My hand has been hurting. That's nothing new, though. In the past ten years I've suffered De Quervain's syndrome and tennis elbow, so a pain in my wrist was more or less just a Welcome Home for my right hand. Having been around a similar block a few times, I knew what some of the initial advice was going to be, so I took Advil four times a day, then switched to Aleve because it's easier. I wore a brace, which offered very little in the way of relief, but it did bump up the attention I was getting, and the more flamboyant side of me was pleased.
The best way I can describe it is to say that my right wrist hurts on top. If I bend my hand back it hurts. If I bend it at all. I can type, but writing is a bit of a strain. And other things bother it that I wouldn't have considered. For instance, waving to somebody across the parking lot is painful and mostly impossible at this point. I end up sort of limply lifting my hand over my head and waving my arm and I feel as if I look like Frankenstein's Monster trying to be flirty. I can bend my hand forward a great deal, though, and side-to-side doesn't really give me a problem. When it really flares up, my elbow, thumb and the palm of my hand get in on the action, and I'm a little at a loss to figure out what I should be addressing. But, for the most part it's concentrated on where the middle finger connects to the arm. Ultimately, Austin traffic and the road rage it inspires are to blame; I'm sure of it.
After the Advil and/or Aleve began to make my ears ring, and I was still feeling pain, I decided to go see my doctor. He was impressed with my attempts to address it; he said it was pretty much what he would have sent me home to do. So, we could move right along to sending me to a specialist. That simply takes time, even if my current insurance didn't require the referral. (I will admit that the biggest problem is my loss of interest once I leave the doctor's office. Before, I would set up the appointment at the doctor's office and be on my way. Now, I have to wait a day for the referral to be approved and then call. By then I'm distracted and even though my hand still hurts I find it difficult to keep my attention on task long enough to make the call, which has to be done from work because the specialist has more limited hours than we do. [All in all I can be a difficult person to have to deal with. If I weren't I – if I were only dating myself – I would have left me a long time ago saying it's not worth the trouble.])
Today was the big day. I saw the specialist and he had X-Rays done. While he was stepped out, I snapped a picture off of the computer monitor that I'm certain should have been locked before he left the room, for HIPAA, PHI and privacy reasons. The picture is at the beginning of this post.
He was very pleasant and joked with me a lot. When he asked if I could put my hands into a praying position I pretty much whined out loud before I even tried. I was doing it upside down and it already hurt. I wanted him to know that it hurt. This is no time to man up and bear it. At my initial doctor's visit my hand had inexplicably decided not to hurt and I had to explain to my primary care physician that on the same morning the pain would have started at around 30° rather than the 60° that was currently bothering me. Fortunately, we have a very good relationship and he took my word for it. At the specialist, having decided that I was unable to pray, he took my hand in his (my heart jumped ever-so slightly) and moved it around. Down and side to side didn't bother me. Twisting was okay. Then he put his finger on top of my hand and pushed my hand down and "AAAAAUGH!!!!" Okay, you found it. That's where it hurts. Right there. He did a few more twists and turns before he decided to do the X-Ray.
Fortunately, looking at the X-Ray showed that none of the major things that could go wrong did. Unfortunately, he wasn't quite sure what was going on. He said we could do an MRI if I really, really needed to know what was wrong. He gave me a wide range of options, and the one I was waiting for was tucked in there, almost hiding. (I don't know if he gets a kick-back from MRI's, but not this time, buddy.) The option I liked would be to give a cortisone shot. That was an option because many of the possible causes could be addressed with such a shot anyway. I saw the X-Ray; I'm fine with what my hand looks like. We're fairly certain that arthritis wasn't involved, so just give me the shot and make this pain go away.
That wasn't very nice of me, suggesting that this doctor might want to steer me into the direction of a costly radiological procedure just for monetary gain. He was quite pleasant and he did listen very well to what I was saying. (I like to think that it's because I have a very good way of cutting to the chase when I talk to doctors and only giving the distilled, important facts.) (But, maybe it was my startlingly beautiful eyes.) He told me that if the pain didn't get better to call, but if it didn't bother me any more, I should just make a follow-up appointment with him in 6 weeks. I had to confirm with him in the hall outside the room: If this shot DID fix the problem, you want me to make and appointment, take half a day off, drive over here and let my insurance pay you to listen to me say my hand doesn't hurt. Tell you what, it's a good thing you have nice eyes and I'm almost willing to go through all that just to look into them again.
On a hand-related note, my henna is fading. I actually like the way it looks at this point – as much or more than I did when I first got it. I did my best to take a picture, but being that I was doing it one-handed, I had to enlist Barry's help.
Now, it's 8:30 and I'm supposed to write 1,667 words for NaNoWriMo. I may not make all of them tonight, but I'm going to give it a shot. Maybe I'll count these words toward my goal, even though they don't count toward my novel.
Talk to you later.