my special specialists

I like to think I am very special.  A sparkle or a bright shiny star.  I also seem to be very accident prone and a sickly creature.  This is all-encompassing for this “special” label I’ve placed upon myself.  The sparkle is simply me trying to compensate for constant injuries and/or illnesses.  Loads of fun happening up in this body!

My hand appointment finally came and went.  Monday morning I met with the hand specialist and he was a pretty cool guy.  I was nervous he would take a look at my thumb and mock me for my weakness then get up and call me a wimp.  Then walk out.  None of this happened and instead we came up with a game plan.  Next week, I will be getting a splint that is created from a mold of my hand.  Neato.  After a month, we will move to a cast if my hand/thumb are still being non-compliant.  I like having a plan.

Constant pain and irritation are really annoying.  Sometimes it feels like my thumb slips out of place which grosses me out.  It was nice to be taken seriously and have the inner workings of my hand explained.  He went through all of my options as well.  The last option is surgery, which I completely agree with.  Get this, they take a part of my tendon from my arm and use it weave the tendons tighter in my hand.  I find this both disgusting and nifty.  Science man.

Next up, we have the stomach specialist.  Thankfully, this appointment did not take 6 months to get.  In fact, my lovely doctor got me in within 2 and half weeks or so.  Apparently, this is the expedited process.  A friend went to her regular doctor with similar symptoms (and in some ways worse) and they sent her home saying, “I’m sure we can get you an appointment in six months or so”.  Crazy pants.

My tummy is a big part of why I started the Whole30 in the first place.  It’s really nice to feel proactive and attempting to get some control over my out of control GI system.  The appointment was yesterday and it was both good but overwhelming.  Quick and dirty: he is taking me off 8 of my meds – scary! and replacing them with 1.  Yes, a major positive.  He said, “you are on too much shit”, haha.  Ummm – BUT they are kind of my security blanket…

Another piece that is overwhelming is I must have more blood work and other tests done, get scoped from the top and the bottom – will they meet in the middle?!, (ON NEW YEARS EVE! WHY??), a biopsy of my tummy and follow a FODMAP diet.  Essentially it’s like the Whole30 diet I am currently on so I will need to continue but possibly add some dairy (please oh please).  The scoping stuff sucks because I’m flying back the day before and I have to be ready for the test at 7 am the next day.  Because God hates me.

The doc said he will make me feel better – WIN! – although he followed up with the list of possible issues and they are not great.  OR it could be that all of my meds have essentially killed my stomach and I need to help it heal.  Oh and he says I need a new job, have a severe case of anxiety, wants me to see a therapist and start doing yoga.  I guess he is a life coach on the side.  Lots of info yesterday in less than an hour appt… I was internally screaming…

yep – but I looked calm and collected – maybe…

One more thing… Wednesday morning I dropped my work phone and it hit my toe.  I don’t think it’s broken but it hurts like a son of a gun.  Who knew toes came in so many colors?

***Special shout out and a “thank you” goes to my sweetheart of a buddy who had to endure my minor meltdown.  I poured some water out in your honor.

25k… the aftermath

My race recap will be up in tomorrow but the following has been swirling around my brain:

1.  More/real training would have made those 15.5 miles much easier!

2.  I think my rebellious streak comes into play with regards to running.  Maybe a “let’s see what I can do without training!” attitude.  Is this rebellion?  I don’t know but it’s how I used to shoot myself in the foot with regards to my academics as well.  I will also say it’s part of the procrastinator’s creed – if you don’t give your all to the preparation then you don’t have to risk your best being a “failure”.

deep thoughts on the hour drive up to the race and then back

3.  My legs were absolute gelatin as I crossed the finish line.  I completely left it all out on the course!  I was proud of myself.

4.  I stretched after the race, which I rarely do.  Solid plan Amy.

5.  Today my legs are fairly fatigued and sore.  My quads are especially tender.  I see some serious squats in my immediate future.

