Eyes Wide Shut

I’m so tired.  I’ve experienced fatigue before, but nothing like this.  I can’t stay awake, except at night, when I can’t sleep.  I’m restless, yet I can’t get it together.  I started exercising more this past month, but this past week I haven’t been able to do more than what is absolutely necessary.  A little while ago I put some dishes in the dishwasher and now I’m ready to take a nap.  I am having a very hard time keeping my eyes open.  Lifting my limbs is a challenge.  This in conjunction with extreme brain fog, yes writing this post is a challenge, it’s also why I haven’t been able to follow through on promises made.  I really hate that.

What changed?  I honestly don’t know of anything that has changed so much in the past week that would cause this.  I don’t think I’m sick.  I’m not running fever or anything like that.  My headaches haven’t been worse, they aren’t better, but they aren’t worse.  I haven’t increased my medication.  I am taking CBD oil during the day, but I’ve been doing that for over a month now, so that’s not new.  I’ve actually been taking less this week because I keep forgetting.  As it has been pointed out to me countless times by numerous people, I have been under a huge amount of stress, but honestly, the stress hasn’t really intensified recently, it’s been pretty steady for months now.  I’m dealing with it pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.  The only thing that has my mind racing is our house hunting, it’s taking longer than we expected, and it’s just getting to me a bit.  I’ve decided to step back from the search for a few days at least, a bit of breathing room, get refocused and start again next week.

I’ve been using marijuana to help me sleep for a long time.  (full disclosure, I was using it long before we moved to a legal state)  for some reason it’s not working like it used to.  I can’t sleep, yet I can’t stay awake, what’s up with that?  When I try to go to sleep at night I just toss and turn, often I just give up for a while and get up.  It’s hard not to snack in the middle of the night when you’re up all night.  OK, I’m exagerating a little, I am sleeping …some…

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My sleep last night recorded on my Fitbit.

Okay, my brain is not working.  I’m about to fall asleep…probably not really, but I feel like it.  It is storming like crazy right now.  Monsoon season is almost over, as much as I’m tired of the storms every day, I’m going to really miss them when we go for months with no rain.  Plus, they are really cool.

Some reasons I might not be sleeping…hmmm….pain.  My wrist is getting better, I’m not having those horrible sharp pains and I have much more range of motion.  I can pick up dishes without extreme pain! That’s awesome!  But, now it hurts all the time.  The pain is not as intense, but it’s always there.  I bought some CBD salve yesterday and I’m rubbing it all round my wrist and hand, not the actual surgical site yet, I get my stitches out on Friday. after that I’ll rub it all over.  Cross fingers it helps ease the pain a bit.  I feel silly complaining, it’s not that bad, it’s just constant.  (sometimes I do still have some sharp pains, I was just reminded of that a few moments ago when I tried to help with dinner)

Thank you all for listening to me rant.  I do accept that this is the way it is right now, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to figure out what is going on and take care of myself the best I can.

Any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

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I’m thankful – TToT

This is late because I forgot to hit Publish when I finished writing my post….duh.  But, I’m thankful that I was able to do it at all.

I missed last week’s Ten Things of Thankful  because I was having surgery, that brings me to my 10 things:

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Number 7 in action.

  1. They were able to give me an IV with just one stick.  The nurse said I have very challenging veins, but she did a great job!  The orders called for 2 IV’s one in each arm, but she said I was suck a hard stick, if they needed another IV going, they could do it after I was out.  I just loved her!
  2. Everyone who took care of me was so nice and they worked hard to make sure I could see their mouths and talk slowly so I could read their lips.  They even let me wear my CI’s into the operating room.  I wish they let me keep my glasses, they are a lot less expensive to replace if something happened.  The surgical nurse was amazing, she put me at ease so fast I immediately trusted her.  I knew she’d take care of me and my CI’s and wouldn’t let anything happen to them.
  3. I only had to have light anesthesia, going under general anesthesia is always scary and a lot harder to come out of. Propofol was my friend.  I do wonder if I talk while I’m out of it, I sure was talkative when I woke up, I knew I was talking too much but I couldn’t shut up!  I know it was the drugs talking; I bet the attending thought I was insane.  All in all it was a good experience, I felt well cared for.
  4. My recovery is much easier than I expected.  My doctor didn’t really tell me much about what to expect to recover.  When Stuart asked him how long my recovery be, he said. “about 20 mins”, obviously he meant that’s how long I’d be in recovery after surgery, but we didn’t really talk about it afterward.  So I consulted Dr. Google, and it said that it would take a few weeks for me to get use out of my hand again, some even said I might have a cast.  I was prepared to have very little ability to do much of anything with my right hand for 2 – 6 weeks.  Boy was Dr Google wrong!  I just have a little bandage, and was told to make sure and move my thumb as much as possible.  Shocker!  I actually have more range of motion than I did before the surgery, but I still have pain in my wrist, it’s just different pain.  This pain is from the incision, it’s not sharp and tight like it was; I could actually live with this pain, I wouldn’t want to, but I could.  Well it is much more painful when I over do it.
  5. Lorraine was willing and able to keep Mindfulness Monday going in my absence.  She is an amazing friend, it blows my mind that we’ve never met in person.
  6. I was able to drive to a friend’s house the day before my surgery.  I haven’t been driving again for long, so going about 30 minutes away from home was a big step!
  7. My dog loves me so much!  She brings me such joy!
  8. I’m now in my niece and nephew’s life.  We’re baby sitting tomorrow night, I’m excited that we will be able to spend quality time with them, just us.
  9. I went to my new PCP for the first time today.  She did make me nervous and I’m not 100% sure I’ll keep her as my PCP, but I’m grateful that I finally found one that was excepting new patients so I could get a referral to see a Neuro-otologist, he’s a Meniere’s specialist.  I’ll tell more about this visit in an upcoming post.
  10. for my husband, again.  He was so wonderful this past week.  He took me to my surgery and took the next day off and half a day on Thursday to take care of me.  He does take really good care of me.

