4

My Wrists are Making My Head Hurt

 

I got my new job stocking overnight.

 

My hands and wrists started to hurt a lot more.

I went to see the hand surgeon.

 

The resident told me that the reason my thumb hurt was because of arthritis due to my age.

 

I said that the x-rays didn’t show any arthritis.

 

He said everyone gets arthritis in their thumbs.

 

I said the x-rays didn’t show arthritis.

 

He said he hadn’t looked at the x-rays. He asked who read the x-rays.

I told him whoever worked in his clinic.

 

He said it didn’t matter, we were there to talk about my hands.

 

I said that I wasn’t comfortable with him.

 

He said we were there to talk about my hands.

 

I told him I wasn’t comfortable talking to him.

 

He told me that he was fully trained in the functions of the hands and the surgery.

I told him I didn’t want to talk to him.

 

He stalked off.

 

The surgeon came in.

 

He talked really loud.

He said the test results said that I had mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, but that he would say it was probably moderate based on the readings.

 

I said that the doctor had said the same thing at the time of the test.

 

He looked at me. Who did you talk to?

 

I wanted to tell him, “The man who came in and introduced himself as the doctor in charge of the department.” But that doctor was really nice, and I didn’t want to make him sound obnoxious. I said that I talked to the tech and then the doctor came in.

 

The surgeon said OK, I agree. That test was done in 2014, so things are probably worse by now. We should do the release surgery as soon as possible to prevent any more damage. You’ll have to be off work for two weeks and on light duty another two weeks.

 

By the way, most people do get arthritis in their thumbs when the ligaments stretch as they age.

I went to work and explained the situation. My supervisor told me that he would tell me a good time to take off.

 

My husband told me that he might lose his insurance in June.

 

I told my supervisor. He said to go ahead and schedule the surgery for the end of April.

Three weeks later the time off request was still pending. I asked if he had changed his mind. He said I hadn’t made the request in the system. I said I had.

 

He called me in the floor. Didn’t realize I would be off that long. The store director would have to approve it. Had I spoken with the third-party administrator (TPA)?

 

The TPA can’t help me. I haven’t been with the company for a year and am not eligible for an official leave.

 

How long have you been here?

 

Six months.

 

Oh. I thought it had been a lot longer. I have to talk to the store director.

No response a week later. I ask if they have talked.

 

Yes, we did. The store director makes these types of decisions. The answer is no.

 

My head started to hurt.

8

A Picture is Worth Ten (or so) Words

Hello Humans (and Others) –

Snoops and Kommando here. Mom has been having a lot of trouble with her hands because of the carpal tunnel. We can’t find it on a map, so don’t bother asking. We thought that we would help out. We know what short attention spans humans have, and we didn’t want you to forget about us. (We know we’re more popular than she is.)

Anyway, this typing thing is a lot of work with paws, so we wanted to have as few words as possible. We noticed that several of the cats on WordPress use pictures with words. Some of the cats call them memes. Probably don’t understand that it should be spelled me-me so that everyone knows it’s about cats.

We decided that we are as clever as those cats. (Some of them must be written by humans because they’re not really funny.) So we have written our own captions.

All of the pictures are from Cheezburger. Don’t bother going there looking for ground meat – the title is very misleading.

 

“I’m not letting him out until he tells me where he hid the catnip.”

 

“Maybe Fluffy has forgiven me by now and will let me back into the house.”

 

“I wish they’d get me takeout more often.”

 

“If she’d just let me go for a minute, I bet I could get all the dogs barking at once.”

 

“I said, no pictures!”

 

“Maybe it’s time to think about getting glasses.”

 

“You didn’t tell me it was cold and sticky!”

 

We hope you liked our pictures. If we do this again, we’re going to use the me-mes. All this thinking is too much work.

Snoops and Kommando Sleeping_05292015

5

Some Doctors Should be Researchers

I finally went to the doctor yesterday for the numbness and pain in my hand and arm. I had an appointment with my own doctor last week, but somehow thought the appointment was at 3p when it really was at 2p. Unfortunately, it isn’t one of those places where you always have to wait 45 minutes so I had to reschedule.

But my doctor is on vacation this week. And she’s really busy next week because she’s on vacation this week. I had the same problem when I was sick awhile ago. She’s pretty popular. I think she’s really in the office, but they’re trying to give patients to some of the other doctors. The one I saw yesterday could use some help.

She walked into the room and asked if I had seen her before. She said she thought I had. I had no idea who she was, but said I wasn’t  sure. I felt like a bad first date. But it had only begun.

She asked why I was there. I don’t know if she didn’t read the intake the medical assistant had done 3 minutes earlier or wanted to see if I gave the same story twice.

So I told her about the numbness in my hand and the pain in my thumb. Her first question was which one I wanted her to treat. I’ve never had a doctor imply that they would only treat one of a possible number of problems. I didn’t bother telling her about the recurrence of tendinitis in my shoulder.

So I explained that I had had the numbness for several months but when I tried various braces they had caused pain in my thumb. The first one I tried is something they call a cock-up splint (that name has always embarrassed me). It forces your wrist to bend up slightly and is used for carpal tunnel.

She asked why I tried it. I told her that when I previously had wrist pain it had helped. Oh, OK. I don’t know if she’s had patients who used it for illicit purposes or what. Maybe there’s a black market.

It caused my thumb to hurt so I tried a regular brace from the store. Same result. She feels around the base of my thumb. It’s tendonitis and arthritis.

How long have I had the numbness? About six months. Which fingers are affected? All of them. That doesn’t make any sense. Each of the fingers has a separate set of nerves. I’m not sure what to say. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. She gets irritated. We can only work with the information you give us. In that case, believe me when I say that all of them get numb.

She says that it sounds carpal tunnelish, but that usually only affects some of the fingers. Do I want an EMG? Do I know what an EMG is? Apparently she didn’t really have an opinion.

We can’t treat the carpal tunnel until we fix the tendonitis. So she orders a thumb spica splint. (Who names these things?) I should take anti-inflammatories and apply ice.

I tell her cold make it hurts worse. She asks me if I mean that it makes it better. I say no, worse. Am I sure? Then apply cold. Cold makes it worse. It shouldn’t. Are you sure it doesn’t make it better? I work in a cooler. Trust me. Well go as cool as you can. ??

I ask about work. She says not to worry, it will keep my thumb stable. I mean I use my thumb at work. Well, you’ll have to make accommodations. Gee, thanks.

You’ll need to use the split for several weeks. Let us know if it doesn’t work. Really? You don’t believe that all of my fingers are numb or that ice doesn’t work. Do you think I’m really dumb enough to tell you the treatment doesn’t work?

She can’t decide whether she needs a hand x-ray. Decides to go with the EMG and splint. Tells me to talk to the receptionist about how to get them. Thank goodness we’re done.

Definitely should have double-checked the time on the original appointment.