I've been having weird pain issues since last Christmas, starting with an aching tension in my cheeks and jaw and then nerve pain radiating around the back of my shoulder and down my arm into the fingers. I'd also had some bad (though short-lived) shoulder pain last August after carrying a heavy chair across camp. So it's taken me a long time, even after months of physiotherapy and an ultrasound, to discover that when I slipped on the ice and fell back at the end of January, I tore my rotator cuff tendon and that, not typing or lifting or bad form doing push-ups, is the real reason why I haven't been able to sleep without pain for the last six months.

I can't lie on my side -- either side -- because it hurts my shoulder, and I can't lie totally flat either, so I have to lie partially propped up on pillows with another pillow underneath my arm. Even at that, I sometimes wake up stiff and sore and have to get up for an ice pack two or even three times a night. During the day I can't lift anything heavier than five pounds with my right hand, or I'll pay for it (which means Monday nights are always bad for me, because that's the day I get groceries). I can't spend much time on the computer either, because mousing and even typing is uncomfortable.

It's frustrating, because before this happened I'd worked so hard to get my arms in shape. As a lifelong non-athlete, I was proud that over the course of the past two years I'd gone from not being able to do even one modified push-up to doing 22 military push-ups in a row. Now I can't do any kind of arm exercise without worrying that I'm damaging myself (and judging by the pain I have at night if I do anything more than the stretches my physio gave me, that fear isn't unwarranted).

The ultrasound shows a partial thickness tear, only 4 mm, but it's not getting better despite months of TENS, acupuncture, ice packs, and dutifully doing the exercises my physio gave me to strengthen the surrounding muscles. And today I found out that these kinds of tears don't heal on their own, so if I want a chance of recovery rather than just trying to manage the symptoms, I'm looking at surgery and at least six weeks with my arm in a sling.

I don't really want surgery -- I don't even know how I would manage if I had it. It would be hard on my whole family, not just me. But I'm so tired of being in pain and not sleeping properly. I'm tired of painkillers not working at all, and even ice only helping sometimes. I would love to believe that if I can do this, if I can get through this, I might be able to get back to something like my old state of health and fitness (even if I still have to be careful about how I move or how much I lift sometimes).

But then, there's no guarantees even if I do have the surgery. 80% success rate is good, but there's always that 20%.

I don't know.
Guess what I've got -- again?

Sigh.

The first time I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, it was 1995 and I was working as a secretary. I went through eight weeks of physiotherapy, but what really helped most was quitting my job, making my computer setup at home more ergonomic, and buying a split keyboard.

Since then I've had two more relapses, one very bad (with an extra helping of DeQuervain's Syndrome!) and one that I managed to fend off by putting on braces and cutting well back on my Internet activity.

I am hoping this fourth round will be manageable without going back to physio, but right now the pain is bad enough that it's making it hard for me to sleep, and I feel a constant burn in my forearms and radiating all the way up to my shoulder.

Meanwhile, I have a third round of edits on Knife to get through in the next week or so.

So no more mousing for me -- or at least, as little mousing as I can get away with. Which means cutting back on my reading of forums and web pages and everything else of a clicky nature, until Iyyyyyiiii am myself again [/Blue Rodeo].

I'll still be around, answering e-mails and comments and so on... just not quite as much. And Wayfarer is on hold until I can get through these edits on Knife. S'aright?

S'aright.
Why, hello, carpal tunnel! How not nice to see you again!

*puts away mouse and gets out pen and tablet*

*puts on wrist brace*

*sighs*
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] celli:

1. Copy and paste this: [font color=yourusername][b]yourusername[/b][/font] into your journal.
2. Replace [] with <>


synaesthete7

Cyan. Well, I suppose it could be worse...

For those following the saga of my injured tooth via [livejournal.com profile] rjanderson_blog, it has now got to the point where drinking or eating anything, even at lukewarm temperature, is painful. I have gone from being petrified by the thought that I might have to have a root canal, to thinking that 9:30 on Wednesday morning is not. soon. enough. It's kind of like being nine months pregnant -- by then you're so uncomfortable you just don't care what it takes or what happens afterward, you just want the kid outta there.

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