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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Kicking Carpal Tunnel to the Curb

what-is-carpal-tunnelMy wrist, hand, thumb web and everything in-between hurt. A lot. I’m not talking pins and needles, I’m talking the feeling of knives stabbing into my wrist and forearm. Repeatedly.

It’s my fault. I’ve been typing around 20 hours per day, much of it research where I scroll or “mouse” through online documents, hundreds of pages at a time. Plus, I’m under deadline.

Should I rest my wrist? Of course.

Can I rest my wrist?

No.

So I do what I do best: I research some more.

Is it carpal tunnel? Not so sure. Some doctors do not believe that repetitive movements cause this particular diagnosis.Too much typing- carpal tunnel syndrome

No time to go to a doctor. What— am I going to get surgery? No. So I put on a wrist brace we have laying around the house.

It helps somewhat. Very little. I apply cold packs. I apply warm packs. Either way, numb is good. But the pain returns. It shoots up my arm, halfway to the elbow.

Excruciating.

I go shopping for a new brace with a splint, one that will extend from mid-hand to mid-forearm. Feels good in the store. We bring it home, never mind that it’s difficult to get a suit jacket over it, I try to hike the clothes up to mid-arm height. Then I consider strapping the brace over the clothes, but since it doesn’t open completely, now not only is arm messed up, but the clothes are wrinkled, also.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.  At least it’s black, goes with the rest of my color schemes, and my manicure still looks nice.

I wear it at night. Sleep, blissful sleep. No more waking up to the feeling of daggers in the arm. Ahhhh….

Carpal-tunnel-2Removing it for the morning shower, the daggers return. With a vengeance. Ow – ow- ow!!!

Is it really worse? Or, could it be that it felt so wonderful that it makes it seem worse now?

I have no idea.

I can barely type with this brace, which is probably the whole idea: immobilize it and rest it. My 90 wpm sinks to probably below 30 wpm. Ah, well.

The second day, I must drive 8 hours. I wear the brace, but really, I’m in pain. I pray, I beseech the Lord, I move forward by faith. I try to remain optimistic.

This is killing me. I have trouble picking up a cup of coffee, a semi-necessity on a long trip, and unscrewing the cap on a bottle of water. For quick bathroom breaks, I have to remove the velcro-ed splint.

Not difficult, but time-consuming in a small way.

I feel like I’m 90 years old. My arm feels like it’s an Egyptian mummy.Carpal_tunnel_splint

Late at night on the second day, I drop exhausted into bed. My new brace is on. The next day, after six hours of sleep, I awaken and remove it for my shower.

NO PAIN. No pain. NO PAIN-!!!

I twist the wrist slightly. Still nothing. Thank you, Lord!!!

That day, I have many meetings, shaking hands, out and about. I remove the brace lest people ask and it detracts from any business at hand.

carpal-tunnel-syndrome-iceAt hand. Get it? Gotta laugh, rather than cry. Until night. I determine to put the brace back on, but forget. I’ve worn the earlier brace out to the gym and for small errands, but it does not extend to the forearm, just the wrist and hand.

Not enough.

That night, the third night, I pass out without the brace, and I can barely move by breakfast. Excruciating, knife-like, non-stop pain.

Today, I will wear my brace, I will rest my hand/wrist/arm, I will get better. The Lord is with me. I have commonsense. I will continue to type, but I will do it with my nose, if necessary.

Here’s to a pain-free weekend!

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