OK.. Who is ready to diagnose me???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm old as dirt and have been extremely lucky when it comes to health issues. Lo......now I have a problem I can't ignore and I'm try to self diagnose since I don't have time or the inclination to go to "the Doctor".

    Care to input??

    All of a sudden I have problems with my hand. Actually it is from my finger tips to my elbow (not up to the shoulder). I have "waves" of discomfort. Some days this week I can't turn the key in the ignition with-o
    real discomfort. The other night I was in pain...the kind that makes you
    make noise and the family comes to see what's wrong. I go for many hours totally normal.

    I am assuming it may be arthritis..but in waves?? It could be carpal tunnel...but in waves??? I am assuming it is not my heart because it is not traveling above my elbow.

    I am popping an aspirin (just in case it's heart..lol) and I am taking Advil
    which seems to do the job. In lieu of either, if it hits in the evening, I have a Cutty.

    What do you think, family????????? DDD
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Does numbness or tingling come with the pain?
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    My guess is carpal tunnel, but you should get it checked out just in case it is heart related. :winks:
  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    DDD, this is the kind of feeling I had when I had Carpel Tunnel AND a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder. It was so bad at times I couldn't hold anything in my right hand, just couldn't feel if I was gripping it tight enough. And to top it off, my spine was starting to develop arthritis, and was pinching a nerve in my arm.

    What helped - making sure my computer screen was at the right height and straight in front of me, and not to the left like I had it, using a gel pac on my keyboard, and another one when I used my mouse. Plus hand splints plus a bean bag kind of wrist pad that I heated (throwing in the microwave), not to mention I just had to cut down on using the darn computer pretty much 24/7

    But at the end of the day, its better not to self diagnose, but I know you know that :)

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My angina (and heart attack pain) starts in the base of my throat goes down into the upper part of my chest, goes up my neck and into my jaw (sometimes my teeth hurt) and in the middle of my back. When I had the heart attack the numbness/pain thing went down - not up - my left arm and stopped at my elbow.

    Carpal tunnel is going to affect more of the thumb and index finger area. Ulnar nerve (funny bone nerve) will affect the pinky finger and the pinky finger side of the ring finger. I also have that and it will involve the entire outside of my hand.

    If it's a neuropathy, such as carpal tunnel or the ulnar nerve, if left untreated there can be muscle wasting. If it's arthritic you could have permanent joint damage so the type of arthritis needs to be identified so proper treatment can be started.

    Hope you feel better soon.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    Which fingers? It sounds like it could be carpal tunnel syndrome. There are other various causes, such as a vitamin B12 deficiency that could cause tingling, however CTS is one of the more common causes.

    Take a look at the fat pads on your hands...compare the two hands. Is one atrophied? Which one?

    Also, here is a link for Tinel's and Phalen's maneuvers. These are the two preliminary tests for determining CTS. If one or both are positive, you should see your physician and have an EMG/nerve conduction study done to confirm.


    The pinky and ring fingers would be the cubital tunnel, the thumb and middle fingers are carpal tunnel.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sometimes there is numbness...but not consistently. Sometimes the "pain" is in the palm of the hand and othertimes it seems to be in specific fingers or the thumb. Also weird, sometimes it effects the left hand as well as the right. It comes and goes like the flick of a light switch. I read about carpal tunnel and was shocked that it can effect the left and the right . I always have thought it was the "computer hand" that was impacted. The carpal tunnel piece I read said try to reduce activity for a couple of weeks and see if there is an improvement. I am
    going to try to avoid :sad-very: using the computer for a few days and see if there is an improvement.

    I don't mind "paying" for medical care but where I live the MDs are just a step ahead of the herbalists. :redface: I don't have time for silly stuff. DDD
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    You can pick up a wrist gauntlet at your local surgical supply store. If you splint at night and doing strenous activity, it might reduce your symptoms.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Let's seeeee.....

    Dr. Star here - (quackery to ensue)

    You are older than dirt? Hmmmmmm
    You have pain in your arm below the elbow, but sometimes in your hands.
    Your thumb hurts....but on occasion the other hand and arm
    You have numbness - but I'm not sure where I did not see you point. I assume your hands
    And Lothlorien thinks you should get a trophy for this??? Hmmmm Uh huh..uh huh....and a wrist brace?? I seeeeee.....Hmmm

    The DSM reference guide I checked said this is from overusing your middle finger too much on the highway.