6.  I have a lot more determination and heart than I give myself credit for.

but I didn’t quit!

7.   I ran with 7,000 other runners!  This is the largest 25k in the country.  We all love running!

8.  Biofreeze is my bestie.

I’m talking to you biofreeze

9.  I didn’t run with my thumb brace because I knew it would be difficult to grab water and other fuel.  Adrenaline got me through the race buuut it wasn’t a great idea later.

10.  I parked about 8 blocks away.  Wow – it was a long way back!  A woman with her two kids offered me a ride to my car and while I was tempted I’ve watched way to much Investigative Discovery to take her up on it.

More tomorrow… all smiles though.  I seriously thought about not running – I had a prime excuse!  A dislocated thumb?  Prime!  However, I needed to prove something to myself.  I’m a proud runner!

 

uncommon running injury part duex

pre and post hand appointment

I liked the symmetry of writing a pre and post doctor appointment about my hand. Especially because it gives me a chance to whine and garner sympathy.  (You can read part one here)

okay, not really

Today I woke up and my hand felt a bit better.  Of course… it’s the day of my appointment.  I’m guessing keeping it somewhat immobile for the last two weeks has been helpful. I did utilize the feeling better aspect to my advantage doing my normal morning routine and this was a mistake since my hand   reverted to its painful state.  I am continued to be overwhelmed by my brilliance.

Nevertheless, this whole week my hand has been really bothering me, coming to a crescendo of pain Wednesday.  I couldn’t even use it to move the mouse around on my computer.  It’s moved toward another part of my hand and my poor pointer finger needs a vacation.  Essentially, my hand is falling apart.  I’m quite happy I caved and scheduled an appointment last week when I thought I was overacting otherwise it would be another long week.  And I’m already getting grumpy about how much it is hurting and the inconvenience of it all.  I’m a great patient. Despite the (wonderful) respite from the pain this morning, I’m keeping this stinkin’ appointment!  Not to mention, after a long work day, it always feels worse.  I can’t really take a sabbatical at this point in time in my career so I’m thinking I need to stick with this plan.

Can you tell I’m waffling and trying to convince myself I still need to go?!

As a kid (and probably still) I was a bit of a hypochondriac.  I was reminded of this by the fam on a regular basis.  This is especially true because whenever I was/am nervous I throw up, which given my anxiety was/is a lot.  So I was sick a lot but not necessarily ill.  After my epilepsy diagnosis among other medical issues, I’ve kind of gotten used to not always feeling very well.  These don’t warrant doctor visits most of the time – or I convince myself of this.  Heck, right before my first big seizure in high school I had been having multiple smaller seizures for a month and a half and I didn’t say anything.  Today, I’m worried the doctor will say one of the following:

1. Hey, you are a big baby. There is nothing wrong with your hand.

2. Well, I can’t find anything soooo, just keep doing what you are doing.

3. Wow – you completely f-ed up your hand. This has been going on a for a month? What is your damage? We need to do surgery pronto.

 

I will use any excuse to include a supernatural gif…

Clearly I operate in worse case scenario mode.

While I hope he will be kind and take my pain into consideration even if x-rays don’t point to a definitive diagnosis, I REALLY am not overstating my discomfort.  I plan on being forthright about this and will NOT downplay what I’ve been going through which is my typical MO when going to the doc.  Example: at my neurologist appointment last year, “oh yes, well I have smaller seizures a here and there”.  Read a few a month, which isn’t normal but I didn’t want to be a pain in the neck. Again, I need to work on my patient skills.

After the appointment and the next day…

Needless to say, I was nervous all day about this.  I woke up at 5 am and wasn’t able to fall back to sleep until 6:30 am.  I seriously considered going for a run but the call of my couch and Investigative Discovery was just too loud.  I’m finding when my thoughts and body are too anxious, tv is the only thing that can calm the nerves.  It’s a good enough solution for now.

