Monday, January 30, 2012

On feeling helpless

A lot of my self-image is built up around the things I can do with my hands.  I'm an artist in my spare time. Most of my work is very very small and detailed.  At work I carry things, I type, I organize things on shelves.  Hands hands hands.  I also communicate with the world via iPhone, which is lots of tiny little finger movements.

I have developed a repetitive stress injury.  My fingers are numb, and they shake.  My elbows hurt.  My forearms tingle.

I feel extremely helpless.

I'm attempting to prevent further damage by immobilizing my wrists.  

I was unaware of how much of my life is hanging below my elbows.

Am I good for anything if my hands don't work?

5 comments:

  1. Ibuprofen! I took loads of it for a few weeks (under doctor's orders) and it all but eliminated the symptoms of my ulnar nerve damage (there were times when I couldn't feel my right pinky finger at all!). It's been more than 5 years since the mega-Ibuprofen treatment, and with an ongoing regimen of stretching I still rarely have any discomfort. I had heartburn the whole time I was taking it, and it might give me cancer or something someday, but it was worth it to be able to function again.

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    1. I've been taking Advil. I'm going on vacation on Wednesday, so I will be away from keyboards and paintbrushes and things of that ilk. I went for a massage the other day, and the man was astonished at how tight my shoulder muscles were. He basically said that I must have a high tolerance for pain, or I wouldn't have let it get as bad as it was. I've been an ergonomic nightmare for some time, it would seem.

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  2. Has the wrist immobilization helped? I had a weird side effect from both pregnancies where I had extreme pain in both arms, writs, hands, etc. because I was swollen so much that it was pinching my nerves. I couldn't even hold either one of my babies without immense pain. When I wore a wrist brace it helped immensely. I hope it helps you. So sorry to hear about this, I hope you can find some relief!

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    1. It does, to a certain extent. When I first put them on, it's uncomfortable, but I think that's because I'm fighting the immobilization. I sleep with them on, so I don't contort or sleep on my hands or something strange, and it's like waking up with nice warm wrist hugs. I'm not sure what I'll do tonight- I had to wash them today, and they're not dry, and you can't throw neoprene in the dryer. Urk!

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    2. I found that sleeping with them on helped me too as I like to bend my wrists under my head while asleep. Hopefully you've got some sun where you are so that they can dry quickly for you.

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