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Another pain joins the party

How does a person who doesn’t move when they work (writing on a computer) get a work-related injury? Hello carpal tunnel syndrome.

My ring finger has been hurting badly for over a year and I assumed it was fibromyalgia or arthritis that was the culprit. So did my doctor when I saw him. About 6 months ago, I had to stop wearing my wedding ring because of the pain. The pain spread to the other fingers around it, and I thought it was just another fibro hot spot developing. Next, I got a searing pain shooting up my lower arm.

I looked up those symptoms online and discovered it was classic carpal tunnel syndrome. Yes, I know, I should not diagnose myself online. However, whenever I tell my doctor about a new pain area, he says it sounds like fibro. I really don’t talk about particular places hurting with my doctor since I told him, multiple times, about my right shoulder hurting. He said it was just fibro until I was in the emergency room waiting to have my gallbladder removed. He did apologize for missing the classic presentation of gallbladder problems.

You see, I have two things to worry about. I worry about health care specialists ignoring me because I’m fat and blaming every problem on my weight. (Note, I was not heavy until I got sick). Now, everything can also be blamed on fibro. Between the two, I don’t think I’ll ever get a straight diagnosis again until things go terrible. I will always have a workable explanation for things that go wrong with my body, and a tough time getting doctors to focus elsewhere.

I self-diagnosed and order a wrist-splint on Amazon. Carpal tunnel pain is a special new kind of pain. It can go away if I don’t use the wrist for a long time. I stopped writing for a week or so, but then had to get back to the keyboard again. I’m a writer. It might be easier to get a notebook out and write with my right hand only, but then I go really slow.

The wrist brace is nice. It holds my wrist straight when I am typing or holding a book. However, when I go outside and garden, it admits its limitations. On the best days, I sweat inside the brace until I soak it. On worse days, the dirt I tend to get all over myself gets all over the brace, too. And with the wet that was already there, I have a muddy arm.

I’ve got an appointment with the doctor in a couple of months. I’ll tell him about it then. Heck, I will probably wear the brace when he sees me next. Maybe I won’t say anything and then see if he raises the issue.

I can only pick up light things with my left hand. I can carry a mug of tea, but not my large water bottle. Only I keep forgetting this and keep picking up things with my left hand to be awarded with a suite of pains. If I’m cooking, I have to find my partner to break out any of the large pots or pans. I learned I can clean the bathroom literally single-handedly, (except for the tub or the floor.)

But, hey, I’m not down about it. The new meds that I last wrote about got dumped in favor of other meds and two really stinky vitamin pills at night. Between that, my turmeric/meadowsweet tea, and the cannabis, I’m on an even keel. I am managing most of the pain, too. I still have the deep background ache that grows throughout the day, shoulder and neck pain, and it’s hard to move in the mornings. That is pretty minor, compared to where I’ve been these past few years.