Monday, June 28, 2010

The descent into insanity....

Want to know how to push a creative person over the edge? Take away the use of both arms. Instead of getting better, I now have flare ups in both arms. I'm wearing a splint on each one. Tasks as simple as opening my toothpaste cap are becoming painful. I am typing this with one finger. Next week, I am being hooked up to Electrodes and having a nerve conduction test that lasts 1 1/2 hrs. I can't get a consult with a hand surgeon until August 4th. I don't know how I will last over a month like this. I am sorry to be a "Debbie Downer" but this just plain sucks. I am a busy body by nature, and not being able to use my computer much, write, paint, draw, do my hair, drive very far, etc is making me nutty. I feel like a prisoner in my own house. If it wasn't 95 degrees out, I could at least go for walks. I don't handle heat well, nor do my swollen arms. A lot of people seem to think that carpal tunnel is just numbness and some stiffness in the fingers. It can be that, but it can also be nerve pain in your forearms that feels similar to when you hit your "funny bone" on a wood table. I won't be doing much blog updating for a while, and have stopped using twitter. I will keep my Etsy stores open ( going to need surgery money!), but won't be adding new things anytime soon. I have some finished paintings, but don't think I can handle all the typing needed to do the Ebay listings. Too many pictured to resize, and html to write.
Thanks for listening. I hope you'll start visiting my blog again when my hands/arms are better and my creative life can resume. Take care friends!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The verdict...

I got back from the doctor today with a diagnosis of carpal tunnel AND tendonitis. I wasn't expecting both. He thinks I already had the carpal tunnel for a while and the tendonitis is making it worse, and most likely occurred from lifting heavy items (i.e luggage) while I was on vacation. That's when the pain started. So for now, he has me on a super-pack, one week dosage of Prednisone, Aleve for pain, and if that doesn't take care of to the occupational therapist for shots or surgery. If I can get rid of the tendonitis and do the suggested exercises for the carpal tunnel, maybe I won't need surgery. I worry because my husband works long hours, and we don't have any family nearby to help me with daily stuff that requires 2 hands/my right hand. Right now, I am off to ice my arm and relax a bit. Have a nice weekend! I will check in next week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Update on life in general....

I took some time off from blogging to rest my right arm, and learn to use the mouse with my left. It took about 2 days to master it. I can't really do much in Photoshop with my left hand though. I'm not THAT ambidextrous. I've scaled back on phone calls too. I've been trying to pick things up with my left hand and do other things, like vacuum and clean with my lefty. However, putting on my makeup, getting dressed, shaving, doing my hair, and cooking are a wee bit too dangerous to attempt with my clumsy left hand. I have my Dr. appointment tomorrow morning. I don't know if there are any specific tests they will do. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
In the mean time, I was going stir crazy not creating ANYTHING. I decided to set aside my "tight" more detailed painting, and mess around with some collage mixed media work. I've been spending a small amount of time on a painting each day and just have a few finishing touches. It was fun to get a bit loose and take a break from painting faces. I have given up on my stamped jewelry all together for who knows how long. Hammering sends shooting pains up my wrist to my elbow.
So, that's what's going on in my corner of the world. I'm pretty much staying inside until this horrible heat wave weather in Florida is over with. I hate the summers down here as much as I hated the -20 degree weather in Minnesota. Our air conditioner is having a hard time keeping up with the 96 degree temps and hot sun beating down on our house. Ick!
I will check in later, when I have pics of the new painting. Take care!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Art and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Well, this is my fabulous new fashion accessory. It makes using the computer very difficult and painting pretty much impossible for now. While on vacation, I started waking up at night with numbness and tingling in my wrist and forearm. Then, the pain kicked in if I picked up anything over 6 pounds or moved my hand in a funny position. I had noticed stiffness in my fingers and hands after driving, long before we left, but figured it was just because it makes me tense. I've had tendonitis before and know the drill, so I started on Advil and got myself a wrist brace as soon as we got home. I can't get into the doctor's office until June 18th, so I will have to wait for a verdict. It sounds like Carpal Tunnel though. I was really depressed for the first few days, then looked up artists with carpal tunnel on google. I found blogs and other stories of artists being able to eventually return to their creating after surgery, so that gave me hope. I wish I would have been doing better arm exercises in the first place. If you create with your hands, I suggest looking into it now, rather than later. I may have ended up with it anyways. Women with a history of hypothyroidism and a small frame (both of which apply to me) are more likely to develop it. So, I will share pics of 2 paintings I finished prior to vacation. They may be all there is for a while. ) :