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Tendinitis and Us

 
 
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 07:16 pm
Disclaimer: yes, I have an m.d. appointment in a while.
Yes, I've googled a bit already, and will look further.

I have what I self diagnose as mild tendinitis in my hand, not what I think of as a big deal yet. The soreness seems to move around on my thumb, and reach down to the base of the thumb from time to time. I looked up carpal tunnel and it seems similar but not so involving, at least at this point. I looked up hand anatomy..

No other fingers affected. Whole wrist doesn't hurt, just one spot once in a while somewhat above the wrist. No pain in arm, much less the elbow. I've noticed this thumb stuff off and on for about a month.

A) My hands have been - and I'm lucky on this - pretty sturdy over a life of gardening, some construction (7 remods, some goodly part done by me), decades of often fast hand drafting many hours a week with pencils or ink, the same and more decades as a painter (art), and an unconscionable amount of time lolling around my computer. I think I have ok computer posture re the hands. I am damned lucky not to have arthritis, or much of it.

B) what's different? I have long loved to read in bed, but I have tended to read paperbacks. Due to present financial constraints, I've been getting books - paper or hardback - at the Good Will, and from friends, and going so far as to catch up on some of my own hardback books that I've never gotten around to reading. I think as I start to fall asleep with a book I twist my wrist trying to hold it up..

C) Until the doc appointment I'm trying my own measures. I went and bought one of those handbinding contraptions today, and the situation seems better already.. I haven't kept re-straining it during the day.

D) I think I need to design a bed reading deskette, involving a wee light, and a slanted but adjustable platform for a book, that would nest among pillows without causing sleep interference.

So, what are your experiences with tendinitis? I know treatments for serious tendinitis can be tedious.. but one of the sites I read said that most of us get it at some point..

Your stories, and any ward-it-off advice?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 3,325 • Replies: 21
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 07:59 pm
I've been having a similar conversation today on Facebook with Montana. She's having very similar symptoms.

I described how mine has progressed. It too started many months ago by what I now know was from holding the weight of heavy hard-bound books in my hand while reading in bed and by the extensive typing I do when I'm doing transcription work. In the last six months, it has traveled around to nearly every joint in my body -- one or two joints at a time -- including knuckles, shoulder, shoulder blade, knees, hips and neck. Every now and then I have a few pain-free days. If it was all on one side of the body, I'd look at sitting posture and pressure points while sleeping. Mine isn't always on just one side of the body. Most times it is in a differing joint on each side at the same time.

Was dealing with it in my left shoulder blade and elbow, and right thumb and wrist last week. This week, so far, have been relatively pain-free. Sometimes my joints get so inflamed and swollen, I can't even bend my fingers to hold a spoon or make a fist or lift a glass of water. Heating pads, Ben Gay, Aleve and very hot showers give me some relief.

Try soaking your arm in water as hot as you can stand it and take some Aleve to reduce the inflammation. Keep it active no matter how much it hurts. I'm finding that the more active I am, the more relief I have unless I overdo the activity and then pay for it for a few days.

I've been ordered off the Aleve in preparation for some more skin cancer surgery in 10 days and have really felt a difference. Tylenol just doesn't relieve the pain and eliminate the inflammation as well as Aleve does.

I've been lucky in that I haven't had many arthritic symptoms in my 50+ years until now. Everyone else in my family has had arthritis pains nearly all their adult lives.

It is hell getting old...



ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 08:26 pm
@Butrflynet,
Gee, Butrfly. And you had the hardback books experience too.. your symptoms do sound like arthritis, and I won't yammer at you to get it checked. (I used to run a lab that did arthritis and lupus tests - literally, I was the only one doing them at the university hospital. Well, that was all long ago.)

Mine doesn't feel like arthritis, but I may just be whistling dixie. Will get tested when I go to the clinic in January, or else try to get seen at UNM.

I do think I'll stop reading hardbacks in bed. This is problematic as I'm very involved in the one I'm reading: Ghosts of Spain, travels through spain and its silent past, by Giles Tremlett. I've some paperback small books that I picked up a few years ago on Fbaezer's recommendation re latin american lit - time to get into those.

Say hi to Montana for me, and naturally, best wishes to her.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 08:29 pm
@Butrflynet,
Also, good luck on the surgery, will be thinking of you. I have planned to email you and BBB re Happy Thanksgiving, but I'll do it here instead. Well, I'll do both.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 08:57 pm
@ossobuco,
I solved the book reading in bed problem. I have a firm pillow next to my head and a cookbook holder that rests on top of it. It holds the heavy book at just the right angle, height and distance for hands-free reading while laying on my side in bed. All I have to do is turn the page now and then.

You could probably make yourself a slightly V-shaped holder from a few scraps of wood. Here's some instructions for making a very basic one like this with two pieces of wood and a couple spots of sawing:

http://thewoodwhisperer.com/images/cookbook-holder-003-large-100x100.jpg

http://thewoodwhisperer.com/images/cookbook-holder-002-large-100x100.jpg
http://thewoodwhisperer.com/cookbook-holder/
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 09:11 pm
@Butrflynet,
I was thinking of similar. Alas, one of the things I dumped (gave to St. Vincent's) when I moved was a cookbook holder still in its package.

I still remember my parents' bed tray. It was a rectangular frame with four legs of approx six inches. Plus, some metal work that allowed you to raise or lower a "tray" up or down - thus to server breakfast in bed or for reading the newspaper or a book.. I'm thinking the tray was something like 14 x 20 inches.
0 Replies
 
spidergal
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 06:32 am
Osso,

Good luck with the appointment. I know from experience how debilitating such issues can be, especially as I am still recovering from sprains in several joints rendered due to too much training.

