The saga continues in part II …
Winter 2007, a pain and tingling in my fingertips won’t desist. No, it isn’t frostbite. In my typical fashion of dealing with any kind of medical problem, I let it ruminate until all I can do is complain. Seeking advice, I asked my father what he thought. Of course, he said that if it was that bad I should see a doctor. With finals approaching and the multitude of projects and papers that accompany the end of a semester, I put the medical visit on hold. I finally decided to go to an emergency care clinic because the pain wasn’t going away, and I had time. The doctor tested me in various ways. I touched my nose, I touched his finger, I pushed against his hand, I refluxed, and I walked. He had the nurses take some blood, and told me to take up yoga and deep breathing – I was stressed. Wow, I did not think taking a full class load and working part time would do that to a college student. Well, life went on.
The finger tingling and pain eventually subsided, well, until December 2009. I can’t recall the exact date it came back, or where I was, but I felt it again in my right hand. I took some advil and tried to move on, but on Christmas Day, the pain was excruciating. I remember taking a bag of frozen peas out of my grandma’s freezer to do anything to make it lessen. Every family member had a theory with the leading one being carpal tunnel. Even my uncle who is a rheumatologist swore it was from typing on my computer at work. I took his advice. I wanted relief so I went and bought a brace, and wore it religiously. A week later, it was New Year’s Eve, and I was out partying with my brace. I couldn’t work my hand properly as I was eating or hooking my bra. I recall all my friends say take off the brace – thinking the problem was that my brace was hindering me. The problem wasn’t the brace (I knew that full well) my hand just was not strong. It tingled and hurt, and the motions were not those exactly as I commanded. I told my mother enough is enough. I need to go to a doctor.
She has a hand specialist because she fell while walking the dog in 2004, and dislocated a finger or something (in the end the results of numerous surgeries is a hand that looks and acts like a claw). We thought it would be best to start there because I had no luck in the past trying to find the source of my hand problems. He agreed with my rheumatologist uncle and told me I had carpel tunnel, but wanted to verify by testing my nerves. He ordered an EMG – electromyography. Two weeks later, I arrive at the neurologists office. He goes in and out of the room several times, as all the stuff for the test isn’t in the correct room, and asks probably five times if it is too warm. He zaps me over 100 times with his little electrical wires, each time after the 50th saying just one more. He proceeds to poke me and tell me to remain calm as he is causing pain. The results – he sees no signs of carpel tunnel. Luckily, I had started to think back to December, I remembered that I had been rear-ended around the time the pain first started. As I told the doctor about this incident, he asked me several questions and thought it was best that I get a cervical spine MRI – magnetic resonance imaging – done just to rule out spinal injuries and a pinched nerve. This begins my dealings with my first neurologist’s office staff and a separate entry to follow.