Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Wrist – Part One

A week ago Friday morning started out like most of my mornings. I got up around 7am and started doing some stretches. I’m never fully awake while doing them but by the time I’m done, I am generally almost conscious and about ready to face the next steps - a workout, a shower and breakfast.

That morning was slightly different though. I didn’t notice it at first, but as I went through my stretches, I became aware of a tenderness in my right wrist – just below the bone at the base of the thumb. Certain movements hurt more than others but it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t stand a bit of discomfort. I assumed I had likely slept on it wrong and it would clear up as I woke up.

I did my workout – a double one in fact as it was a cool morning and I had nowhere to be anytime soon. I did both my three miles on the Gazelle and then the second workout of 15 minutes on the bike and 20 minutes resistance. The resistance was a little harder than usual on my wrist but overall, my body felt good so I kept going.

I had my shower, breakfast and did some stuff around the kitchen. It was a little after 10 by the time I got on the PC. I was on and off the PC most of the day – which is also normal for me as I take lots of regular breaks to rest my eyes and move around a bit.

The problem was, that my wrist was still tender by afternoon. More tender than the morning actually. By late afternoon, it was downright sore and I was starting to get concerned but it was too late to head to my medical clinic to see whoever was on triage.

I could tough it out – right? I’ve been through worse. Besides I’m left handed!

I’d set potatoes out to make my oven fries to go with some baked fish for supper. I scrubbed and dried them and started to slice them. Holding the potato with my right hand as I sliced with my left was painful. My hand didn’t want to grip the potato and my wrist was screaming at me to stop the torture. I couldn’t stop though. I had to make supper and I wasn’t about to throw out a half sliced potato because it hurt to cut it. I somehow managed to keep going. I made supper and even managed to do the dishes.

The pain was getting worse, but I waited to take Tylenol until just before I went to bed so I’d hopefully get some sleep. I went to bed an hour earlier that night – around 9PM. Finding a comfortable position was not easy. I am a side sleeper but if I slept on my right side, the lower arm sort of props my body. If I laid on my left side, the right lower arm just kind of hangs over my waist or partly on another pillow. I finally managed to find a sort of comfy spot on my left side with extra pillows to lay my whole right arm on.

It wasn’t a great sleep. I woke to pain almost every time I moved – or at least it felt like it. I doubt I got more than 3 hours of disjointed sleep and finally gave up about 7:30AM. I usually get up around 8 or so on weekends. The pain was worse but I tried to do most of my stretches. I modified a few to put less strain on the wrist and skipped a couple completely. I did my three miles on the gazelle but didn’t use the arm grips for the majority of it as the movement back and forth hurt too much.

I showered, had breakfast and debated what to do. Calling a friend wasn’t really an option as most were either out of town, too far away to be of help or didn’t drive and wouldn’t be able to help. My doc's clinic was closed on weekends. Emergency rooms are often a long wait. No money for a cab and bus service there and back on a weekend isn’t great.

If I behaved and did as little with the right wrist and hand as possible, then I could tough it out till Monday morning and go see my regular doc.

Yes, I know that was crazy but I’m that stubborn. I began counting the hours till I could go see my doc.

I didn’t have anywhere to be that weekend so didn’t bother getting fully dressed. A tank top and underwear would do fine as long as I didn’t step out of the apartment! Somehow, I managed to cut up some fruit to make a couple of fruit salads for lunches over the next two days. I also managed to make a tossed salad for supper that night. I’d think about Sunday night supper on Sunday.

Sleeping Saturday night was worse than Friday. By Sunday morning, I gave up almost all my stretches. I skipped the workout and the shower. I couldn’t even straighten my thumb or index finger. Just moving the wrist or hand in almost any way hurt. It was excruciating! I finally broke down and called a gal pal who is a retired RN. She thought it might be carpal tunnel or bursitis.

Great! Like I really needed another health issue!!

Tylenol wouldn’t help as I needed an anti inflammatory. She recommended icing it for 20 minutes every few hours and resting as much as possible.

I didn’t have the anti inflammatory – nor was I going to dress to go get it. I did have a couple of soft ice packs though so did a lot of icing that day. Even managed to sleep with one on for a couple hours in the afternoon!

But silly me – insisted on making myself dinner Sunday night! I knew it would be too hot to cook the next two days so wanted stuff ready for cold plates. I’d set out pork tenderloin but that was easy enough to deal with in the oven. The “fun” part was peeling potatoes! It CAN’T be done without gripping the potato! OUCH!!! I guess it would have been less work to bake them but they had a number of eyes/spots to be removed so peeling seemed a better option to catch all the bad spots. Draining the cooked spuds could have been tricky too but I scooped them out with a slotted spoon! Doing the dishes with one hand wasn’t easy though!

I iced the wrist and hand again that evening and continued counting down the hours till I could go see my doctor. I was in bed – with an ice pack on my wrist - by 9:15 Sunday night.


Next: The Wrist - Part Two

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