I went into hospital by 7am on Tuesday for my carpal tunnel release operation. I was taken to a bed and given a gown to change into. The nurse came to find out my allergies and I was told I would only have a short wait before I went into theatre. Then the surgeon came out to see me, took one look at my hands and asked why I was having the procedure. I told him that two of his registrars had told me that my hand and arm pain was caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. He replied that if he’d seen me in the clinic he would never have referred me for the operation as it wasn’t clear that it was carpal tunnel syndrome and the surgery would only have a 50% chance of relieving my symptoms. He then said he would rather give me a steroid injection into my wrist which might help relieve the pain. On the negative side, the injection would make it harder to find out what was actually wrong. However, given that a variety of medical professionals have all had different opinions over the past four years, it was worth a try. So far, since this problem started I have had (according to the many hospital departments I have visited) arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, misalignment of a nerve around the back of my elbow, compression of a nerve in my neck, a problem with my back and degeneration of joints in my hand. All of these have now been decided against, except for tendonitis. The surgeon said that this could be the case, or possibly I have a weakness in my wrists and a susceptibility to tendon problems.
I was really fed up when I came home, and for a couple of days afterwards. My wrist was very painful from the steroid injection (it’s still a little bit weaker than before) and also I’d begun to hope that the solution might actually have been found. I can’t type for very long without pain, driving can be an issue and anything that involves gripping (such as carrying shopping bags or holding a knife tightly when I’m preparing vegetables). I miss being able to go for bike rides, but the vibration of the handlebars would bring on my symptoms very quickly.
Anyway, maybe the steroid injection will really help and I’ll go back in six weeks begging them to inject my left wrist too. Or maybe it won’t do anything. I plan to keep a diary of my hand pain again now (I did this for a while when I initially had the problems) so that I can be more accurate in answering the doctor’s questions at my follow up appointment. I go completely blank when I’m asked about the pain, and annoy myself when I come away and realise how much I’ve forgotten to say.
Filed under: 2012 |