    I suggest you take a taxi, and a valium, a boozy milkshake and a vacation, but no waving. Other activities you must give up for now are riding on floats, and Miss America pageants where you do the elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, touch your pearls and blow a kiss thing.

    I have CTS in both hands - on occasion. Some days - heavy computer days, heavy commuter days (see the finger thing does come in huh?) and cold, rainy days - it aches. With my arthritis - it's hard to tell what sets it off I've had that since I was in my teens.

    If you are getting comfort with Aleve - that is good - just be sure of not mixing other medications you may take with Aleve. And the wrist brace while expensive is WORTH it's weight in gold. The bar is a little uncomfortable but the pressure takes the tendons off the nerves.

    Hope you feel better - IF it is arthritis - you can get a simple blood test to determine the protein levels in your blood. Easy as pie.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    DDD - some arthritis and other inflammatory conditions can cause carpal tunnel. It's not always a repetitive injury type issue.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It could be carpal tunnel, or other nerve injury. With this kind of sensation I went to see a neurologist because is it what I had with both neck problems. NOT saying you have disc issues, but it is a possibility. Mine sometimes caused problems for one hand, or the other, or both.

    Try the brace, then see a GOOD doctor.

    Hugs and prayers it goes away.

  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It could be carpal tunnel, possibly aggravated by computer use, but the way it's sometimes left, sometimes right - I'm wondering about your neck.

    The thing is, you do need to get it checked out (even if it's just a cervical spine X-ray) to make sure you haven't got a disc prolapse (my guess would be maybe C5/C6) pressing on the brachial plexus nerve affecting the radial nerve on BOTH arms. And, of course, aggravated by use.

    Get it checked out sooner, because the longer you leave it the more likely you will be stuck with it. Nerves have a nasty habit of staying compressed if you are slow about getting compression relieved.

    Wearing a brace - not a bad idea, it should reduce the sorts of movement that may be aggravating it.

    There are other possibilities, if you see a GP I would ask to be referred to a neurologist.

    Some things should be red flags - radiating pain along a line, numbness, tingling - any of those that persists, recurs or develops and progresses - get thee to a doctor, pronto.

  13. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I've got carpal in both hands and I threw my shoulder out throwing a football with difficult child 2. I'm going to the doctor next week sometime so I'll ask a bunch of questions.

    By the way, just as an fyi, carpal tunnell is also a complication of diabetes (i'm a type 1'er!).

    Hope you're feeling better!

  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    See how mature I am??????? I'm on the computer checking to see what the family thinks! Geez, you guys are so smart.

    I won't horse around with this too long....promise. DDD
  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I wear wrist supports at night, when driving, and as Loth said when doing anything strenuous or repetitive and it's helped a great deal. My neurologist suggested trying this to see if it would help before going through a mess of tests. I do have pain and tingling, sometimes together.
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I have CTS as well, both left and right sides. Aggravated by heavy computer use and by playing the piano.

    Wrist gauntlets have helped somewhat, but the biggest help (strangely enough) has come from my chiropractor who does an adjustment to my wrists and thumbs. When I first started going I was convinced that chiropractic was quackery, but golly did it ever make the pain go away.

    DDD, I second everyone else's vote to have the condition assessed by a doctor. Lots of good advice and information has been provided, but everyone's physiology is different, and there are so many underlying causes for CTS. If there's something at the root of it that can be treated, all the better.

  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    DDD, I'm guessing a nerve is impinged in your elbow area. Sort of like tennis elbow but without the inflammation. Just a guess. Going to the Dr. is a better way to go.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm going to wait ONE week. Then I'll call for an appointment if I'm not better.
    My husband thinks it may be from lifting unusually heavy parts at the store last week....could be. I won't ignore it long but the OTC medication does help. DDD
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I vote for nerve impingement, and was going to say from the elbow, but since you said it is sometimes left and sometimes right, then it could be the neck area. I've got that and it's exactly that feeling ... tingling, burning, on and off.
    Luckily, my husband is a chiro, and adjusts my neck, and also has a massage therapist in his office that I can use. Yrs ago I did acupuncture and it helped immensely.
    But you know what helps the most? Resting the neck and arms. It's so hard to do, but that's really the only way you'll heal properly, especially to avoid surgery.
    I know you want to check these msgs, though, LOL, it's addicting. Can you only use your computer every other day, and same with-the car?
    Good luck.