I have some good news and some bad news on my hands. Which do you want first?! What was that? The good? Well, alright then.
The Good: I do not have Carpel Tunnel.
The Bad: Which means that we still don’t know what is wrong with my hands, but have ruled out one possibility!
I had a nerve conduction study done on my hands yesterday, with the specific purpose of ruling out Carpel Tunnel as a possibility for what is plaguing me. I have to tell you, I finally encountered a doctor throughout this whole ordeal that I really genuinely liked. A lot. In fact, I’m really quite disappointed that this is the only time that I’ll get to see her! I think perhaps I liked her so much because we had the “midwest connection”, her originally being from Michigan and myself from Iowa. I liked her from the moment she came in and sat down, with her slightly disheveled, but comfortable, appearance.
I liked her because even though this would be the only time I would see her, she cared about me as a patient. She asked questions, asked what the other doctors had done, even had her assitant go and have my bloodwork from the other doctors faxed to her. All before we started the one test I was sent to her to for. In fact, I liked her so much that I shared with her how much I disliked the doctor that referred her, and my bad experiences. Which I learned she was surprised to hear, as patients generally liked my Rhumetologist and only had positive things to say about her. She encouraged me to give her another chance, as she was a very good doctor and quite smart, indicating that perhaps she was just having an off day the first time she saw me. I was glad to hear this, and hope that my future experiences with the Rhumetologist are better.
Anyhow, loved the doctor. Never get to see her again. Let’s move on, shall we?
The first thing that we started with was her having me attempt to prevent letting her move different parts of my hands/arms. I was successful in all of these until she had me put my pinky and thumb together. Try as I might, she was able to very easily separate them. I couldn’t get them together. This is my carpal muscle. As such, we went into the tests thinking that we would find that I had numb nerves and carpal issues. Essentially, she was expecting to find Carpel Tunnel.
However, when we got to the nerve tests we actually found the opposite to be true. Not only did I not have numb nerves, I have hyper sensitive nerves. For example, the little voltage machine that they use to stimulate your nerves has a knob (think Frankenstein, you know you already are anyhow!). The dial on the knob goes from 0-10. I was set on .5 and my nerves were jumping like crazy in reaction to the shocks being sent through. Literally jumping. In fact, I felt them well after we had moved on to a different nerve to test. They were so sensitive that she even commented she was surprised that she’d not had to adjust the knob setting at all, as generally most people don’t react with it set so low.
So, I’m not really the huge weenie that I always thought I was when it comes to pain, I just have really sensitive nerves! Which means that it doesn’t take much to stimulate them for a reaction. Which explains why I am like the only person in the world that cannot walk barefoot across anything except extremely smooth concrete!
Anyhow, back to the test.
After she went through testing all of the nerves in my hands (which was a totally weird feeling), she stuck me with this needle thing that had a microphone attached and listened to my muscles work. I was like “WTF how is that even possible”. But apparently it is. So we listened to my muscles, and they sounded fine.
When we were finished, she indicated that the problem is definitely not nerve related. She said that perhaps it was something like RSI, but that didn’t explain the inflammation seen in the blood work (and in my hands!), but did indicate that it was good that the anti-inflamatory was helping. She said that she would likely recommend ice treatments and regular PT, along with rest, to see where that would lead. But would ultimately leave that decision to the Rhumetologist.
I see her again on September 20. So until then we know that I don’t have Carpel Tunnel (which is a relief), but still don’t know what’s causing the problem. Which is still a bit overwhelming. Although, knocking down one possibility is at least more than I had before yesterday. So I’ll take what victories I can :)