Friday, February 24, 2017

These hands

Well, this "hand," to be more exact.

I'm afraid for it.


I used to suspect I was getting carpal tunnel back when I worked full-time at the newspaper, but maybe that's because so many editors were wearing those braces.

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, after all.

So I bought one and I wore it. It was cheap and plastic-y and beige, and it didn't feel good. But it wasn't supposed to feel good, was it? Was it helping? Was it saving my wrist? No idea.

I threw the brace away years ago, but now I'm going to buy another. A better one. The best damn brace money can be!

It's my hand, you see. It's not doing well. 


My fingertips are scarred and calloused from hand-quilting, so most of the time I can't unlock my iPhone with my fingerprint.

I always have a few cuts here and there because I'm clumsy and in constant motion.

I don't take very good care of my nails these days, and there is often paint in my cuticles.

But what worries me is my fingers. The way they feel.

***

My thumb, pointer finger, middle finger and ring finger are stiff a lot. (The pinky is fine and dandy, other than being naturally crooked,* and a fine-and-dandy pinky is a pretty sure indication that you've got carpal tunnel because it's connected to a different nerve.)

*The kids both have crooked pinky fingers and it makes me so happy. It's their little piece of me, in bodies that look so much like their dad.

They're stiff and sometimes sore. I've been waking up in the night to numb fingers for the last few months, which is unnerving. (Bad pun.) My wrist feels FINE -- it's my fingers that are the problem.

These fingers -- my right hand -- can't let me down.

I know I'm asking a lot of it/them, though. Typing for hours a day (and mousing). Sewing. Painting. Building. Knitting. Writing. Sketching. All of it -- all of it needs my right hand. My mental health needs my right hand, because my mental health needs all of those things.

I regularly panic about the idea that I might fall down the stairs and break my right hand/wrist because I know what it would mean. It would be a disaster.

And so I keep training myself to do more and more things left-handed. I keep running my right hand under freezing cold water and then warm water to refresh it, like my massage therapist suggested. (It really does help.) And I'm going to buy a brace -- like, today.

This hand is too important to fall apart on me.

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