Have you ever heard of trigger thumb? I hadn’t before yesterday.

Trigger finger, yes. Leave it to me to have the oddball injury. Or so I thought.

Officially, I have tendinitis in my left thumb. I don’t even know what I did to injure it, but holy hell, it’s been super painful for about six weeks.

It might be from the fact that the mouse for my laptop is set up for the left hand; I did this many years ago after suffering from carpal tunnel-like symptoms in my right hand, especially after busy days and weeks in the office. Since I started using the mouse on the left side, I haven’t felt a twinge in either hand.

But now, I have pain to spare. It hurts (a LOT) to tie my shoes, open a door with a traditional doorknob, and even lift a glass of water. I thought babying it for a while and not using it any more than absolutely necessary would help, but it didn’t. So off to the orthopedist I went.

I have three options right now:

1. Wear a splint, or a brace, with tape around it part of the day and especially at night, because morning is when it really hurts like a sonofabitch.

2. Get a cortisone injection. This is something I can only do a few times, and it carries with it the expectation that my blood sugar would skyrocket for a while after the injection.

3. Have surgery on the tendon in my thumb.

For now, I’m opting for Step 1, because I can’t do surgery right now (for reasons I will not disclose) and because of the whole blood sugar thing with the injection. If I can avoid those two, at least for the time being, I will.

When I posted about this on Facebook last night, I found many people who have had this same injury in their own thumbs. So I’m not alone, though I wish I were. For even more detail, see this from PubMed Central and the National Institutes of Health.

For a guy who’s on the computer all day, I always thought I was pretty adept at avoiding repetitive use injuries. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the final chapter in this story.

But just like diabetes, I can’t worry about what got me here… I just have to do what I can to give myself the best chance of success going forward.

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  • Rick Phillips  On May 21, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Oh man I hate trigger thumb and finger. I like blaming my poor speaking and typing on trigger finger. Unfortunately, it is just really bad spelling.

    Liked by 1 person

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