March 27, 2012

Carpal Tunnel

I started having carpal tunnel symptoms in high school. I played piano my whole life, but seriously for over ten years, until I went to college.  During college breaks I worked at Subway, which wreaked havoc on my wrists.  Taking notes furiously in college sure didn't help things. 

Somewhere during that time, I saw a specialist who gave me some wrist braces, prescribed me Aleve, and sent me on my way. 

Brilliant girl that I am, I took up crocheting. 

After graduating, my job required a lot of computer time which really seemed to cause a progression.  (If I'm going to be honest, I am of the computer/internet generation, so I've always spent quite a bit of time on the computer.)

Interestingly, the aforementioned job was SUPER high-stress.  And so was my next one (five choleric women in one room?  Yeah.)  But then I got to be a stay-at-home mom.  Not that it's not stressful, but it's a different kind of stress than that of the workplace. 

In July 2005, between the first and second jobs, I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist.  Ugh, I remember waking up during surgery, barely being able to squeak out to the anesthesiologist that I needed more pain meds.  Yikes.

Oh, boy, the few weeks around my surgery was nuts.  My mom flew out to Virginia to help me with the surgery.  I had to MOVE into a new apartment right before surgery and I still had to unpack after my surgery, but I wasn't able to do much because it hurt. 

Since then, my right wrist has always been better than my left and rarely bothers me, except during pregnancy. During my pregnancies (May 2006-January 2007 and April 2009-January 2010), my carpal tunnel was much worse, even in my right.

STTM reports carpal tunnel symptoms in thyroid patients.  I have to wonder how many thyroid patients deal with serious carpal tunnel issues, and how much of this is directly related to their thyroid dysfunction?  I'll probably never know, but I'm curious.