What I've been up to lately
So, if you've seen my previous entry, you will have seen it mentions carpal tunnel syndrome. Here's the basics.
Back at the end of March, just before the country went full lockdown and everything went crazy, I noticed when I was working away at work, my left hand was feeling a bit ... burny. Like, if you've ever put Deep Heat or Icy-Hot or something mentholated like that onto skin where there's no underlying muscle problems, that's what it felt like. First time I felt it, I wrote it off as minor fuss and bother. But then it persisted. So I called my GP, who sent me off to get ultrasound scans of my wrists, on the suspicion it was carpal tunnel syndrome.
Well, the scans came back normal. Mostly normal, anyway - I have bifurcated medial nerves on both hands (or in other words, instead of having one nerve laying alongside the vein in the carpal tunnel, the nerve is split in two, and lies on either side of the vein) but this is apparently a pretty normal human variation, nothing to be concerned about. I switched to an ergonomic keyboard, which made it easier to type for longer before the burny feeling came back, and carried on.
Then last Tuesday, I overdid things, and wound up with my hands actually hurting me, and with a complete lack of grip strength on my left side (couldn't hold a tablet PC for longer than about a half a minute before my strength gave out). I had a minor breakdown (oh gods, crippled for life!!!!1!) and called my GP back. He referred me to an OT who is a hand / arm specialist, and I saw her today. Described all my symptoms, she did a bit of an exam, and the diagnosis is an overuse injury (caused by the fact I type pretty constantly for work; my main hobby is creative writing which I also type for; and then I socialise online by... typing some more). So I have to rest things.
I've been given a splint, and I have to rest my hands, massage the hand and forearm on a daily basis, and take breaks from typing every hour. Heat pack on the hand and forearm if I start feeling pain / discomfort. Come back in two weeks for a follow-up appointment.
So, this is why I have largely been maintaining radio silence for most of the past month and a half. And will be continuing to do so for the next however long, until either my hands heal up, or I wind up getting speech-to-text software.
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