Friday, July 18, 2008

Opposable thumb

There's something wrong with my right thumb, which I have self-diagnosed with the help of the internet as trigger thumb. The diagnosis seems pretty sound; I've got all the symptoms. It seems the worst in the middle of the night, when waking up and flexing my thumb makes me gasp with pain, but that may just be because it is the middle of the night, when most everything seems more dire, and there aren't any other distractions.

By morning, it doesn't seem too bad, but it gets progressively worse during the day. Yesterday it was awful, but it's a little better today. Last weekend it didn't bother me much at all. It must be a repetitive stress-type injury, and it must be mouse-related; I don't exactly know how to improve that situation.

Hm. I just realized that with the desktop computer not working at home, I'm using the laptop exclusively, and with the trackpad, and not having to hold or move a mouse, I'm only using my thumb for the spacebar. Last week when I was complaining, Bob said, "Well, what do you use your thumb for anyway? The spacebar? Just use your left one, you only need one."

I've discovered that thumbs are pretty important. Shaking hands, when I met some new clients last week, was very painful. Writing is sometimes difficult. Dave suggested I take a pain pill yesterday, which I somehow always forget -- I only think to take them when I have a headache, for some reason. I had a bottle of Advil in my purse, but it had one of those caps that you have to push down and turn, and I couldn't open it and had to take it in for him to open. In my defense, it was a pretty tight lid, and he had a little trouble with it, too.

Any kind of jar is pretty much impossible. I've found that I sometimes have to use my right hand to change gears in the car when it's particularly bad--thankfully, I don't drive a stick shift. (And just to be clear, it usually only comes up when I'm either putting the car in park to, well, park, or putting it in drive to pull out of a parking space, it's not like I'm shifting while I'm driving.)

I have an appointment with a hand specialist on Tuesday, so hopefully she'll have some advice for me.

New sets of prayers beads in the shop.

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