She offered me heat and I declined. The therapist next to her told her she should sign me up for PT on my back also while I'm there. I told her I'd already been through that numerous times and continued at home to this day. She asked me who I saw and was surprised I remembered her name. As we proceeded she pointed out to me that my left elbow was swollen and fingers on left hand swollen. I mentioned I had told my rheumatologist that it was obvious the left side was worse. She put me in a BANDIT. A brace worn on the forearm commonly used for lateral epicondylitis, carpal tunnel and other types of forearm and wrist pain. She also recommended and gave me some gloves for when I'm sleeping to help with the swelling. She had me put one on to try for size and it was insane how it felt so soothing just to have a "glove" on my hand.
Whats weird is I'd been complaining to my husband that I couldn't wear my wedding ring for some time now. This is something he definitely notices. After I'd been dieting these past weeks and dropped some pounds I still couldn't put it on. If I did get it on I couldn't get it off without soap. Now I know why.
During this exam they have you make various hand gestures and movements with your fingers. You also have to squeeze and press on different instruments with your fingers/hands. As we moved to the right arm she noticed that a certain placement with my thumb caused pain shooting from wrist to thumb area. It's crazy the things they look at. After this discovery she had me flip my palms over and flatten my hand. The left side was flat across the thumb to other side of hand. The right side was strangely uneven. It was like an incline, not flat like the other side. I'm assuming this had something to do with why the pain was created with the movement she had me make?
When we're done I think I'm getting out of there and she tells me she is next going to make me a splint for my right hand. It will prevent my thumb and wrist from moving so that over time....a short time I hope, it will get better with rest. I was cool with that. I'm a compliant patient. It took about 20 minutes for her to cut out this form, heat it and mold it around my wrist. We get it on for good after trimming and smoothing ruff edges and I immediately begin to think this might be difficult being it's my right hand. Then she drops the bombshell that I should refrain from texting. If you use your thumb you won't be able to anyhow.
Ha, Ha, I told her. Most of the people I commonly text with on daily basis do not want to be on the phone. Guess I'll be leaving some voice mails.
Exactly at hour and a half mark we were done. I walked out with apparatus on each side. I asked how long I could expect my two visits next week to last and she told me an hour now that all the other stuff was out of the way. We'll be starting the therapy next visit.
My husband and I had plans to take my grandson to members night at the zoo. I thought to myself as the day progressed, and I saw how challenging it was really going to have this brace on my hand, was I sure we could still go? I just felt so dysfunctional. I knew D would be able to do anything I couldn't and I was really looking forward to taking P to this event.
We headed out at 4:15 to make our way to the zoo and instantly was shut down with a back up on the interstate. An update from D's app told us there was a lane closure ahead and an accident on the Mississippi river bridge. Holy cow, what luck. We crawled for 30 minutes to get to a loup that puts you on another interstate and then we took Airline Hwy to I-110. It was 6pm when we made it there. An hour and a half. It's typically a 40 minute drive from my house.
All was well though. We made it. P had a great time. He wanted to get his face painted and was willing to wait in a seriously long line. Never complained once. I guess he really wanted this. His mom told me via text that he'd never had this done and we may be waiting for nothing. Oh well, it's what he wants to do and thats what this trip was all about. How are you texting she wanted to know? With my left thumb...slowly.
|His first face paint|
After that we went to see some other activities they were having and then we came across the bubble activity. It was a huge circle around you attached to a rope. As you pulled the rope the circle came up and made a bubble ring around you. It was pretty cool and P definitely wanted to try. So, we get in another long line that he had no problem with. It was around 7:15 and the sun was just starting to go down. I took a picture of a young girl doing it so I could show mom what we were waiting for. I was confidant that by the time we made it up there it would be dark. It was as you could see by the difference in the pictures. The mosquitos ate up my ankles and neck. Even D was bothered with them. He rarely gets bitten even when I end up covered with bites. I definitely wore the wrong shoes to walk around in especially when getting warm and sweating. Just because some shoes are comfortable for some things, they are not for others. I ended up with huge blisters on both pinky toes. We stopped to eat on the way home then met my daughter to return P.
|Go Go Go everyone cheered!|
I think it was around 9:30 when we made it home and I couldn't wait to take the brace off of my hand. First I took off the BANTIT. Other than leaving an imprint, it was fine. I realized that it definitely was working. There were things I did that normally cause it to really hurt and it was so mild vs moderately painful. The brace was another story. As I removed it I had deep imprints on the top of my hand near my knuckles. I knew something wasn't right earlier and I should have taken it off then. The OT said if it bothers you somewhere, take it off and we'll adjust it Tuesday. With us being busy and I kind of brushed it off thinking it was hurting because of the correction. I can tell you I had no pain in that area AT ALL before she put that brace on me and at that moment when I took it off and stopped to rest my hand/wrist was throbbing! Almost to the point of tears a few minutes later.
