I was going to update a couple of days ago, but last time I didn’t mention that my right hand was giving me some grief. The night before I came back from Atlanta, the thumb and forefinger started to ache, sometimes get numb, and sometimes actually feel colder than the rest of the hand! I took some Aleve, but that only helped a little. My wrist and the pad of my thumb started to throb like a toothache. It was so irritating, I started laying it off to one side when I was on the computer, and trying to use my left hand to navigate online. For the record, my left hand is incredibly dumb. Mom thinks she was born left-handed and had it beaten out of her in school. That being the case, I’ve always wondered if I had some latent potential for ambidextrous-ness, but never exhibited any trace. As in, my left hand is really, REALLY dumb. In all fairness, I’ve never really put forth a lot of effort to try and train it, though. Over the past week and a half, I have, and it’s…a little better? Maybe?
When it got so bad that at times I couldn’t sleep, eat, or think, really, for the pain, I gave up and called my doctor. Based on what was hurting, I felt pretty sure I had done something to a nerve. This is oversimplified, but the way your hand is wired, the thumb and most of the first finger run on one nerve; the rest of the first, the middle, and part of the ring finger go on another, and most of the ring plus the pinky on a third. I racked my brain to figure out what I could have done to my hand, though, because I really hadn’t done anything unusual: no carrying heavy weights or weird exercising…but, ohhhh, there was that binge of crocheting before the con.
My doctor, who God love him is extremely knowledgeable and just a bit weird (in the best possible way) agreed, and said I really didn’t need him because I had already diagnosed myself pretty accurately. I said ‘yeah but I don’t know what to do to fix it!’ So my assignment was get some stronger Aleve and a nice hand splint, and call him in 3 weeks or so with an update.
I am such a big dork, I put the splint on, and my first thought—no, actually, my first thought was ‘wow, that does feel better’—okay, my second thought was ‘darn, if it were red, I could make it look like an Iron Man repulsor gauntlet. I could’ve worn it to the con!’
Only took a couple of minutes to decide, who cares about the color, I’ll just say it’s a stealth gauntlet. LOL. Now I can blast the TV when something I don’t like comes on. Some of us are very easily amused. (I suppose I should be totally humiliated by myself, sometimes, shouldn’t I? Well, I’ve decided by my age, it’s just too darn late to change.)
One thing I had tried at home that oddly seemed to help: I have a stick of headache balm, I bought online, that contains CBD. It’s derived from hemp and is supposed to be good for inflammation, among other things. I rubbed that on my hand in desperation a couple of times and thought it felt better. Might have been placebo, who knows, but when you are hurting, you really don’t care as long as something makes it go away. Anyhow, a little store just opened near my doctor’s office, that specializes in CBD products. I popped in there yesterday after my appointment to ask their advice, and left with a little bottle of a tincture to put under my tongue twice daily. It wasn’t crazy expensive and, like I said, anything is worth a try.
Between the splint (which helps far more than I thought), the CBD, and the Aleve, I finally slept through the night for the first time in over a week. Whew!
While wrangling this evidence of my advancing age (yikes) I thought I would do something I haven’t done in ages and really enjoyed. For years, mom and I and one of her best friends had a standing date to go to the state fair. We always hit a rural volunteer fire department auxiliary’s booth for bowls of white beans and fried cornbread, then wandered down the hill at the fairgrounds and down the midway. We rarely rode anything, but getting fair food and people-watching was a full-time job for the evening, and we loved it.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to get hung up in late traffic, so I decided to mosey down there around lunchtime one day this week and just take it in. imagine my surprise when I was met at the gate with the news they don’t even open now until 5 PM. Worse yet, the midway that used to cover the entire lower range of our large state fairgrounds is barely a spot at the top of a hill now. It made me so sad, I turned around and did not go back. (Since I had given myself permission to eat all the fair junk I wanted for one day, though, I kind of kept that promise by stopping at the Mexican mall and chowing down on shrimp ceviche, street corn, horchata and fresh-made churros! Hey, see, I still got my fried dough.) It’s weird, isn’t it, when you go back to something you remember and find it, or you, or both, have changed beyond recognition. Sometimes the memory is just better.
In the midst of all this, I had to go ride with mom to the doctor. Place K got concerned after her second nosebleed and set up an appointment with a nearby ENT. He was very nice, has a great bedside manner and knew his business. Mom was, well, as she is. The swiss-cheese nature of her mental function is difficult to manage, but I’ve found the best approach really is going with the flow. Occasionally she would ask where her Lisa was, when she was coming, or something like that. Now, she wasn’t agitated with me; she clearly recognized me as someone she knew who cared about her. She just didn’t always recognize me as her child. I’ve gotten past being hurt by that.
Really, I just behave toward her now pretty much the way I did toward my favorite patients, back in the day. We talked about the hurricane coming into Carolina and I pulled up some live video on my phone for her to watch. She admired my new sandals, I showed her what I liked about them, let her feel the cushioned instep, and asked if she thought I should buy another pair (hey, she didn’t have to know I already had. lol). Then I told her a little about the con and showed her some of the pictures I took, the same ones I showed y’all last post. She really enjoyed it all, and behaved herself well, even though she didn't always remember why we were at the doctor or how she got there. I kept reassuring her she was fine and i would get her safely back to her building. That particular phrase 'her building' resonates with her from when she worked as a caregiver, so I've found it helps.
We got lollipops from the doctor’s checkout window and sat in the lobby and ate them until our ride arrived. I got her settled at her table back at the facility and her staff took over bringing her lunch and asking how her appointment went. I kissed her and told her I was going to take the paperwork from the doctor to her nurse. By the time I spent a few minutes doing that, she was happily eating and didn’t call out at all as I slipped down the elevator. I count that as a win.
Well, here’s a blog post, and nary a word of what I’d promised last time. I will share more Dragon Con stories next post!