It’s amazing to me how many things we take for granted. For instance, the air we breathe. We can’t live without it, but we don’t think about that until our breathing is compromised. We just think it’ll always be there. And, I suppose it will, but it may not always be good, clean air or our health may prevent easy breathing.
I’ve had an eye-opening experience in the past few weeks. I never realized how much I use my hands, until I’m restricted in everything I do now. I was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome years ago. Working in those factories, doing all that repetitious movement on the lines took it’s toll on me quickly. However, I was able to control it with medication for the time being. After that, I changed jobs and was no longer required to do the physical and repetitive activity that I had previously done. The symptoms lessened and I stopped thinking about it. Until now.
A couple months ago, we started moving my parents. It’s been a while since I’ve done any kind of physical work, so this was no easy task for me. Lifting those heavy boxes irritated the carpel tunnel again and I began having pain and numbness in my hands. I wasn’t worried. This had happened before when I lifted heavy things. It would bother me a couple of days and then it would go away. This time it wasn’t going away.
I lost feeling in the end of my forefinger on my left hand first. The numbness moved down to the first joint and it’s still dead. The side of that finger has a nerve running through it that when touched just right send shocking pain through the entire finger. It seems weird to have total numbness in the finger yet feel such severe pain at the same time. Within a few days, the thumb on the same hand began the same thing. With the numbness in both these digits, it makes it very difficult to grip most any object. Cold water on those two digits is excrutiating.
After several visits to my regualr doctor, my chiropractor, an orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist, it was determined that I do have carpel tunnel syndrome, but it is not severe. The problem with my left hand is damaged nerves. There is some carpel tunnel, but very little. Surgery is not an option right now because my readings were not high enough. We’ve decided to do cortisone injections for now. I had one in each wrist earlier this week and I’m still tryng to rest my hands as much as possible. I use ice several times a day and brace my hands/wrists at night. All this helps. My right hand seems fine now, only a slight tingling when I hold the phone up for a while or grip something very tightly. My left hand, however, is no different. The numbness in the thumb and first finger is still there and the pain in my wrist also. Since having a nerve conduction test almost two weeks ago, I’ve started having pain in the nerves going up my left forearm also. This is very painful and makes it hard to do even the smallest tasks that may involve reaching or grasping.
As I stated in the first paragraph of this post, we never know how much we take for granted. I am fearful that I will never have normal use of my left hand again. On the bright side of things, I look around and realize it could be so much worse.
Thanks for reading. Have a blessed day!