May 18, 2016

Right Hand, Injured: A Litany of Complaints

I interrupt your regularly scheduled update on my month of non-complaining to bring you an urgent whiny message.

The last few days, really since Friday, have kind of been one big #Fail of me complaining what feels like constantly. In truth, it’s probably not that bad, but I gave up on even tracking my complaints after I logged a whole slew of them Friday night. I definitely need to get back on track… so how about tomorrow? Because today, I want to write about a complaint that doesn’t really have a solution.

On Saturday the 7th, my left shoulder started hurting a little bit. I did my pushups anyway (that was day 128 – I did four sets of 30 and a set of 8), and didn’t worry about it till the next day. But then on Sunday the 8th, my shoulder was hurting a lot. I did a few pushups and it was bad right from the beginning, so I decided to temporarily quit my add-a-pushup-a-day challenge and give it a rest 🙁 I’m really bummed to stop the challenge, but I’m hoping I can resume it soon, and maybe even catch up on the days that I’ve missed so I can be back in line with the days of the year.

On Monday, despite resting it, my shoulder was really bothering me, so I took it really easy at the gym and skipped a lot of the arm exercises. On Tuesday morning I woke up to it feeling worse, so I still went to the gym (avoiding anything shoulder related), and then headed to cryotherapy, which I hoped might help my shoulder heal. No dice! After a consultation with Dr. Google, I determined that it was probably a strained (but not torn) rotator cuff, and that I should rest it for a week to see if I could get it to improve. If not, I’d have to see a (real) doctor.

The next morning, I woke up to a new pain: in my right wrist. It felt like I had slept on it wrong, and it was just kind of crampy and achy and tight. But as the day went on, it got worse and worse, until it hurt anytime I moved my hand. By Thursday morning, my left shoulder pain had gone away (or at least, I had stopped noticing it), but my right hand/wrist was hurting more and more. I tried to ignore it as long as I could, but it continued to get worse throughout the weekend, until Monday morning I was in pretty severe pain and couldn’t think about anything else.

In this case, Dr. Google wasn’t much help – there were about a dozen kinds of arthritis it could be. But what seemed like the more likely solution? Well, it could be carpal tunnel syndrome, exacerbated by how frequently I use my laptop/mouse in non-ergonomic positions. That worried me the most of all and really hit close to home, because my arm surgery last year had been for cubital tunnel, which is basically just the other side of the hand. All I could think was that I was going to have to go through that terrible needle/shock testing to diagnose the problem before eventual surgery. (A colleague is going through that test this week, so in my paranoid defense, it was top of mind.) But before I jumped to crazy conclusions, I headed to the pharmacy to grab a wrist brace and some arthritis medicine and see if that would help.

Lo and behold, by Tuesday morning, it did! My wrist wasn’t completely better but it was much improved, and it’s continued to get steadily better ever since. However, a new ailment had cropped up in its place: my right ankle was now hurting like crazy, and was swollen and red to the point that a coworker noticed. What the heck?! It reminded me of when my right foot got unexplained bruising/pain that forced me to get a wheelchair at the airport last year, and now I am just hoping it goes away as mysteriously as it arrived.

Is it possible that the universe hates my non-complaining so much that it’s giving me some extra bad stuff I can’t resist complaining about? Well, it worked 🙁 All I can think is that I seem to be playing a game of Twister where every day’s spin reveals a new random injury.

Right foot… INJURED!

To end this on a positive note more in keeping with the spirit of this attempt at a complaint-free month, I will note that having all these weird pains that come and go has made me very much appreciate when my body is working and healthy. And with my right foot starting to hurt less already, I’m going to hope my game of Twister is just about done and there isn’t a new spin in store for me tomorrow!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming – stay tuned for a serious check in on my month of non-complaining tomorrow.


7 thoughts on “Right Hand, Injured: A Litany of Complaints”

  1. Your symptoms sound very familiar to the ones I was having two years ago. It ended up getting worse and I struggled to keep up my workouts. I ended up finally being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Just to be safe, I’d see your primary care dr and get bloodwork done to check your Rheumatoid factor and C reactive protein levels. I got on meds early enough that the symptoms are for now controlled. Early detection and an appropriate drug therapy can also help reverse it. Good luck!

    1. Oh, wow, that is really scary! My hand symptoms are basically gone right now – did yours come and go or was it constant? I have a doctor’s appointment anyway in about a month so wondering if it’s okay to wait.

    2. Totally fine to wait a month. My symptoms came on overnight and got worse but moved around. Hopefully you won’t have to deal with that at all! But there are very simple blood tests and diagnostic tests they can do to rule RA in or out. I hope all goes well and your pain goes away on its own!

  2. I had the sme thought when I read your post. Sounds like symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis which I just got diagnosed with last month.

    1. Oh no; I’m so sorry to hear! Mine hasn’t hurt in nearly a month now so I’m hoping it was just a one-time thing and not RA?

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