Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Remember that wrist thing?

I'm not sure how many of you remember anything about my wrist problem, but I'm finally getting some answers. For the past 6 years I've had issues with wrist pain. It started in my wrist and has since then morphed into a whole forearm/elbow thing. At this point I get pinching pain in my inner forearm, sharp pain near my inner elbow and I often feel like I'm typing through jello or mud.

In the past year I've finally convinced my doctor that enough is enough. She is convinced that I had carpal tunnel because I had wrist pain. All the tests for CT were always negative. I asked for some new tests and to know what the issue is. Let's review:
  • Carpal tunnel tests - negative
  • X-ray - showed nothing.
  • Ultrasound - showed nothing
  • Nerve Conduction test - showed nothing
  • MRI - booked for this coming April
The only thing good to come out of all this is that I know I don't have any bone issues or pinched nerves in my actual wrist. I also know that I have no nerve damage, which is great news since nerves can take years to heal. This is all great news, but still doesn't explain why I'm in pain.

Thankfully I was able to ask the Dr that did my nerve test some questions. He told me that based on my symptoms it's likely that I have a pinched Ulnar Nerve.

Funny part about that is that my friend who's in medical school said that ulnar nerver entratment is likely what I have over gchat. Rant: It took 3 tests, 6 years and 2 Dr's to tell me what a med student did in a matter of weeks. Something is wrong with that picture. The something wrong is that I'm a young person and clearly there couldn't be anything wrong with me. And if it's wrist pain and I work on a computer, I must have carpal tunnel WHICH IS NOT THE CASE!!!

Because there is no nerve damage there isn't anything medical that they can do to help the nerve. I have some options to help manage and hopefully relieve some pain. Doc suggested to buy an elbow pad ($ version) or use a sock (cheap version) to keep my elbow straight while I sleep. He explained that although I'm on a computer all day, likely the damage is happening while I'm asleep. Doc recommended wearing the elbow pad to keep my arm straight at night for about a month and see if there is any improvements.

My biggest fear in this whole thing is my livelyhood. I'm an IT professional. I work on a computer all day to make money. What happens when my body says enough and I can't work anymore? It's bad enough that right now I can't hold my nieces and nephews with that hand. In the mornings I can barely twist the cap off my face lotion let alone hold a glass. If a small solution like an elbow brace at night will help relieve the pain and I can start to build strength I'm all in. At this point I'll do anything to help.