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Wrist and Shout: Part II.

I can't take it anymore.  This wrist thing is making me crazy.

Since my "diagnosis" with tendinitis in February, I've done plenty of attempted cutting back on repetitive movement:

I've been trying to use the computer mouse less.  Fat chance, seeing as how my day job is extremely computer intensive, and blogging also uses - wait for it - the computer.

I bought a Bamboo.  Yet I haven't had more than 15 minutes to sit down and learn how to use it.  So it's still in the box.  Sitting there.  A waste of money and good intentions.

I took Advil for several days.  Actually, I took it for almost three weeks, and then I heard about the kidney + Advil conundrum.  But also, I didn't like the fact that once the Advil wore off, I was back to being in pain.  Seemed like a bandaid.  I want to fix this.

I sleep with a wrist brace on.  What's sexier than your wife climbing into bed, wearing a pump, a Dexcom, multiple attached sensors, and a wrist brace?  All I'm missing is the damn headgear.  And I'm wearing the brace for more than just sleep - I wear it when I'm driving, as often as possible at work, and if I ever watch television for more than 10 minutes.  (Rare, but it happens.)  

I stopped weight training.  Before my wedding, I was doing as much resistance training as possible.  I liked the effects it had on my body.  But since February,  I've had to stop weight training completely because I can't lift anything up.  I can't do tricep dips.  I can't jump rope.  I can't even hold weights while doing lunges because of the stress on my wrist.  So I've been doing more cardio than usual and gazing w(r)istfully at the free weights.

I can't carry grocery bags.  My wrist explodes with pain when it grazes my desk or the couch or the kitchen counter.  I can't even throw Siah off my chest when she's trying to sniff me to death at night.  (That cat is getting fat.)  I'm not one to complain about physical discomfort, but this wrist pain is beyond tolerable.   

I feel like a 90 year old woman. 

So I went to the Twittersphere and pinged my question out to them in 140 characters or less:  "Tough workout. Wrist issue (tendinitis) is not healing. Has anyone had this before? How did you fix it? V. frustrating."

Responses ranged from "Advil and rest!" to "Physical therapy and a brace!" to "Cortisone shot!"  Apparently, I'm not the only new media-type to have grappled with this issue before.

I called my doctor this morning and explained the situation.  After she realized that, despite my attempts to ease up on the wrist stress I still wasn't on the mend, she recommended I speak with an orthopedic practice and get an appointment.

"They may want to give you the shot that day, so be prepared, diabetes-wise."

"This could make me go high for a few days, right?"

"It depends.  They won't give you much in the injection, and it's a localized dose, so you may not see more than a premenstrual-style spike.  But you might see more than that.  It depends on a lot of factors.  The orthopedist can help answer those questions more specifically."

(This is EXACTLY why I prefer working with a primary care physician who is comfortable with specialists.  She knows that she can cover my basic needs, but she's quick to refer me to doctors who can handle specialized needs.  I like that she doesn't pretend to know everything.  Doctors who acknowledge that they, too, are human make me feel safer.)Can't dial one of these things, thanks to CRAPPY WRIST THING.

"Cool.  Thanks.  I'm tired of feeling like an old bird."

She laughed.  "Let me know how it goes."

So I have an appointment tomorrow morning with an orthopedist, and I'm sort of hoping they do the shot tomorrow so I start putting this pain behind me.  I can't wait to weight train again.  And lift grocery bags. 

And throw Siah.   

Comments

Kerri:

Glad you took the advice. Be warned, it might take two shots (about 2 or 3 weeks apart) to do the trick.

I upped my basal a bit after the cortizone shot and had NO blood sugar problems!!!

Andy

My wife just stole my Bamboo for the same symptoms.

She says it fixed the issue.

So, while you are waiting for that shot, go ahead and read up on the Bamboo.

Advil? Dude, I take it like every day...

Sorry your still in misery. Hopefully they will get you straightened out, and back to throwing cats.

