A long while ago (I really don’t remember the date) I was playing Mario Kart with my boys (hubby & bro) when I had to stop after about 20 minutes because of massive pain in my right hand. Now, I once hurt my hand after a 12 hour marathon session but this was nothing like that. That was just “You idiot, why did you play 12 hours of Mario Kart in a row?” pain and this was something much worse. Also, 20 minutes? We’ve played Mario Kart for much longer than that with no issue.

So I pleaded diva hand and figured if I rested it for an hour we could play again later. Two weeks pass with my hand is hurting worse and worse each day even though I’m giving it rest and using a heat wrap on it. When I say “my hand” I literally mean my individual fingers going into the backside of my palm. (I clarify because every time I talk about this with someone they keep referring to the pain in “my wrist.” Wrist is fine, y’all.)

Now, obviously, I am on the computer all the time. It may have been Mario Kart that did me in but I’m assuming the computer mouse is the real problem. I thinking “Oh God, I have carpal tunnel.” I go to the doctor.
I’m like carpal tunnel!!! And she’s all: Arthritis? Lyme Disease? Tendinitis? and I’m like… carpal… tunnel…? and she’s like, it’s not carpal tunnel, you idiot (but in a nice doctor-y way).

Bunch of blood tests. It’s not Lyme. Sends me to joint specialist. More tests. He’s 100% sure its not Arthritis or something “really serious.” He thinks it’s tendinitis which my doctor decided as well.

Now, I’m telling this story a bit out of order but when my doctor first decided it was tendinitis, long before I got the results of the blood test or went to the specialist, she put me on anti-inflammatory drugs. I took them for 2 weeks like she wanted and the pain went away. But only for a week or so and then it was back with friends, the pain starting at my hand and spreading to elbow and shoulder on bad days. By then, I was due to see the specialist so I figured (using that astonishing Hillary logic) that I should let it hurt so I could describe the pain to the specialist more effectively.

Specialist tells me to only take the anti-inflammatory when it hurts instead of every 12 hours like my original doctor told me. At this point, I’m willing to try anything so I switch to a “only when it hurts” plan and find myself having to either suffer through ridiculous pain or take the stuff way more than the manufacturer intends. This goes on for a few weeks because I know sometimes a new regiment takes a week or so to kick in and wanted to give it a fair chance.

Fair chance given. It’s obviously not working.

I talk to the doctor again and she repeats the mantra of taking it every 12 (which I start up again, sorry specialist dude, your receptionist was a bitch anyway) but with a double dose, using heat (which I’m still doing) and resting it. Now her take on this is “try to rest it when you can.” I’m sitting there trying to watch TV (which I don’t really enjoy) just to rest my hand and my entire right arm is aching and twitching like the individual tendons are trying to make a break for it. I can literally find no position that is even remotely comfortable. So after a few days of this total misery I decide that I really need to not just “try to rest it” but to literally stop using the hand until this gets better.

My computer is now set up to be lefty and I use the left hand for the mouse. I brush my teeth lefty. I eat lefty. Anything I do, I do lefty because, at this point, everything hurts so much that I’m really freaking the hell out. Typing is all but impossible unless it’s just a few words so I cannot get any writing done which you know is KILLING ME! (Lifting my fingers to type hurts more than it logically should.) This goes on for 2 weeks.

So, for a frame of reference, around here was when I first whined on Facebook/Twitter. This whining came mostly out of fear. Here I was, not using my right hand at all for 2 weeks. My left arm was aching from having to do everything and not being used to so much work and I was on double medication and the pain just kept getting worse. I couldn’t work on most of what I do on a daily basis because typing hurt and my lefty mouse skills are nothing to write home about (though I am getting much better). So I was miserable from pain, discomfort and the knowledge that I should be preparing for NaNoWriMo and the eBay holiday rush and I could do hardly any work.

Not letting workaholics work makes us go CRAZY!

(Side note: Readers of The Whine Seller will be confused right about now because I posted about 6 posts during the time period just said I wasn’t using my hand. Yeah, I totally wrote those posts weeks ago and scheduled them to post while I couldn’t use my hand. You’d be amazed at how often I do that. ;-))

Now I had a reality check at least once a day where I told myself I couldn’t whine because there are people out there with much, much worse problems in the world. It not like I really felt like I had it the worst of everyone on earth or something, but biggest problem was that (blinded by pain no doubt) I felt like this was going to be forever and that my hand would never get better. Was this rational? Of course not. But that’s how I’ve felt for the last few weeks especially since this has been going on for several months now. So I was completely freaking out.

What about right now? I’m typing aren’t I? Well, remember how above I said I wanted to let my hand hurt before I went to the specialist to more effectively describe the pain? I’m doing that again. With all the rest, my hand feels much better today and I have an appointment to see a hand specialist later and, since typing hurts the most, I’m forcing myself to type this long blog post to aggravate it before I go. Things like this make sense in my head, I swear.

One of two things should happen at the specialist. He will either be like, yeah, it’s still just tendinitis, you just have to take the meds every day for life (which I was total by the first specialist is a real possibility) or he’s going to find something wrong that explains why I keep getting tendinitis and it’s not going away. (Add into this that a doctor found something wrong with my mom’s hand a few days ago that I am pretty sure is related to what’s wrong with me so I’m weirdly calmer about all of this since I feel like I have some kind of answer.) Of course, if my theory is correct, the second answer will involve surgery which I really, really don’t want so we’ll see what happens.

I know this post was much more TMI than I usually do but since I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet I thought the online community deserved to know why.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a specialist to go see. 🙂

Update: Funny story. Apparently if you call the office of a doctor and say, “Do you take [my insurance]?” and the woman on the phone says, “Yes, we take all types of insurance.” what she actually means is “Oh, no, we don’t take your insurance. At all. We just want you to make an appointment, drive all the way into the office and then tell you that we don’t take your insurance in person to waste your time.”

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