I’m wishing you a happy July because it’s almost August and that’s how I roll. Due to recent events, my typing ability still isn’t where I’d like it to be. Typing = pain. Massive, severe pain.
For three months after my tendon reattachment surgery, I had an even worse bout of insomnia. I would wake up nightly in crippling pain. Horrifying pain. It felt like someone hit my hand with a sledgehammer a few times each night and I’ve no idea how I got the little amount of sleep I did get.
I don’t know what was worse… the nightly pain, or the pain I got after being sent from ER to ER causing 3 days to pass before they could put in stitches. The stitches pain, despite the “numbing” was a nightmare. In fact, the numbing procedure was scream inducing. Each time in the ER- waiting 6+ hours with a gaping wound that was hardening rapidly… exposed muscle and tissue… and by the time they tended to it… OUCH times A LOT! It’d be like severing your tendon in the wilderness and having it be days before you were found… only I wasn’t in the wilderness, I was in an area that didn’t like seeing people without insurance.
Any way we all know that finally a week that I had surgery and a month later the PT started- a month later I to halt physical therapy due to the financial strain of the piling bills and having to take time off from work (which each session costing more than the amt. of money I was losing and they wanted to up the time to 2-3 sessions a week). I used my noggin to study my infliction and the best course of action all by myself.
I’ve done trial and error with my finger where straightening it is concerned (I guess it takes a year for full recovery), but I’ve already passed the milestone the therapist said that only few can reach. From my own exercises for movement, I can make a full tight fist and bend the finger completely downwards, curling it completely.
Back to the mind numbing “slumber” pain. Last week I was sick of the night pain, so I re-evaluated all the “CTS” braces I’ve purchased since my CTS has flared up 100x’s after using my arm again. I started to look at the design and studying what goes on in the body to cause the carpal tunnel syndrome. The severe pain that happens from the pinched median nerve.
The braces I’ve spent tons of money on in fact constricted the area that needed to be in a relaxed position and the fluid retention and pressure caused at night, not to mention involuntary flexing etc- caused more severe pain. The braces would in fact produce more pressure and restriction despite buying night time braces (that worked for perhaps a week or two- and then did absolutely nothing). I noticed the splint that the therapist said I could throw away and or have a ritual destruction of after I was able to free myself (it had a pulley system attached to my finger and did not allow for any finger use or movement)- was in a preferred position.
I took off the pulley contraption (and was happy I saved the thing instead of destroying it). I strapped it back on my arm, went to bed and hoped for the best.
One week later and I’m back to sleeping like a normal person! It works! Although I do still have pain throughout the day from repetitive typing and using my hand- it’s not as severe as it was a week ago, and I am no longer driving to work having to hold my hand to my chest weeping silently. If I continue to wear a brace between tasks and stretch my tendons (if I remember to) the pain goes away rather quickly.
IF this remains to be successful, I’m hoping others can benefit from the simple design of the of the splint and avoid perhaps surgeries that only help alleviate the pain of CTS for a few years before more surgery is needed and then once more I can be more empathetic to others who are injured (such as watching a film where someone gets shot up and I yell… “Well at least they didn’t severe a hand tendon!”).
Being in constant pain can really depress the mind and the want to write, think, or actually do ANYTHING. I’ve had a PS3 Move and Wii taunting me because the ramifications of playing for 15 minutes has not been worth the 3 days of feeling tortured. It’ll be nice to get my movement, hobby and mind back.
If any one else has suffered a similar situation and found another alternative to going to spend money on surgeries and therapists, please let me know. When you’re not insured and you’re on a limited income, all the make shift , self help, home remedies that are tried and true are priceless.
IF the splint is truly a success for me- I’ll re-post a photo of the design and instructions on how to turn an ordinary brace into an actual long term helpful one instead of the ones I’ve suffered with. The key so far is not having a bar pressing on your wrist- the hand has to be in a slight downward position with the bar going OVER the hand, not under it. The precise positioning of the hand is key though.
P.S. (I miss writing here and I got a new camera and every thing!)
Current Mood: Buddha