Exhausted, I lay my head down, the TV on its usual timer to go off after about 30 minutes or so. (totally against what the so called experts advise) I turn to the wall wrapping my tender arm over a pillow as my PT guy advised.
There really is no position pain-free, just positions that hurt less. My groggy eyes close. Quieting my thoughts is always a huge challenge to my sleep efforts. I have learned over time to keep evenings calm and zone out watching TV. (another NO NO from the experts who say TV rots the brain) TV quiets my body and spirit that live constantly overstimulated by a world that moves too fast.
If I get too busy in the evenings I upset the delicate equilibrium of my psyche and cannot fall asleep. But on this night I am far too ready to nod off after many hard nights of being up. As I begin to drift off a thought hit me hard like a gong—wrist braces.
Over the years ‘the too much girl’, me, finds a crochet project I like and I do it repetitively. I caused myself serious symptoms of carpal tunnel more than once, in fact, several times. My doctor at the time explained the cure, how nice of him.
“The surgeon slices open the area between your hand and elbow exposing the nerves,” he happily chortled, turning my arm over and sliding his finger down the area to be hacked open like an autopsy.
I chose wrist splints instead and wore them religiously and cut down drastically on crochet time. I could do little bits at a time before my forearm became numb, about a row or two a day.
Because I was recently so sick in the hospital, my impinged shoulder took back seat to the life-threatening blood loss caused from the high potency NSAID— meant to relive pain not kill me. I’d turn in the hospital bed throwing the useless arm over with me. After coming home, I was too weak to start back up with my physical therapy appointments, but did dig in with exercises once I could stand up without fainting. I started back up where I had left off more than a week prior, big mistake. The problem?. . . “No pain, no gain” does not apply.
In trying to do the right thing, I not only impeded progress but made things worse. When I finally regained enough strength to resume physical therapy, my PT guy had a weeping woman on his hands.
“I have made things worse,” I peeped out, barely heard as big fat tears rolled down my cheeks against my will.
He assures me I have not caused further injury, or rips in the tendon, just a bit of backsliding. We had to start back at the beginning. Upon leaving his clinic I also mentioned that I had a new symptom, shooting pains and electrical tingles right down the arm, into the forearm all the way to my thumb.
He mumbled something about nerve involvement and sent me on my way. Without realizing how his words would affect me, my hyper-ness shot through the roof as I walked to the car. Nerve involvement? That doesn’t sound good.
In the meantime, when my body was still trying to recover from so much blood loss, and tiredness had become my new best friend, I needed quiet activities to keep me busy. I didn’t like feeling like a total blob and wanted to still be productive.
The ginormous blanket I began in September for my daughter-in-law needed much work in order to be done by Christmas. Unfortunately I had started off with way too many rows, but once I realized my mistake I refused to take it all out and start over. The thing will cover a king sized bed instead of being the lap afghan intended, maybe even the entire length of a room.
So away I went, crocheting, crocheting, crocheting.
I’m crying at PT about the tingles down my arm but still not connecting the dots until it was too late. I have added a flare up of carpal tunnel to my already injured arm.
“And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap…”
As I lay my head down last night, it finally occurred to me what I had done, and what cures my carpal tunnel flare-ups. And I also realized that getting out of bed to put on the brace would wake me completely and make my sleepiness disappear. It doesn’t take much. I found it in the closet and strapped in on, climbing back into bed with high hopes… soon dashed.
Samuel came in quietly, and after gently climbing into bed, began snoring almost immediately. Sometimes I just hate him. It was all over for me. Grabbing a Xanax on the way out, I resign myself to the fact that my new doctor will have to give me another refill of a drug doctor’s are super reluctant to prescribe these days. And for good reason. It’s the drug of choice for those that get hooked.
It is the drug that killed my sweet, young niece at only 30 years old. It is a drug that saved me on countless occasions from having full blown panic attacks over the last 25 years since Raymond prescribed it. He had to persuade me to even use it as pill taking is not something I’m fond of.
I use it sparingly. I hate having to use it. I refill the prescription just once a year. I may need to have it filled twice this year considering the many medical things that have caused so many sleepless nights and worries.
Losing sleep over time causes insanity. I am not getting dressed today, and luckily I have Samuel to play with Cindy. Her laughter as they play together is so warming to my heart and soul. I am thankful.
One last confession. My issues with comforting a soul starving for love is stuffing it with food. At least that way one place feels full. At 1 am that is what I did after several weeks of tiny healthy meals that I should be eating.