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The Thumb Verdict

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So I went to the ortho clinic this morning up at the Air Force Academy. I arrived about 20 minutes early, got all checked in, and they sent me down the hall to get more xrays done. It was super quick though because the medical clinic had just opened so I was the first person to get to xray! After my xrays I went back to the ortho clinic and waited about 10 minutes before getting called back. And then I waited about 30 minutes before finally seeing the doctor. This is ok though because I wasnt even supposed to go to the clinic until next week, but they randomly called me and rescheduled my appointment, so I was just glad to be there at all.

The doctor was super nice and looked at my xrays and my MRI. And also just let me babble on about how I dont even know how I hurt my thumb in the first place, but it's been 6 weeks and I still cannot do everyday things like button my pants, put my hair in a ponytail, tie my shoes, etc., without being in a bunch of pain. H pressed down on my thumb in multiple areas, moved it all around, and was able to recreate the everyday pain that I have! This is kind of a big deal for me, because when my knee was hurting last year, no doctor could recreate the pain for me, and it was frustrating. So for this doctor to really put the nail on the head to wear my pain was and what was causing it, was a huge relief. Ultimately he said there is no ligament damage (my PCM thought there was). He said the MRI was probably misread because I have scar tissue from the ligament reconstruction I had when I was 17. But he did say I have a lot of inflammation surrounding the tendon, which is causing it catch. It's not a full blown "trigger finger" but its coming close. So basically, since I told him in the past week my pain has minimally decreased, he is hopeful that some occupational therapy (which I am already scheduled for in 2 weeks - but need to reschedule because I have to go out of town for work that week now) should help. He said if it doesnt improve with therapy, or if it gets worse (yikes) then I will need to get a steroid injection - and it will be really painful because its basically injected in the palm of your hand!! Then he said worse case scenario - if none of that helps, then there will be surgery to release the tendon a little bit. He said that is highly unlikely, and the therapy alone should help, but it could take a while before I am back to normal. And I will have to continue to wear the brace I've been wearing for another 6 weeks. (which means no weight lifting for a while).

I just want to get better. I worked late tonight, but I am feeling better since yesterday, so I guess that is good. I am still not really looking forward to the inspection, mostly because I dont want to get asked strange questions by the inspectors that I dont know the answers to. And I dont want to get pulled into an exercise. I think inspections are kind of stupid - they want to see that you are working well and complying as a unit, but what it really does is take you away from doing your actual job. One of the commanders recently said "i could care less about this inspection - I am more worried about the 3 satellites in the sky that I am responsible for." Aint that the truth. Oh, and although I am signed up to run a 5k this weekend (!!) we all found out today there is a good possibility we will all be called in to work this weekend for an exercise - so now I may not even get to run the race, and I already paid for it! So annoying. BUT it is what it is.

Havent worked out yesterday or today (but at least I ate well today!) but tomorrow is morning office PT so I'll probably get a treadmill run in then.

PS - anyone who owns a really nice digital camera - what do you have? I have a small fuji point and shoot that my parents bought me last year and it doesnt really take the best pictures. I want to get something nicer with better picture quality, but I dont want to break the bank. Any thoughts??
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