Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Carpal Diem
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When excavating skellies in July, leaning down in the trench while supporting much of my weight on one wrist or the other, there were a couple days when I ended up with tingly and numb fingers. No doubt this was from pressing on nerves. It never persisted through the night, though, so I didn't think anything of it.

The same thing happened my last day there, but the numbness and fingers-went-to-sleep feeling didn't go away. It persists even now, just in the left hand: thumb and first two fingers.

So, I had a specialist check it out today, and he's confirmed that it's carpal tunnel syndrome. Mild at this point, but enough that he's given me the following steps to take:

1) wear a wrist splint at night for a month;

2) if not better, he will shoot some cortisone into the wrist and continue with the splint for another three weeks;

3) if still not better, we have to consider surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

My hunch is that this seemingly acute attack of CTS will dissipate eventually, given that it seems to have toggled on as a result of just a few days of mistreating my wrist, but of course time will tell.

In the meantime, he told me, there's no need to adjust life on account of the CTS, so I can still cycle, work at the keyboard, etc. normally.

My boss, though, has instructed me to have a campus ergonomics specialist come in and look over my work area, so that's likely to change a bit. I don't know whether my chair, desk, keyboard, or posture will require adjustment, but I suppose they will in some way or other.

Whether the excavation merely aggravated an existing borderline situation or was its own single event I cannot say. My case is mild enough that it's not painful at all, just a bit annoying with the constant numbness and slightly reduced feeling in some fingertips.

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