Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Thought I Was Thumbody

I was at the doctor again for a variety of things this week, including finally officially complaining about the insane arthritic-like pain in my hands and wrists. Apparently there is an official diagnosis for new moms with this -- it's a common kind of strain and it's particularly common in women like me who got carpal tunnel syndrome while pregnant. She wrote a prescription for wrist braces and had me take it to the Physical Therapy department. "Please restrain her thumbs," she wrote on it.

I spent the last two days laughing to myself imagining various Steve Martin-esque afflictions where my thumbs were jumping all around of their own wild and crazy accord. Then I imagined doing that seventies thumbs-up dance like Elaine on Seinfeld. When I went in today to get fitted for my braces, the physical therapist took out some standard wrist braces. "Oh no," I said, "you're going to have to restrain my thumbs," and then my eyes started watering because I was trying so hard not to giggle.

They took out their super cool plastic and heated it with warm water and molded wrist braces for me. We had a long discussion about the kind of plastic and how I could have all their scraps and use them to make things, remold handles on tools, keep bezels with stones in place while I set them and more. I was then given a stern warning that I was not to cut up my braces for art projects just because my wrists start feeling a little better. "You can," she winked at me, "decorate them with permanent marker if you like."

I agreed to wear them if I wasn't working and that maybe I'd wear one while taking care of Lyra. That mostly left sleeping, so I could deal with that. I was feeling pretty happy about things and I went to the cafeteria at the hospital before another appointment and tried to eat a tuna melt.

Somewhere between having the cashier put my change in my wallet for me and trying to clumsily pick up a dripping sandwich in my fingers I stopped smiling. It finally hit me: this actually sucks. I've actually been demoted down the evolutionary ladder. Even that thought was funny enough to get me through my next appointment. Then I tried to turn the key in the ignition of my car. This is the solution to high gas prices: restrain your thumbs.

When I got home I ate a big bowl of consolation ice cream and the post lady brought a package to the door and saw the braces and offered to bring me my mail, too. When I opened the package it was an unexpected present from the ever-amazing West Coast Bethany. The world was righted again.



At 1:34 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Hee hee, yay, I feel famous! And now I really understand your wrist braces. What a drag!! I had carpal tunnel near the end of my last pregnancy; it SUCKED. But I didn't have any problems afterwards.

Hugh recently started having mystery pain in a few fingers, but it was only a few days ago that it hit his thumbs, and he's kind of freaked about it. He has always appreciated having opposable thumbs more than the average person, who it seems takes it for granted. Plus he's recently started playing guitar again and he's going to be so sad if arthritis (or whatever this is) forces him to stop.

ANYWAY, I hope you get your thumbs back soon!! Don't you just hate it when medical issues come in batches??

West Coast Bethany


Post a Comment

<< Home