I have much in my life to be thankful for, like the TToT challenge from Ten Ten Things of Thankful  They are a great community and I’m so happy I found them….Thanks Faith.  I’d love to hear what you are thankful for this week, tell me about it in the comments, or join in the challenge to post Ten Things of Thankful .  (There is not a requirement, or a limit to the amount of things you list. 10 is a goal, if you are having a challenging week and can only post on thing, please share it….and you can share what you are having a hard time with, this community is very supportive.

Coming soon: First, a little update about my recovery, and second, my experience so far with Medical Marijuana…stay tuned.

(please forgive me for not being able to get around and seeing what so many of you have been up to lately, I hope you understand.  If you’ve had something happen and you want to make sure I’ve seen it, please share.  I never want to miss what is most important to my friends.)

I had a little DQ.

DQ

No, I didn’t have this DQ!  Darnit!

In February sometime I started having wrist pain.  On the inside of the wrist right below the thumb, I would have sharp pain with certain movements.  It especially hurt to hold my phone or tablet.  That caused a big issue since I draw on my tablet and I had a pet portrait I was working on.  Luckily the portrait is for a friend who is also chronically ill, so she understands these things.

While at Urgent Care for another matter, a suspected UTI, I had the doctor take a look at my wrist and she said I had tendinitis and needed to rest it and it should be fine in a couple of weeks.  I put it in a brace and waited.  The pain and swelling got worse.  After about 3 weeks, I went to see my primary care doctor.  She took x-rays and they didn’t show anything.  She referred me to a Hand Clinic.  Of course, it took a couple of weeks to get in there and during that time, the pain got worse.  The brace was not helping.  The brace stopped me from flexing my wrist up and down, but not side to side, and that’s what was causing the most pain.

While I waited I kept doing research to try to figure out what was wrong.  If you search for wrist pain, you will find carpel tunnel, and not much else., and I did not have the symptoms of carpel tunnel.  You really have to dig to find other causes.  Finally I found something that fit my symptoms – De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.  There was even a simple little test to diagnosis it.

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Finklestein test for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis  (image source)

The Finkelstein test is performed by placing your thumb against your hand, making a fist with your fingers closed over your thumb, and then bending your wrist toward your little finger.  If you have severe pain, you probably have De Quervain’s tenosynovits.

 

 

 

 

 

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is inflammation of tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. (see image left)  So yes, a type of tendinitis, but not one that will get better with a brace.

Last week I saw the hand specialist and he confirmed my suspicions.  I have DQ.  He even drew a little picture explaining it.  He told me the brace was useless, to just get rid of it. (freedom!) He said that a steroid injection in the affected area cures the condition 80% of the time, some people need a second injection, and very rarely it requires surgery to open the tunnel and make more room for the tendons.

20180408_151815.jpg So I got a shot.  He tried to be gentle but, Oh boy did that hurt!  He said I should feel some relief immediately because the shot has some numbing medication, and I would feel lasting relief in a day or two.  If the pain comes back after a couple of months, I’ll need another injection.  If it comes back after that, then I’ll need surgery.

I didn’t really feel the immediate relief he spoke of, but the next day it was like a light switch cut off.  The pain was almost completely gone.  By day two, I barely felt pain at all.  Now, I’m still barely feeling any pain, every once in a while I’ll get a twinge, but that’s all.  I’m amazed!  After 2 months of intense pain, I had one shot and it’s gone!  Wow, if only everything I had could be cured so easily.  Yes, I know the pain could come back, but I’m taking this as a win!

What causes this?  They aren’t exactly sure.  It can be from repetitive motion using the wrist, like picking up a baby (I can’t tell you the last time I picked up a baby).  It is often seen in new mothers and middle aged women.  It could be caused by hormonal fluctuations, or other conditions like arthritis.  Anything that causes swelling really.  I’m thinking mine was caused by the way I was holding my tablet while drawing, it put a lot of pressure on my thumb and bent my wrist.  I’ve since gotten a new computer and I don’t hold it like I was holding my tablet, so I’m hoping I don’t have a repeat of this.

Last night I was even able to finish my latest pet portrait.

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What do you think?

 

* painting by W. Holcombe.  All rights reserved.  Do not use without permission.