Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Not Feeling Young

Pain in my right shoulder. Spreading from a point in my upper shoulder out to my neck, and down my arm. Pain so bad that Sunday I had someone come massage my shoulder and arm and practically thought that she was taking all last year’s anger out on me. It helped for about 15 minutes. 

Monday when I woke up the tingly, numb-ish, and pain feelings reached my finger tips. I knew it was time to see someone about it. I knew deep down that it was probably a nerve. But I was afraid. In my mom’s side of the family we have had a lot of disc problems. In my Google research, I read that the type of pain I was feeling can be a sign of disc issues.

I was so afraid that I asked John to come with me to the clinic and basically hold my hand (though it didn’t quite go that far). We went into the clinic and after I explained my tingling and pain and numbness, and the very specific path it all followed,  she suspected that it was in fact a pinched nerve. She had me hold my arms straight out with my inner-wrist facing up. She started tapping on my wrists and immediately my right arm starting tingling and numbing, after a little longer my upper-shoulder started hurting.

She explained that there are two places that this nerve gets pinched. The wrist (carpel tunnel) and the elbow (cubital tunnel), the stimulation on my wrist and the reaction I had indicated that it was compression was in my wrist. She said the muscle pain I was experiencing was caused by the pinched nerve.  She prescribed some pain meds to take for a couple of days until the nerve was straight and the muscles stopped hurting. She also gave me a wrist brace to keep my wrist straight and relieve pressure and force the nerve to straighten.

And those words, “wrist brace.” I felt like my spirit was broken. I really, really didn’t want to wear a wrist brace. I felt like, and I know it’s not true, but I felt like only old people wear them. And I’m NOT old. ugh.

ugh. ugh.

But…ok. That’s what she said I needed to do, so I was going to do it. I was one of the first appointments that morning. When I walked out I had a lot of time left in the day. We did some shopping at S&R after the appointment. I ate a churro and took the pain killers. By the time I got home the pain had ebbed. Not long after I got home the pain was gone. Like…gone, gone. I had to give it to her, she gave me good pain killers.

I wore the brace that day and had to admit that even after the pain killers wore off, it wasn’t nearly as bad as before. I went to bed with the brace on. And slept. I slept really, really well. I slept the best I’ve slept in a long time. 

When I woke up at some point that night I realized I had no pain. Absolutely no pain. When I woke up with the alarm in the morning, I still had no pain. I was so happy. I didn’t take my morning pain meds, I didn’t need it. wooooohoooooo!

I went through the day wearing the brace and not doing too much. I did some driving, went to the dentist, took a nap, asked my helper to make the dinner (can I say that at times like these, I’m so, so happy that we can afford a helper here in Manila. Having her make the pork for our tacos last night was so helpful, I tried shredding it after it was done, and couldn’t, it hurt too much). And I slept and it was great.

I emailed her this morning  and told her that the brace truly worked. yay! I thought she’d said to take off the brace during the day after a couple of days if it worked. I also asked if lots of iPhone-ing could cause the problem.

She emailed back, happy that we’d pin-pointed the problem and happy that the pain was gone. She told me to decrease day time wearing, but to make sure that I wear it during repetitive wrist motion - computer time (*cough* blogging *cough*), and iPhone-ing (which can exacerbate the problem, yes) being some of those times.

So I put the brace on, and began to blog. And you know what? My shoulder and arm and wrist hurt a bit.

So I’m done.

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