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21 January 2009

Right ulnar neuropathy [More:] Say what?

As a follow-up to my previous post, I have a pinched nerve in my right arm. Specifically the ulnar nerve (correctly diagnosed on IRC by lysdexic, thank you). If you look at this image, everything that's in light blue (on the hand, not up by the shoulder) is numb with occasional tingling. I also have weakness in the hand and my grip is suffering. I don't drop big things, but small fiddly things like keys are a real bitch (add that to the fact that most doors are set up for righties and also that there's over 2' of snow on the ground and you have a lot of time spent searching for dropped keys).

I had a nerve conduction test and an EMG to localize the problem, so hopefully I'll know soon exactly where the pinch is. I'm supposed to start PT ASAP and get retested in 6 weeks. I also have to consult with a hand surgeon to get an idea whether surgery will be necessary. Hopefully, once I know where the problem is, we can sort it out with PT. I didn't need surgery to pinch the nerve, so I shouldn't need it to unpinch the damn thing.

The nerve conduction test is quite an ordeal. I usually pride myself on being a good patient and submitting quietly to whatever testing, procedures, or needles are necessary. But wow. The nurse* who did my initial exam came in and asked if I was cured yet. I said, "I'm cured of any curiousity I had about sticking a fork in an electrical socket." The neurologist said he had to turn the current up so high because nothing was getting through. =(

* Cute nurse was cute. And flirty. And married. And flirty. She saw my toenails (which still have the holiday red and green polish on them) and I think that's what set her off. Ladies love a man who knows the value of a decent pedicure. Or something. "They come a-runnin' just as fast as they can. Every girl's crazy 'bout a sparkley-toed man."

This is post #400 for me. I apologize for nothing.
/me boggles at intersection of KLR and pedicure circles on Venn diagram

Feel better, old chap.
posted by Triode 21 January | 22:01
I had a nerve conduction test and an EMG to localize the problem

Owowowowowowow. Yeah.

I was in braces for six weeks, no PT or surgery. They also advised me to take B vitamins, specifically 6 and 12, to rebuild the myelin sheath. I don't know if that is part of your problem or not.

Be fanatic about the PT. I'm pullin' for ya. Ergonomically, of course.
posted by lysdexic 21 January | 23:15
Owie. I hope the surgery proves unecessary. That must be pretty frustrating, not having the strength of your hand. Good luck.
posted by Miko 21 January | 23:23
I figured I'd let you folks know. I plan to be a bit less typey as I rest my arm.
posted by Eideteker 21 January | 23:39

No, really, get well soon. Sounds pretty scary. Hang in there, do what the good doctor tells you, and you'll be shipshape in no time, chum.
posted by Hugh Janus 21 January | 23:42
We need to build a metachat infirmary. Right now we have jonmc and Eideteker in the whirlpool for PT, and I myself just got out of the quarantine ward. Somebody mix us a cocktail.
posted by taz 21 January | 23:52

Being quarantined with taz doesn't sound like a bad thing at all. Can I request a transfer?
posted by Eideteker 22 January | 08:45
Ouch. Wow, take care of yourself, man.
posted by rainbaby 22 January | 09:01
Yowza, Eide. Hope this gets sorted out with PT.
posted by gaspode 22 January | 09:07
I feel like I've just finished a particularly difficult quest || I Love Fruitcake