Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Hands, My Tools

All my life I have enjoyed extraordinary health.  Sure, I get the occasional sinus infection, cold, virus, etc.  but I have arrived at the age of 64 without having to battle cancer, heart disease, or any of the other serious diseases so many people battle, even at half my age.  I have two friends with autoimmune diseases, one of my brothers had lung cancer, another died of a stroke.

The bane of my existence is simple repetitive stress injuries.  You name it; I've got it.  Plantar fasciitis, check.  Bursitis, check.  Carpal tunnel, check. Cervical stenosis, check.  Now I can add to the list Cubital tunnel compression.  Most people have never heard of it but if you think of hitting your "funny bone" really hard, that's the nerve I'm talking about.  The nerve that sings when you strike your elbow extends both up and down the arm.  In my case, it has made it difficult for me to do simple things: type, turn keys and faucets, open jars, that kind of thing.  It also means I can't do pottery, which bums me out.

My options are limited.  I can have a painful surgery with an uncertain outcome or I suck it up.  So far with all my minor afflictions I have sucked up the alternatives: limiting myself, doing things differently, avoiding triggers, special shoes, exercises, etc.  But I just can't do without my right hand. I may have to have this surgery and rely on my extraordinary health to get me through to normal function again. For now I'm glad to have had a steroid shot right into the nerve - yes, it was as much fun as it sounds - but it has helped.  I know from past experience in other parts of my body that this relief won't last long, but I'll take it - for now.

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