I went to the hand doctor this morning. She said my diagnosis was correct, I have "trigger thumb." She said we could try splinting it, but she said unless I had a real aversion to a steroid injection, she didn't think there was much point in trying any kind of non-invasive therapy. I told her my only aversion was that I knew it would hurt, and she said, well, it only hurts for a minute.
It did hurt, a lot, but she was right, only for a minute, because then it was numb. Kind of like going to the dentist. My thumb was numb for a couple of hours, but now it feels mostly like it did before. She had said that if it doesn't help, I can have a second injection, then we could consider surgery. I asked her how long to wait before we tried a second one, and she said if it wasn't better in 3-4 weeks, to come back.
I was kind of disappointed to hear that it might take that long to see an improvement, but hopefully it will be quicker than that. I asked if there was anything I should avoid doing, and she said not to pick up anything heavy or do anything really strenuous with it (like opening a pickle jar) for a couple of days, but other than that, they don't really know what causes it. I had assumed it was a repetitive stress injury, but she said probably not.
So anyway, now I just wait, I guess.