A small sliver of hope
Well now. I’m feeling a tiny bit (dare I say it…) hopeful. ? Maybe. I’m terrified to admit this in case I jinx it all and kick myself later, even if there is no such thing. *sigh* Ah well, might as well. Maybe believing it will help bring it into my life.
One of the therapists I work with gave me a consultation on my thumb. She spent a lot of time feeling around the joint structure and offered me some tips and advice on what’s going on from her point of view. First, she said it wasn’t likely to be gout, which is what I was thinking. She said there is much more swelling, inflammation, heat and uric acid crystal formation with gout. I was thinking along those lines only because I have intermittent issues with my toes where they are so sore in the joint I cannot move them on my own or by force. Sometimes even socks are too much to bear. I’ve never had the upper joints click and lock though, which turns out to be the key here.
She told me it looks like ‘trigger finger’ (or thumb) which is actually an issue with the tendons rather than the joint. She pushed and pulled on my actual thumb joints and there was no pain at all (Hooray! I nearly cried from relief when she did that and I felt somewhat normal joint function beneath her fingers). If the pain is being caused by tendons (the sheath that covers them sometimes becomes inflamed or damaged) then there’s a very decent chance I can heal the injury. The simple thought that this one small thing might actually get better is making me so happy… 😀 FINALLY! Something that can actually get better! lol. Yaaaay!
She did a full joint assessment for me as well and said that there was a fair amount of arthritis present in my hands but my thumbs feel better than the rest. She made me a little splint to wear at night (for now, more often if it doesn’t start helping right away) to immobilize the thumb joint and told me to use it for at least six weeks to allow the tendons to heal. I clench my hands into tight fists at night, usually gripping my blankets and pulling them to my neck (safety/comfort thing) and she thinks that is what exacerbated or caused the wear and tear. I wore it last night and after one night the improvement is remarkable.
I went to the bathroom after she gave me the once over and had a little cry. Will this actually go away?? This one little pain in the ass hurt that pops up whenever I try to do anything with my hands? It seems possible and that just has me over the moon. I tend to accept each new pain I experience with stoic acceptance that this will be the way I feel from that point forward until I die. I have to remember that sometimes, things will heal and go away. (WOW!!! Seriously. Wow.)
So I am going to treat my poor thumb very gently and will wear my splint as often as I can. Movement (or clicking the joint forward and back) makes this condition worse so rest is the key. I can’t wait to see how much better it feels in a week or a month! Only one night and the improvement is so remarkable I’m in shock.
This brings me to another thought I’m not willing to believe in quite yet. If I have tendon issues developing in my hand….maybe (just maybe) some of the other pain I have that is yet undiagnosed might also be related??? I have pain in my toes, elbows, knees, and ankles that seems to have no cause. It’s not related to the arthritis, not related to anything, as far as anyone can tell. No one can say where it is coming from and they all decide to call it ‘nerve pain’ because my back is the most likely culprit for referred pain. What if some of that is my tendons too? Holy shit….if *any* of it can be attributed to tendons I might be able to get this pain down to a more-manageable state without having to gobble down more narcotic medication.
I’m nearly crying. I’m so hopeful….but I can’t put myself through that again quite yet. I’m going to take it day by day and rest the heck out of my hand….if it goes away after rest (or a steroid injection to the tendon, which was recommended by the therapist as a second treatment plan) I’ll reassess. There are lots of things you can do with tendons in a physiotherapy way. Wow. Wow. Wow. Fingers crossed (oops, right hand only! lol)
Happy me today. Happy me.