Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hand Hand Finger Thumb

I am off on a new adventure. To the left is my left hand. Notice the swollen fingers. I have everything extended as far as I can, everything straightened as much as possible and see, the little finger is still bent. It shouldn't be that way.

Mornings are difficult. It doesn't matter how much earlier I get up, with the possible exception of 2.5 hours ahead of work time, I am always, right now, 10-15 minutes late because eating breakfast, showering, brushing teeth, dressing and putting together my lunch is painful. My hands hurt. They just do.

It hurts to zip my coat, button my shirt and pull on my socks. It hurts to take hand written messages at the office and I'm the one who answers the phone. Typing in the morning is painful and sometimes it never doesn't hurt to use the mouse. It does not hurt to drive the Jeep or to shift, but pulling on the door handle to get into the Jeep, that's pain.

It hurts to comb my hair and brush my teeth. It hurts to stir batter, even lightweight pancake batter. The twist of the wrist and I have shooting pains through my right wrist. It doesn't, thankfully, hurt to cross-stitch, but it hurts to manipulate the broom and mop to sweep, and lift wet laundry out of the washer. Doing dishes is not painful with the exception of lifting dishes into and out of the water. I'll bet it's the warmth. I don't feel secure in my grip even if my handshake does not feel like a dead fish.

I knew I needed to see the doctor to get the Meloxicam refilled. He said my grip is still solid but was disturbed that I have a lot of problems opening jars. It's not every jar, just some of them. The pain in my hands eases as the day goes on but that doesn't mean I get my grip back. I'm told I need one of those, what Mike calls 'bologna slices' rubber thingees that gives you a firm sticky grip to open jars. Or, I can continue to bring stuff into the office and endure the mild ribbing that comes from "I can't get the applesauce open".

We're going to try something new. I'm going to see a different rheumatologist. I had blood drawn on Friday. I'm not sure what they are looking for but the doctor said better to have him draw the blood than the specialist because it will be covered completely via insurance in his office. My doctor says the swelling shouldn't be there, should be gone if it was related to the last April fall. I take the glucosamine/chondroitin recommended by the orthopedist but, honestly, I think that's just extra pills for me. I don't see an improvement.

Mindful that this is my year of gratitude, I am grateful I can still cross-stitch. I have adapted to this limitation. I don't pick things over 5 pounds up with one hand anymore. I make sure to use both. I pace myself in cleaning. Two hours here and two hours there between a couple hours sitting. I take things slower. With the nicer weather of spring, I should be out but walking is problematic. I think the knee problem of last year has my posture and gait askew. I'm not sure I'm correcting these properly on my own. Doctor doesn't think that's a problem, right now. Whatever is causing the swelling of my hands is causing other problems.

I am very grateful for a mild winter. Only twice have I had to move snow from one location to another. There are people who are in far, far worse shape than me. I can get around. I can still do things that make me happy. On March 15th, I'll take a step off in a new direction and we'll see what this doctor has to say.

Beverage:  African Rooibos tea


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