I took some advil and propped it up on a pillow with ice. I took pictures to show her on Tuesday and decided at that moment that I was not putting that contraption on again until I saw her on Tuesday. I'm sure it just needs to be trimmed but I can tell you I have a bad taste in my mouth for it now!
Saturday I woke up with no pain at all in that hand/wrist. The brace today is right where I left it Friday night. It was cutting me in between my thumb and pointer, the top of palm and on my wrist on bottom side. My husband and I both said, "we're not doing anything today...let's take it easy." Let's face it, that never really happens. The morning I just did laundry but later I got into the pool and swam laps. It had been two days off from exercise and I just had to do it. Before that swim only my back was bothering me. My hand had felt better when I woke up and I wore the BANDIT at all possible times.
After swimming I decided to set up the vacuum to clean the pool. It had been awhile. It really wasn't too dirty but it seemed like a good time to do it. There is a lot of hoses to be joined together involved in set up. A twisting motion. I told my husband after that it's crazy how you don't realize the muscles you use until they are painful to use. Every hose I attached I cringed as I twisted it on. As soon as I was done I put the BANDIT back on. The plants still had to be watered.
This is a 30 minute project front and back. By the time I unwound and put back the hose front and back I was in tears. When I came inside I told my husband I was going to lay down. I literally cried my elbow hurt so bad. What was it? The lap swimming? The twisting motion with the vacuum hoses. Watering the plants. Heck, I guess maybe a combination off all things. I don't know, but I went into depressed mode and shut down. I put an ice pack on my elbow and alternated with heat ice heat ice for about two hours until I could stand the pain without it. I had a HUGE pity party. Why me? Isn't my back enough. Why? Why? Why?
Unfortunately we don't get these answers when we want them. I tried to think of thing of things that could be worse and I came up with a lot. When you deal with chronic pain everyday it becomes really easy to slip into depression and feeling like it's only you and why you?
The last two nights have been worst since revision surgery in May. Friday night my hand and wrist throbbing and last night the elbow pain was unbearable. I never left the bed after I came in from watering at 6:30. Today has been better. My hand has some relief but I'm dreading Tuesday to be put back into the brace after an adjustment. It really brings some limitations. I question only because I didn't go there with pain in that area.
I've had my BANDIT on the left side all day. It's tender and sore but I've also REALLY taken it easy today. Hint hint this long post. Typing is something you do that causes irritation to both problems so you'd think I'd keep it short. I didn't type this all at one sitting. It's been through out the day.
My husband deals with shoulder pain on and off year after year. He goes to PT it gets better then it comes back. He's been swimming a good bit following seeing me swim laps. Yesterday and this morning he volunteered at church helping prepare for a fundraiser at all masses today. Yesterday was a lot of prep work and today he said he did a repetitive motion a lot. I arrived home from Sam's to see him holding his shoulder (as near tears as a man can get) complaining about how bad he was hurting. My husband rarely complains. How can he? I don't give him a chance. Multiple times today I've heard some moaning and groaning while holding his shoulder. I told him that people say they know how you feel but really they don't. I really know how you feel babe. Can you imagine at this moment if that pain doesn't go away with rest? That's my life EVERYDAY! I made sure he didn't think I did't have any sympathy for him. It was just pointing out that I DO understand how you feel because I know, I feel it everyday. Be grateful you always end up with relief at some point. Something I'd give anything for. I'm sure he'd give anything for me to have also. Then I'd be like the person he married 9 years ago.
|Maybe this caused it? He says "No"|
The good news is two weeks from yesterday we're heading to the beach. Surely when I leave my home I will take it easy and relax. I can't believe September has just flown by us. Tomorrow, Monday the beginning of a new week. Let's just be joyful we're here and see what it brings us. I know it's hard to believe here from what I write but there are many things I am thankful for.
Have a blessed week. Never giving up H.O.P.E. (hold on pain ends) Theresa
|how the bubble ring looked with daylight|
Watch your thoughts; they become words
Watch your words; they become actions
Watch your actions; they become habits
Watch your habits; they become character
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny