go to sleep. Initially, I thought it was a circulatory problem and kept rubbing my hands. But the right hand was warm all over. Very curious. 

Then I started waking up with the pins-and-needles and a deep aching in my right wrist. I knew something wasn't right.  

The investigation

My GP referred me to a neurologist back in October for a nerve conduction study. But deep in mourning for my darling Dad and then blind-sided by Mr PB losing his job in January, I didn't make the appointment.

I made it only when gorgeous Jennie spurred me on after her recent carpal tunnel surgery on both her hands. She'd put up with her pain for 8 years, the poor darling, and urged me to find out what my problem was.

I had the nerve conduction study a fortnight ago. I have experienced an awful lot of physical pain through various medical conditions and surgery in my 41 years but I tell you, this pain ranked right up high on the list. 

I had electrodes attached to my fingers and then electrical currents were administered to them. When two fingers were very slow to respond to the stimuli, I suspected something was awry. 

The diagnosis

And yes, the neurologist confirmed it - I have moderate-severe carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Alarmed, I tried to think what I had done differently over the past 10 months. Sure, I use the computer for blogging but not obsessively. I rarely send text messages on my old Nokia mobile phone. I really couldn't pinpoint anything out of the ordinary.

The neurologist said it can be caused by any number of reasons. He dismissed the computer use as the sole cause, saying I don't have repetitive strain injury which would be the result of that. He agreed that carrying the pixies around could have contributed to it. 

My GP said many women get it during pregnancy or even after having children. There's no known way of accurately pinpointing a direct cause.

What happens next?

Jennie has been brilliant, bless her, in providing me with support and updating me on her recovery progress. Today my GP referred me to a plastic surgeon with the intention of having surgery on it. But I can't see him until 18 April - I'm on the waiting list so hopefully I can see him sooner. Then I guess I can only hope for an operation ASAP. 

My GP said recovery could take about 3 weeks. I can see we'll be walking to school a lot as driving won't be possible (it's already painful as soon as I raise my hands to take the steering wheel).

In the interim, I'm going to see a hand physiotherapist in the hope she might provide some relief. In some cases, splints are used to immobilise the hand, ice can be applied or corticosteroids given (they're meant to be very painful). We'll see how I fare.

I'm a little anxious as it's my dominant hand but Jennie has told me how keyhole surgery is now used so the recovery is much faster. And if I have a plastic surgeon on the case, I guess the scarring should be minimal. But the main thing is that I want to be pain-free again!

What does that mean for my blogging?

So, as much as I'm itching to write all those posts buzzing about in my head, I'll just have to take it easy for a while. I hope you understand if I am slow to reply to comments or comment on your blogs as much as I normally do.

For once, I have to put my health first. I'm not all that flash at it. But now I have to listen to my body. It seems to know best. And it's telling me to rest up!

Do share if any of you have had carpal tunnel syndrome too. Did you have surgery? I'm all ears for any tips.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...