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Wrist Saga Continues

Jul 20, 2016 5:33 PM

The wrist saga continues..... This is Long (at least it looks long based on my iPhone 4. Also, please excuse any spelling mistakes as 1) I'm using a phone keyboard and 2) I'm using my L non dominant hand.

This sounds like a stupid/no brainier question but just stick with me for a minute and see how complicated it really is.

I saw my psych doc today (who used to be a pain specialist who became one because he is a chronic pain sufferer). He suggested 5 options for pain control. I can do as many as I want but some do conflict with each other.

Also, keep in mind I'm a manual wheelchair user. None of the below options will interfere w current meds and my upcoming EMG.

1) Stop ALL activities. Take 2-4 weeks off work. (He would send me to a pain doc who would put me on short term disability). Camp out in family room. Hire a nurse so I don't have to use my wrists/arms for any transfers (i.e transfer from bed, to chair to couch and then couch, to chair, to toilet, to chair, to couch, etc). If I can manage it cook w L arm/hand only or order out, sandwiches, etc for food. Wear a glove and use a towel and put arm on ice for 15 minutes every waking hour. Check fingers every 3 minutes for color (I have a pretty severe case of Raynaud's). If there is an injury to the nerve or muscle or tendon this *might* help (or not). Wear large hand brace w long sleeves and gloves except when moving around house then wear OTC hand brace. I will be confined to bed rest in own home for this period. My mother is close and *may* help me or else I'm on my own. My mom doesn't understand chronic/acute pain, She thinks I should be able to take a Tylenol and just get on w life.

2) Limit activities. OTC hand brace when going from place to place and transferring. Large hand brace and arm in sling when not moving. )Obviously stop all summer sports) I could take short term disability if I wanted or talk to HR about accommodations while arm is in big brace. (I.e Voice to Text program instead of typing). I already have some slight accommodations already so HR knows who I am.

I live in COLORADO where marajania is legal.

3) go to a marajania store and get a patch containing a CBD/THC combo. About 2:1 and some CBD drops that you hold under your tongue for 10-15 minutes. These type of stores only take cash. The patches are about $10 each and only last about 4-6 hours

Or

4) marajania store and get something called Classic Hemp Blend 102 pills for about $40. They contain no THC. Plus the drops under tongue 15 drops 2x/day.

He had heard #3 is more effective for pain control than #4. But # 4 is cheaper.

5) start LDN. Can do option 1 or 2 & option 3 or 4.

Most of my meds are; Cymbalta 60mg (was on 120mg and 90mg but it kept triggering manic episodes), Depakote ER 1,000 mg, Lyrica 300mg BID, Namenda 10mg, Adderall 30 mg am & 15 mg at lunch, a host of asthma drugs 3 inhalers and Singulair, OTC Aleave 1,000mg am and 500mg pm, 400 mg Plaqenil BID, a topical NSAID 2g on wrist and fingers and 2 g on arm and elbow, 4x/day. Can't remember name. And a sleeping pill (new so don't remember the name).

I tried my TENs unit on my wrist and pulled it off frantically when it was on the lowest setting. Some one suggested I try it further up my arm. Still a no go. I have to take it almost to my shoulder and by then it's no longer blocking the correct nerve. My Neuro said no heat in case there is inflammation. I had blood work (Including ANA/SED Rate) and X rays on Monday which all turned out normal (for me)

I have an EMG & Nerve Conduction Test on August 3 from R hand finger tips to neck. So far all my EMGs and NCTs have always been "interesting but inconclusive". I know it's a negative attitude but I expect this upcoming one will have the same results and nothing will be done to heal or fix the problem.

I have been diagnosed with an unspecified auto immune disorder (which mimics Lupus, MCTD, Fibromyalgia, and a couple others that are Orphan Diseases) and an unspecified neuromuscular disease (that seems to mimic lots of the muscular dystrophy's).

Since July 4th my pain in my arm/wrist/elbow had slowly crept from occasionally 6/10 to now a pretty constant 8 or 9/10 with absolutely no use of the hand/arm. It is in the big brace and in a sling except when I need to get around then it goes into OTC brace and pain shoots to 9/10. Also my Hydrocodone (strongest dose) doesn't help and I can't take oral morphine.

With this info the obvious answer is #1 with 3 or 4 and 5.

My mom is urging me to do only option 1. But unless she is willing to give me money that is not possible. I am already having to dip into my savings because of this.

I'm thinking option 1 on weekends, 2 during the week, trying 3 or 4 during weekends and starting #5.

I've been off work since Monday on sick leave but that is running out soon.

I've tried self massage and even the lightest touch hurts. I've never had luck with acupuncture. I'm doing as much guided pain relief imagery &/or meditations as I can find online for free. Even moving my fingers slightly hurts now. My Neuro mentioned that my R arm is starting to atrophy because of lack of use.

I know this might turn into a chronic problem so I am learning how to do everything by myself w my L non dominant hand.

I've been a chronic pain suffer from almost 20 years but I'm at a loss for this one.

Open to ideas, suggestions, etc. The only thing I'm NOT willing to try at the moment is getting an electric chair and van. I don't have the $ for it. And I have no idea (or $) how to rent them till this problem is fixed - which I have no idea on how long that will take!

When responding to the option question be honest with yourself. What would you honestly do? I say this because my first response was 1, 3 and 5. But after thinking about it / I really can't do that. I'm too active and enjoy/need some independence. So unless I get some support and $ from my mom #1 probably won't happen.

Thanks!

Jul 20, 2016 6:45 PM

ArH, do you have covered LTD leave at work? In 2010 I took off 2 mos for surgery and it went against my STD (vacation/sick/annual days). After I was unable to return it went under the company's LTD insurance, which didn't matter that had no available days left. I collected LTD pay for 6 mos. It would be worth checking into. If you can take option 1. Would your insurance cover a nurse, or maybe county health services? My sister has disability so when she had her stroke the home health services sent PT, OT & speech therapists out 3x a week at no cost to her. I'm not sure if that's an option for you.

If it turns out you can't take option 1 then of course go with option 2, but it may take much longer to heal. And what if the EMG shows something you will need to take a long leave for?

As for 3 & 4, consider your cost. Which is more affordable to you? That would be my determining factor. On 5, what is LDN?

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