Well, it's a new year...so what better time for an odd, unexplained injury, right? I mean, c'mon, it's been a whole 13 months since I dropped a pencil sharpener on my toe and shattered it (the pinkie toe, that is--stupid sharpener was just fine), so it's almost like I'm overdue for something exciting to befall me. But that's the thing...I don't remember actually doing anything to inspire the ache that just suddenly showed up one day in my left hand. It's like I woke up, went "Ooh, that doesn't feel good" and went blithely about my business, expecting (okay, "hoping for") it to resolve cooperatively on its own. But then I noticed I couldn't do pushups or tricep dips (I know: "Oh, darn") because the palm throbbed when I tried to put pressure on it. To be honest, for a while that just meant "Yay, a medically valid excuse to skip pushups?" (Or...um..."Sigh...okay, I can deal with that, if I have to, I suppose.")
I allowed it some time to improve, of course, before rushing to the doctor for no (apparent) reason. However...it just...didn't. In fact, the discomfort slowly worsened, until anytime I attempted to use that hand, I winced and grimaced. It came as kind of a shock to me, considering myself primarily right-handed, how MUCH I actually do with my left...so yeah, there was quite a bit of "ow-ing" involved as I tried to patiently wait it out. (Default hand to reach for and pick up stuff: left. Pouring things: left. Opening jars: you get the picture. Who knew?)
Also this began reminding me unpleasantly of when I somehow mysteriously tore my rotator cuff years ago--without ever figuring out how--but ultimately requiring surgery to repair it. (And really, what IS it with me and phantom...soft tissue...damaging...events? I'm gonna have to make up a good story...um, it was definitely from performing an overly vigorous...downward dog in yoga class! Yeah, that's totally it! But hey, at least I'm peaceful and relaxed about the whole situation...ommmm...)
So I finally reached the limit of my tolerance for this nonsense, and decided to seek out some intervention. This is where living in the blessed land of UNC comes in suuuuuper handy, let me tell ya. It took me no longer than 5 minutes to locate an orthopedic walk-in clinic--that accepts my insurance, no less--a couple of miles from my house. Without further ado, I headed over there this morning to see what we could learn about my little "hand issue". And it came down to (drumroll): arthritic inflammation. "But...I had kind of ruled that out, since it was only on the one side," I replied to this declaration (Because, you know, I'm soooo well-qualified to make these kinds of diagnoses, yeah? To her credit, the very kind doctor refrained from rolling her eyes at me...)
Well, it was no doubt good news that I hadn't broken anything. Evidently my body--for reasons that shall probably remain obscure--just determined that it was an awfully good idea to send "swelly" messages to my left hand. And the treatment? Tell it to calm the heck back down, basically...in an immobilizing and...pharmaceutical way. I got fitted for the nifty splint you see below--for which I was offered a choice of 2, and both of them being roughly equal, I clearly had to opt for the one with the UNC logo on it...duh! Oh, and I'm also instructed to swallow 600-800 mg of Ibuprofen 3x/day for 2 weeks, to see if we can vanquish the...evil inflammatory invader....or what have you. If none of that convinces it to heal, we go after it with a needle...so let's keep our fingers crossed (both hands, please) that it doesn't come to that.
For now, I will wear my lovely accessory faithfully, pop those NSAIDs as prescribed...and perhaps use this as a wee license to request extra help from the houseful of dual-able-handed males...hmm, can somebody wash those dishes for me? And perhaps bring me a mug of tea when you're done? (Mwah hah hah!!!!)