My favorite thing I have at work is my huge Wacom tablet. It rocks. I also bought one it for home, and they really do help with wrist issues. It does take a little getting used to. Nobody else at my work will use my computer, because they can't get the feel for the tablet.

I'm not a diabetic, but had a very serious case of tendonitis in my right wrist in college. It was horrible! I was unable to write or lift anything that weighed more than a few ounces. The worst part was that I couldn't even make a pincer grasp (you know, that ability to use your index finger and thumb together that seperates us from most animals). Anyway, I would NOT recommend getting a cortisone shot. For me, all that did was mask the pain, and the problem did not go away. Without pain, you don't know that there's a problem. Pain limits you, but it's there for a reason.

The ONLY thing that ended up helping me was to cast my wrist for about 4 weeks. It was incredibly frustrating, but it worked. The brace thing just didn't immobilize me enough to allow my wrist to heal, and while advil gave me temporary relief, it never lasted long enough.

That's just my experience, so take it for what it's worth. I've had a lot of sports injuries, including a fractured spine, knee surgery, and a few other things. By far, the tendonitis was the WORST, mainly because it always felt like there was no end in sight. I feel your pain!

A little grocery bag advice -- from my experience with same. Lift "overhanded" instead of underhanded, which seems to be the natural inclination. Lifting overhand (I'm assuming plastic handle bags) reverses the stretch on the tendons and although not pain-free is at least not adding to the issue at "hand". heh, heh (sad attempt at humor)

I was having major wrist problems (my hands would fall asleep so badly when I went to bed at night that I would have to shake one awake with the other hand). Turns out I have carpal tunnel, which can also make the wrists week. People with diabetes seem to be more likely to get carpal tunnel, so my ortho was not that surprised. The only permanent fix for it is surgery, which I will be getting in July. Not saying you don't have tendinitis, but has that diagnosis been confirmed? Just checking b/c some of your symptoms sound like carpal tunnel, and you don't want to lose strength in your wrist b/c its almost imppossible to get back, even with surgery, when its gone. Had cortisol shots for my carpal tunnel twice now and my sugars were through the roof, and only for some very temporary relief. Interested to see what the doc says tomorrow.

if the shots work, please dont stop being careful with your wrist! give it a few weeks to heal completly!!

Good Luck Kerri!
Cortisone shots can make your blood sugars high for more than a few days. Depending on the person, it can last for a few weeks.
Last summer I had shot in my foot & had to double my basal rate for a few weeks. Same thing happened when I had a shot in my thumb for Trigger Finger 5 yrs ago.
Other then the high blood sugars, the shots helped!
Also, Accupuncture really helps with my foot issues. It's relaxing, helps with pain management, and makes you feel good in general!
Hope you feel better soon!!
Kelly K

I take Aleve for my "diabetic frozen shoulder". Crazy thing but it's been almost a year and it's now not hurting as much. I'd stick with it, try Aleve or whatever. Physical therapy did nothing but cost waaaay too much money the insurance dont cover. Anyways cheer up it gets better!

Hey Kerri -- I'm having the same wrist issues right now in my right hand (I'm T1 for 22 years as well). Haven't seen a doc yet but it seems to be getting worse (started off in pregnancy last year and isn't getting any better with all the baby knitting I've been doing!) One thing that has helped was moving my mouse to the left side of the keyboard and learning how to use it with my left hand. It didn't take long to make the switch and now it feels weird to mouse w/ my right.... Anyway just a tip that's helped me. Hope the appt goes well for you! -Sara

Hey Kerri,

I read your blog all the time. Although I'm not diabetic I have a lot of heart/lung conditions myself that are high maintenance, and I just so admire your take charge of your life spirit.

I feel your pain too. Like I said I have a pacemaker (I'm 29) and you know...I know it's really important for me to exercise. But I got a really bad case of achilles tendonitis 2 years ago (caused by the antibiotic levaquin weirdly and a hiking trip through Europe) and it kept getting worse because I didn't realize and would take levaquin when I got sick.

SO....two and a half years later...and yes this a horror story....but I also wasn't paying attention for a while because I was busy getting a pacemaker.

