11/07/2008

sore and prickly


sacs of pollen, originally uploaded by pilgrimgirl.

The past few days I've had a bit shorter fuse than usual. I think a huge part of it is that my wrists are really bothering me--my carpal tunnel issues are flaring up--and it's keeping me from getting as much work done as I'd like.

I don't have the patience for much nuance in my correspondence and I am sitting on some 'to-do's" that just won't get done until I feel better again. On top of that, the devil winds are back and that always makes me fussy, too (people it was 90 degrees here today, which kinda sucks for November).

That said, I have been watching more movies that usual because of my owie hands (not a bad thing, necessarily, because I rarely allow myself that time-sucking luxury). Saw "Children of Heaven" a few days ago (adorable and sweet) and "The Prestige" tonite (good screenplay, that one).

I'm totally ready for any and all advice you have for CT issues, barring surgery. The splints and wraps work, but are awkward and cause their own kinds of pains eventually. I used Ben-Gay this afternoon which gave me some temporary relief so I could putter around in my garden a bit--but it smells pretty awful. What else do you recommend??

14 comments:

EMR said...

I have the same exact issues, and it can be agonizing (especially since I write for a living, so I spend many hours a day at a keyboard--ouch!). I also have a chronic disease that prevents me from taking oral anti-inflammatories for the wrist issue.

After not much else worked, my doc directed me to Voltaren ointment. It's the same as the oral systemic version, except it's a local ointment. At the time (about a year ago?) it was still in the FDA approval pipeline, but it has been used widely in other countries and he directed me to the online pharmacy in New Zealand from which I could purchase said ointment prescription free. I rub it on my wrists once a day and it does wonders for the inflammation. Cost about 20 bucks, I think. Don't know if it is available in the US yet (sort of hope not, cause I'm almost out and then I'd need to make an appointment and get a prescription). Anyway, if you want more info or a link to the pharmacy, I'll be happy to pass it along. :)

bonzai said...

The biggest things that have helped me are having a good 'natural' keyboard and a mouse with an optical ball that I move with my thumb.
At times, I've also gotten relief from putting one of those little buckwheat pillows in the freezer, and then resting my hands on it in my lap while I'm taking a break.

Can we borrow your 90 degrees? It went from 75 on Wednesday to snow flurries and high winds today. No time to adjust - it's brutal.

Lisa said...

I did rehab for my tendonitis and the thing that worked the best was this bizarre treatment that involved them sticking my arms in hot wax. I know it sounds bizarre and NOT something to try at home but it helped enormously.

debra said...

I developed carpal tunnel syndrome when I was pregnant with my 1st daughter (21 yrs ago). I had acupuncture. It took a little time, but I no longer have the problem. I work with my hands and it is a relief not to have to worry. The B vitamins also help. I think it's B-6 that is typically suggested. I take a B Complex 50 supplement. What your body doesn't use is excreted. Nothing quite like day-glo urine...

Numismatist Facts said...

Alternating heat and cold. My problem was misdiagnosed for a few years as Carpal TS when actually it was Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, a problem found in the elbow nerves. Very similar except different fingers affected.

The heat/cold combo has helped the most.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered trying physical therapy? I find that regular stretching of my wrists/forearms throughout the day has really cut down on any pain.

deanna said...

Admittedly, I had pretty minor CT issues, but yoga twice a week cured it. I don't know exactly what poses helped, but the teacher always claimed the class was Hatha yoga. There was lots of down dog and sun salutations. Bending the wrists and putting weight on them seemed to help. Good luck to you.

saraarts said...

Trackball not mouse (if you aren't already a trackballer). And try one with a ball you move with you thumb so that most of you hand stays still and your wrist supported at all times. Also (duh) try to stay off crutches; I'm sure all that crutching around when you were unwell and then recovering didn't do you any favors wrist-wise.

That's all I've got, that and happy thoughts of scones and tea in your general direction.

sarah k. said...

I loved Children of Heaven and The Prestige.

I second all the previous advice on your CT. Ibuprofen at regular intervals, supplemented with all the natural anti-inflammatories you can manage in your diet; extra virgin olive oil, the stronger tasting, the better, turmeric, ginger. Stretching, massage, hot/cold (I have a hot pack made of one of my husband's tube socks filled with dry beans and tied closed. I just microwave it for 2 minutes.) I used to have problems from organ playing, but since I never practice anymore, it's pretty much gone. I also do yoga pretty regularly, and I think that has helped as well.

I hope you can get this under control! My mom worked in a bakery for a while, and she had to sleep with those wrist braces all the time.

Have you considered dictating your work into a recorder and then getting slave labor to type it for you?

Diane said...

During treatment for breast cancer one of my chemos was Taxol, which made all my joints hurt, but especially my wrists and forearms. I had to hug a squishy pillow at night to keep them straight, otherwise I couldn't sleep for the pain.

I tried rubs, creams, ibuprofen, etc. but when I started taking glucosamine and fish oil tablets the pain subsided. I'm not positive this is what worked, but seemed to be.

Greg said...

try dragon naturally speaking or vista voice recognition instead of typing.

Shawn said...

Bret had surgery a few months ago---expensive---but it worked amazingly! He was using his hand two days after surgery with only a slight bit of pain!

Anonymous said...

I've had extraordinary results (as in, no pain at all) with acupuncture. And my acupuncturist also recommended buying a mini-laser pointer ($9 - $12) at any office supply store and aiming directly into the tunnel from the top side of your wrist, for 10 - 20 minutes at a time. It's not easy to do yourself (or comfortable holding your other arm that way, anyway) - so if someone else can take aim and hold it in place for you, say, while watching one of those movies, that should do it.

Kathy Quick, UCI said...

For me, it was the combination of ongoing physical therapy for about two months, two consultations with a highly respected physical therapist who did some hands-on work on my frame to realign things (unfortunately this person is in Berkeley, not local), and a visit from an ergonomic specialist to my work area to get me straightened out in that respect too. I'd been putzing around with the problem for years and when I really got serious about dealing with it, I resolved it in about two months.