Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I may have found an answer to my elbow probs!

I'm not really sure that I have ever blogged about my arm here... I played softball all my life, and started having problems with my throwing arm in high school. "It's just tendonitis," the coach said, "And if you go to the doctor, they'll just tell you not to play ball... And I NEED YOU to play ball!" So, like most good athletes, I listened to my coach. I wore a brace, slathered on the Fle!x-a%l 454, and smelled like an old man. And still hurt... Then there was a while where I could be holding something in my left hand (dinner plate, pencil, whatever) and just drop it. Fast forward several years, and I'm slicing about 10 cases of lemons in half at least once (usually 2 or 3 times) a week. I think that aggravated it more, as I had continued to have **some** pain and problems, but not a lot. This time, though, my pinky and ring fingers started tingling, along with the elbow pain and dropping things. I finally went to the doctor (and not a good one, either!) and after some nerve studies (ouch) on my arm and neck, he said I had some nerve damage and needed surgery. Did I mention the dude who did the nerve studies told us that he'd had grown men cry and refuse to finish the nerve study, and I just laid/sat there and never flinched? ;)
I had the surgery, and later found out the dude couldn't do surgery without another doctor )conveniently, his dad...) being in the room, because he wasn't yet board certified... Nobody told us this info in his office, and never once was in mentioned that this dude wasn't certified yet. So when my arm didn't improve as quickly and fully as we'd hoped, he said more surgery was needed... My mom said no way, and made me set up an appt in another (bigger, more medicall advanced, with certified surgeons) town.. THAT doctor couldn't believe the first one was going to cut on my arm AGAIN, without doing another nerve study... Repeat nerve study, in arm and neck. Ouch again. No tears or flinching again. The good doctor said there was no nerve damage showing up, but that I definitely should have had some PT after surgery. Another thing the first doctor failed to mention. I drove an hour away, 3 days a week, for 1 hour of PT. I think it hurt more than the nerve study hahaha... The PT told me not to use my left hand/arm AT ALL, for anything.... Did I mention I am completely, totally, 100% left-handed? I got pretty good at being right-handed, but I did cheat some, which lead to tendonitis on the other side of my elbow, along with the nerve problems running under my elbow. Great. It gradually got better, PT was over, I was released from the doctor, and for a while, had very little pain or tingling.... The dropping stuff, that has never went away, and gets worse if I've been doing anything that requires gripping something with my left hand. Let's just say I no longer carry plates of food in my left hand.
So last night during an extended-family-dinner, one of my aunts was talking to her cousin about nerve damage in their necks. My aunt works in the hospital, and her boss had to have neck surgery because of some nerve damage, and now deals with permanent nerve damage in her arm and hand. Can you guess what she deals with???? Yep, she drops things, still has pain and tingling in her fingers, etc. Sound familiar?
We went to a fair over the weekend.... I didn't really connect the dots until today. After gripping the handles and bars on all the rides with both hands, no wonder I've been dropping stuff all week.... I also carried around my 2 and a half year old nephew for the better part of Monday night, because the one time I let him walk, I ended up chasing him around the restaurant. Which arm did I carry him in? Of course, the left.... And that whole pushing the buggy through the store because Aunt NotTheMama is the fun driver? Yep, held on to that thing pretty tight. It's also a busy week at work, so I've been putting tablets and capsules in trays all day, every day. So, it looks like I'm dealing with permanent nerve damage in my dominant elbow and hand. Nice!
Hahaha here's a list of some of my ailments
**migraines several times a month, sometimes followed my nausea, etc
**neck/back pain from a wreck
**bad ankles from too much running and sliding
**vision probs that are getting worse (gotta get back to the dr on that)
Sheesh.... I'm not even 30 yet...

No comments: