Archive for the ‘Take two and call me in the morning’ Category
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 🙂
So, I promised an update on my hands after my visit to the specialist today. Firstly, I don’t know anything more yet. They just ran more tests today. However, I cannot say that my experience was overly positive or that my expectations were really met.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
I get the the doctor’s office 15 minutes before my appointment, as I’m a new patient. I had completed all of the paperwork they mailed to me, but figured they’d need to do things like check my insurance, process my co-payment, etc. That did, in fact, take the better part of 15 minutes. So once the receptionist is done with all of that so says to me “Dr. X will see you, well, when she gets here”.
Strike One. Read the rest of this entry »
I finally heard back from my doctor yesterday regarding the blood work that was done over a month ago testing for Rheumatoid Arthritis. The tests showed that certain things were “high”, but not definitive enough to state that Rheumatoid Arthritis is the problem. However, because it was inconclusive, I have been referred to a specialist and have an appointment on Wednesday. I am so relieved, you have no idea.
After have done some research on the type of specialist, and reading what I could, I have learned a few things. The problem that I am having is not going to be easy to diagnose, and it may take several visits and trial/error things before we know what’s causing my pain and can look for a solution. Rhuematologists do more than arthritis – they do an extra three years of medical training in the diagnosis and treatment of joint and soft tissue maladies. In addition to arthritis, they also are “experts” in things like fibromyalgia and tendonitis.
Needless to say I am thrilled to finally get to a doctor that is going to understand the pain that I have and is hopefully going to be able to help find solutions to help relieve it. Also, somewhat needless to say, I am in the market for a new primary care physician. The length of time it took for my doctor to get back to me and refer me to a specialist was unacceptable. She had my test results on June 30th, and signed off on them at that time. Yet it took another full month for an assistant – not even her – to call me, and only after I called to inquire about them (and even then it took another three business days before I was called). This was the last of many things that have drove me to this decision, but it was the one that finally pushed me to make a change. As such, if you happen to know of any great doctors in the Seattle/Redmond area, I’d love to hear about them. I got a few great suggestions from Twitter yesterday that I’m checking out, but I want to explore all of my options!
As for my hands, I took a picture this morning. It’s a little hard to see some of the swelling – but I thought I’d let you see what you could (and if nothing else, you can look and go “god Beru, manicures – have you heard of them?!). The swelling is the least in the morning, and only grows worse throughout the day, with the worst being in the evenings, often regardless of if I’ve spent 3 hours or 30 minutes at the keyboard.
So probably the most obvious thing that you can see is the swelling in the knuckles on my fingers. They get so big at times that when I type or do other things with my hands my knuckles actually knock into each other. You can see some of the swelling in the soft tissue of my fingers, but not much. Where I have the sharpest pain is between where my finger meets my hand and that first knuckle.
What is harder to see is that the top of my hand also swells. With the soft tissue surrounding the knuckles on the top of my hand sometimes doubling in size. The top of my hand never has sharp pain, but lately has sometimes taken to have a burning sensation. Sometimes my hands feel very cold and sometimes they tingle just a little, and I’m not even sure that “tingle” is the best description for the feeling. I do not believe that I have numbness.
Advil and the Topricin that I use can stunt the swelling some, but never completely alleviates it.
I never have wrist pain. I never have elbow pain. I never have shoulder pain. It is always only just my hands.
Hopefully I’ll have some answers on Wednesday. Or at least a better way to deal with the pain, and a path/plan to work through what is causing the pain. At the very least I’ll know that we are working on a better solution.
As soon as I learn more, I will offer another update! Until then, you’ll be glad to know that I finally got some video of Heroic Shannox that I’m comfortable using for a guide – even if the riplimb tank died at 8% and his dog ate my face at 2%. BAD DOG! 😉
A while back when Larissa and Tam announced that they were going to close the doors on their respective blogs, they both kind of said the same thing: I just woke up one day and knew I was done. I often wondered what one thing, one post, one comment, one email, was the catalyst to them walking away. What was it that, intentionally or unintentionally, ended up being the straw that ultimately broke the camels back. I’ve always kind of believed that the straw the breaks the proverbial camel’s back would be tiny. So small that no one would truly realize that it was the thing that caused everything to tumble to the ground.
When Tam left, I sent him my own private goodbye. I always felt close to Tam because we entered blogging at the same time, and in those early days often supported each other quite a bit. Eventually he went left down the road, while I went right, but I always remembered those early days when we kicked at rocks together. Anyhow, when Tam left one of the things that I shared with him was that I was tired. And when we responded he told me “I can tell”, he then proceeded to give me some fantastic advice that I have summarily ignored, but that’s really neither here nor there and I digress.
Let’s get back to this camel should we? Read the rest of this entry »
You might have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet around here this week, and I have a very good reason, I swear it!
I could tell you that my adventures into Photoshop on Monday tuckered me out (Syll! I PHOTOSHOPPED OMG!); and that would be partially true. What would take most people probably minutes (my photoshop skills are not max level as yet) takes me hours to proc successfully! There are also a few choice words that would make even the most crass dwarf blush thrown around as well.
However…I have taken on an even more challenging project, well for me anyhow!
Remember back in like January of February, and I had told you that one of my guildmates had stumbled across my blog, and had seen me complaining discussing how I couldn’t make a proper header. Well…he surprised me and crafted me one, apparently people pay him to do stuff like this! The problem was that I liked the coloring and l liked how the template I used had the ability to adjust to the size of the monitor that I was on, and all the extra width it had, but it didn’t allow for a header. I really disliked the space constraints of the smaller templates that did have customizable headers.
However, I really wanted to use it, because it looked so awesome! So, I have taken to leveling another skill known as CSS Proficiency (oh god). I’m still a journeyman in this skill, however I was able to tweak a different template to something that I rather liked (and was obscenely proud of…due to my zero starting skill!). I’m still adding a few touches here and there…and saving constantly so that if I totally botch something I can go back to an earlier version. However, I did want to give everyone a heads up that in the next few days you may see a change or two here around the old blog. (It only took me six or seven months to work up the bravery to make a change, but we won’t talk about that!).
If there is something that isn’t working quite right (or not at all) or something is out of place, I will be making those dwarfs blush with the profanities that will likely be spewing from my mouth as I try to fix it. So…when that occurs, please excuse my mess! (Also…I wouldn’t turn away suggestions once the finished product is available for review!).
And…um…because it’s taken me hours and hours to do simple things like change colors around and adjust sizing, I’ve been short a bit of time to actually, well, write. So, I thought I would offer this little “teaser” by way of explanation for my silence until the grand “unveiling” occurs!
BTW…wtf is with all the colors on that color wheel?!?! The only thing I know with 100% certainty that I have learned is that fff is white and 000000 is black!
Beru Note: I’d like to introduce you all to one of our crazy resident rogues, Rholm. Rholm not only has one “the Insane” title, but is working on his THIRD (dear god…why, Rholm? Why?!?!?!). A while back he posted the following guide in our forums, and I asked him if I could utilize it as a guest post on my blog, as I cannot think of anyone more qualified to give pointers on this crazy achievement than the guy taking his third trip towards insanity. If you are going insane, I hope that you find it helpful!
You probably all know by now of the Insane in the Membrane feat of strength.
I am currently grinding for a third title, on Sholmie this time. Most of the required items are already farmed. The planning and some basic gathering are on the way for a fourth title too; my paladin.
The purpose of my post here is to help some of you who often asked “how to”. I will not write a full guide but simply share my thoughts, experience and opinion on the whole thing. It is a great personal challenge and multiple facets of it can be applied to raiders and even PvPers out there. There is more to be said about it, but too long to discuss here.
You do not need to be a good player, as far as pressing buttons or incredible situation awareness goes. Be a keyboard turner if you wish. However, planning, schedule, daily goals are all key words to work efficiently in order to see the end of it. Lots –and I mean it– lots of dedication and patience are required. It is easy to give up. Your sanity is your end-game boss.
Trust me, the feeling is the same as when you finally beat that one particularly tough raid encounter after weeks or months of hard work. But this time, you won’t see a screenshot with 25 players dancing on a corpse. It is you alone. The pride and feeling of completion. Alone. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently I have been following the many bloggers that are members of Brotherhood of Oblivion. I honestly don’t know how I came to find all of them, but from reading a few of the blogs, I came upon other blogs, that lead to other blogs, and I’m sure I still haven’t even touched on them all. But that’s not the point of this post.
Through my visits to these blogs, I’ve observed that there seems to be a tension that is wound so tightly within their guild right now that if it’s not slowly released it’s going to spring and take a few casualties with it. 😦
But Beru…this isn’t your guild, it isn’t your mess, it’s most definately none of your business, why do you even care? Well, honestly, as I’ve been following everything I find myself rooting for them to pull everything together. And wtf…we are a community are we not?! Aren’t communities supposed to support and help each other? (Stop sniggerin’! I know I’m probably putting my nose where it doesn’t belong…but I just want to help!).
So, in my effort to help, I thought that maybe I’d give an outsider’s view of some of the issues that seem prevalent right now…and then I can offer some completely unbiased (and also unsolicited) advice on how to maybe smooth those issues out! (If you don’t want this advice, please feel free to stop reading here :)). There might even be a tidbit for anyone, regardless of who you are, to elaborate on, or pick up!
Read the rest of this entry »