I really hope you come through this.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 08:10 am
You didn't say what meds you're currently taking. However, Cipro , a common antibiotic prescribed to millions of people, does cause a serious form of tendinitis in some folks.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 08:22 am
@Miller,
Hi, Miller. I'm not much of a meds person. The pills I take I've taken for years with no problems. I think I took Cipro for one sequence about ten years ago. Thanks for the idea, though.
Miller
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 07:46 am
@ossobuco,
How long did it take you to get this doctor's appoinment?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 07:59 am
@Miller,
Five minutes.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 08:52 am
Osso - my husband had the same kind of thing as you in is right hand. He wondered about it until I told him, "You've been flipping students' papers, upper left hand corner, with that thumb for 35 years!" So repeated movements can affect you in later years.

He also had carpel tunnel. The hand Dr. told him something about a certain affliction of the hand that seems to strike people of Scandinavian heritage. The fingers of the hands seems to want to turn to the side. His hands did have an unusual shape to them.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 01:41 pm
@PUNKEY,
Interesting. Mind seems better today, with the hand stabilizing contraption on it most of the time since yesterday morning. I figure the tendon (whatever one) will take a while to get un-inflamed..
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  0  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 12:52 am
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Five minutes.


I mean, when you called to make th appointment, how long did you wait before you actually saw the doctor?
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 07:41 am
@Miller,
Well not answering for Osso but answering for UNM (our public-none turned away) hospital provider, my friend M suffered from a life-long knee injury, he made an appointment about 2 months ago, was seen within 2 weeks and had the mirco surgery 3 weeks later. he is now 90% recovered, back at work and has several follow-up appointment. This is the same "public" hospital that I, Lady Diane and Osso uses. We have all experienced excellent care in a timely fashion. They also treat "illegal aliens" in the same manner (professionally) My personal Doc (she is the only one I've ever seen and will see again this coming Monday (perhaps a 15 minute wait) best medical treatment I've ever seen. I very much trust my doc.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 07:48 am
@dyslexia,
Yes, UNM has always been timely and great for me. In this case, I'm going to my ordinary clinic, and won't see the doctor until mid january for my regular routine check up. I don't consider the thumb thing an emergency.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  0  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 11:05 am
Unfortunately, things are not that rosy at major hospitals in the Boston area, where a normal wait time in the ambulatory ER is of the order of 6 hours.

I might add, that the wait time here is influenced by who you are. If you're "important", no waiting for you.

Remember, Massachusetts is the home of
Universal Health Care...now we're the ones who are suffering. Neutral
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 04:33 pm
This thread is about tendonitis.

On health care, last I had an opinion, it was for agreement with
robert gentel's point of view.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 08:38 am
Take two Advil and keep injury warm.
No real need to see an MD, as an RN should suffice.

Perhaps an Osteopath would be benefit.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 03:51 pm
So, I went in in January for my regular old general clinic (not related to the university) check and the doctor there, whom I like but understand just doesn't know everything, was figuring arthritis and ordered hand xrays. But - whatever pain does occur doesn't seem much joint related. It feels like moving elastic bands or something. When I don't move my hands wrong, they don't hurt. It's also progressed a bit, in that it now sometimes hurts between the second joint (forget the name, phalangeal?) and knuckle joint on my index finger, again, not the joints themselves.

So I nosed around re the UNM clinics and zoned in on the orthopedic clinic site.
I called them this last Friday and got an appointment for today. Talk about fast.

Well, this was an episode in hospital adventure. I decided I had enough gas in the volvo tank to get there with some to spare, and managed to leave the house quite early for the appointment, good planning I thought, since I didn't know the precise location of the ortho clinic. No problem, found it, chock full of waiting people. But, they didn't have my name on the list. Gave the lady my hospital number, she found me - I needed to go to the outpatient clinic, a small drive away.

Got to the outpatient clinic; no place for me to park outside (I never drive into parking garages re my dark adaptation problem) and asked the valet parking guys to park it - that's a free thing at OCIS and I could not commend them more for that.

Turned out they didn't have me on schedule there either; checked where the doctor I mentioned, having heard the name from the Ortho Clinic, was seeing patients - yes, yes, many blocks away. By now I verge on late for the appointment. I asked that woman to call ahead and say I'm headed over there. She gets me a UNM hospital shuttle. (This reminds me of Roberta's thread - I think UNM's methods of getting patients around the place are superb, even if I whine once in a while about the internecine wars of the golf cart crewmen.)

So now the shuttle takes me up a nice hill with quite a view of albuquerque and a lot of nice looking smaller medical buildings, to what they call the Orthopedic Faculty. I think this is because I mentioned considering if I had something carpal tunnel related in the first place, when I made the appointment.

I see an interviewer I take as a nurse or nurse practitioner, a youngish md, then a guy of advanced years but younger than me, who runs my hands through this and that questions. Then six xrays, 3 each hand. Then the two docs convening.
Yes, I have some arthritis. But a number of the symptoms, not all, may be related to carpal tunnel including muscle wasting in the area I say tends to hurt. So, they've ordered an emg (electromyelogram), known familiarly I take it as a nerve study.

I also asked about was I still in the clinic - this being a more luxe place - as money is a whopping concern. They said you've the medicare, you'll be ok.
0 Replies
 
 

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