Anyways. I wore walking braces on both feet for four months (different times). I did accupuncture. And I just did 3 months of physical therapy. This is all to say that all of that persistance finally finally worked. So get a good opinion from a good orthopedic doc.

Also, I would agree that a cast might help, as that did really help when I got to the right doctor. Also, the PT really helped me figure out what to do, and not do, as I get back into exercising.

But don't let my story worry you....I had it really bad too. But I did avoid surgery in the end. And I can exercise! So just make sure you really trust your docs.....and really rest as much as you can up front because it will save you a lot of grief in the end.

Take care!

M

Good luck with the cortisone shots. My husband had them in his shoulder. After 2 shots & some home exercises he is doing well. I love your cat by the way. She looks exactly like our cat Bucky who passed away last year. He was that beautiful gray color & a big boy. He unfortunately met his fate in our frozen pond due his curiousity. We miss him. So anytime you want to post pictures of your adorable cat...I'm here to ooooohhh & aaaahhhh over her :)

I'm not diabetic either, but I am a violinist, and a pre-IB student, so I have a minor case of tendonitis, and I have to say, I LOVE my bamboo.
it does take a little getting used to, but its amazing. unless you intend to use the pressure sensing part of it, all you need to do is get it out the box, put the little end of the wire in the tablet, put the USB end in your computer, and you're ready to go!

if you have one near you (and i was about to say if needles freak you out but.....), try accupuncture. It really does help the pain.

tablets are pretty simple to learn how to use i find, but it differs for each person.

installing the drivers for it would still be a good idea, even if you do not intend to use the pressure settings because then you will have the option of change what each button on the pen dose.if you do not intend to paint/do art stuff with it the pressure settings will not come into play much.

yah i had one of that size for years, i never used it and it felt like a waste of money, got a Intuos3 now and it is used a lot.

Dear Kerri,

How awful for you. I did have similar symptoms a few years ago, it hurt so bad, not only my wrist, but elbow and shoulder as well. I couldn't lift anything, could hardly sleep. Still, one day the pain was practically gone. It returns now and then, but not as serious as >10yrs ago. I found (with all serious pain I got, i.e. backache) that taking analgesics, avoid the triggers causing pain and trying to use the other surrounding muscles as much as possible did help in the long run.
My RSI had to do with too much typing (with the wrong technique) and stress. Your situation might be different. For one thing you have diabetes.
Personally I would not try a corticosteroid injection. Till now there isn't much evidence that it works, and if it does only at the short run. You can only expect an effect -if any- when inflammation causes your tendinitis and in case of a trigger finger. There are some possible side-effects as well.

Here is an older very understandable article about it From the BMJ

I can get your more literature if you want.

Take care, Jacqueline ("laikas"on twitter)

Something to think about.....a few years ago I was privy to attend a CDE training (I'm not a healthcare pro) and the session was on "difficult to treat PWD. It covered PWD and kidney issues, etc. My ears perked when they covered diabetics in pain. Seems it is know that this can cause elevated BG. The stress of the pain can increase BG. I had frozen shoulder at the time and was having trouble with BGs. Had never linked the two. Got my shoulders fixed and the BG improved. It all makes sense but is not something we consider when we can't get BG and A1c in range we want. Best of luck!

I don't have any tips or advice for you - but I'm so sorry that dang wrist is still giving you so much pain and I hope you are all better soon. {{{{hugs}}}}

I sprained my wrist very badly when I was in college, and my PT had me combine Advil with squeezing a raquetball to help rebuild strength in the wrist. It worked.

Have you thought about utilizing a voice-controlled typing software. We use "naturally speaking" for our medical dictation and it works great.

Love the post tile!

Is Chris a techie? It just occurred to me that a techie might actually find all that equipment to be sexy!

Just keep remembering you are not a robot. Robots are incapable of decent humor. :)

I learned to use my mouse left-handed when my right was bothering me. It's frustrating and awkward at first, but after a day or two I was "fluent." You can rearrange your left/right click under the control panel.

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