Anyway, the outcome:  I’ve partially dislocated my thumb and stretched the ligaments.  Again.  It’s nice to know I have some quality diagnosis abilities!  I got a better brace and have been referred to a hand specialist since this is the second time around.  The doc said “they may want to take care of this now” which apparently means surgery.  Nope.  I firmly believe I can hold off surgery for a few more years and I’m willing to do what it takes.  The brace?  A cast?  No problem!

I feel validated, which is dumb but what can I say?  At least now I know the problem and even though it hurts, I feel I have a game plan.  I do better when I have a game plan!

Happy weekend eve!  I have a race to run tomorrow – good luck on any of your endeavors.

uncommon running injury

Approximately 6 years ago, I was just embarking on my running journey.  It was March and I heard about a 5k two days before.  I hadn’t done a 5k since the previous November and it was the first time I impromptu signed up for a race.  I was excited that I was a good enough runner to be able to do this.

I’m a great runner! I can run anything!

It had been a chilly week and the morning of the race was brisk.  I arrived and should have heeded the following clues.  But I didn’t…

Clue #1 – the announcer:  “look out for the black ice!  There is some in the parking lot!  Be careful!”

Clue #2 – me: black ice?  I don’t see any black ice…

Clue #3 – not comprehending that it’s the whole point of calling black ice, “black ice” – it’s tough to see.

All of this happened in the blink of an eye because the next moment I was on my bum.  In the parking lot – the race hadn’t even started yet.  I had my headphones in my right hand and caught myself with this hand.  Since I was holding my headphones, I think this meant I landed awkwardly on my hand.  I sat there for a moment in shock and some of the race organizers saw me but didn’t come help me up; I think they thought if they acknowledged me, I would sue.  Or they just didn’t care.  Anyway, I was hurting and  wondered if I broke my hand.

this was kind of how it happened

I didn’t want to wimp out so I ran the race.  I was in pain and kept my gloved hand up near my chest.  I finished the race (definitely a BAMF moment) and knew I should go see a doc.  Of course, I stopped for coffee first and then went to our campus clinic.  I didn’t break my hand but instead dislocated my thumb.  The doctor popped it back in (yep, it was uncomfortable) and then referred me to the sports med doc.

A few days later and more x-rays, the doctor told me I stretched a bunch of the ligaments in my hand on both sides of my thumb.  Next up?  A cast for 8 weeks.  A pain in the butt for sure, however, I healed up nicely.

Why the long story?  Somewhere in the last two weeks, I’ve stretched them again – or at least it feels like it.  My thumb and hand are very sore and I don’t have any real strength in my thumb anymore.  I can’t even really make a fist.  Finally, this past Sunday, I ace-banaged it up and it is sort of helping.  The pain has been getting worse, although I can manage it for the most part with naproxin.

yes

The tough part is, it’s almost impossible NOT to use these muscles.  I utilize my thumb despite trying to be careful, so I’m stuck.  Not to mention, sometimes I feel myself tensing my thumb – I can’t explain this at all.  Do I go to the doc?  I feel kind of apprehensive.  What if they don’t find anything wrong?  AND, to be honest, I kind of want to ask for another cast (maybe not an 8 week-er though!) just so I can give it time to heal but I don’t want to seem like a hypochondriac.  As much of a hassle as it is, a cast will stop me from using my thumb and those ligaments.  When the doctor talked to me before, he told me if it didn’t heal correctly, I may have to have surgery.  I want to avoid this at all costs.

One positive(?) aspect of this was a bunch of my muscle memory is coming back with regards to doing things with my left hand and the other four fingers on my right!  I’m kind of proud of this.  Oh and I’ve reached almost expert level with the wrapping of the ace bandage… almost doctor quality!

I am a teddy bear doctor. too

***Edited to add*** My thumb now hurts down into my wrist.  I called for a doc appointment today and I can get in next Thursday.  I promise to try and keep my whining down to a minimum!