Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Bad Week Made Worse

This week was a difficult week at work. There is a problem on the project I'm working on, a problem that's occupying quite a bit of my time. I've also been helping fill in for another person, who was out all week on vacation, and there were some problems that showed up today with that project. And, as it turns out, there was another issue that popped up on a project I'm consulting on. I love being busy, and I love that my co-workers feel that they can rely on me, but it still made for a rather trying week. I'm glad that the weekend is here, and that I should be able to relax a bit over the next 3 days.

This was a bad week, injury-wise.
My left thumb, sprained about 5 weeks ago, had a flare-up over the last week or so. It felt like my thumb was getting better, excepting for pinching and doing a wide grip, but then it started really hurting again, like it did just after I first sprained it. It hurt enough that I decided to go see a hand doctor. I opted not to see the hand doc who did my first hand surgery (Dr. Leo Rozmaryn at The Orthopaedic Center in Rockville, MD), but ended up seeing Dr. Miller of Town Center Orthopaedics in Reston, VA (he's much closer). I don't think I'll ever go back to Dr. Berdia, the one who did my 2nd hand surgery. Anyway, Dr. Miller said that for a normal person, because the thumb is difficult to "not use," it can take a couple months to get back to 100%. He also mentioned that I'm not "normal" (given that it seems likely that I have Ehlers-Danlos, or at least some form of Hypermobility Syndrome).

My right hand, broken 3 times, also started hurting more again. Maybe it's that I've been using it more, since hurting my left thumb, but it's definitely feeling worse than usual. Don't get me wrong, my right hand (5th metacarpal, specifically), has been hurting for over a year now, I'm kind of used to it...but this is actually hurting more than it usually does. If normally, a "bad" day is a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale (with a "bad" day coming once every 2 weeks or so), this last week or so it's been an 8.5 out of 10 (where every day has had a bad moment). I guess the only up-side here is that once I'm ready to deal with my right hand again, I feel comfortable going back to see Dr. Miller, instead of driving all the way up to Rockville. I got kind of frustrated after my last hand surgery, that the surgery really seemed to do nothing for the pain or the other symptoms, and that the doc didn't seem to know what to do next. On top of being frustrated, life's been incredibly busy since then (various spacecraft in 24/7 testing), and given that I've got 2 launches coming up this year (programs I'm directly involved in), I'm trying to wait until after at least the first launch to see another doc again. That should co-incide nicely with figuring out if I do in fact have Ehlers-Danlos, for whatever that'll be worth.

Finally, my hip has started flaring up again over the last 3 days. Maybe it's got to do with me doing the elliptical so much...I usually flip a coin before figuring out what my cardio is going to be at the gym. I'm at the gym, on average, 5-7 days per week. I lift on 2 of those days, so it's 30 minutes of cardio followed by an hour of lifting. On the other days, I just do cardio, for a little over an hour. Two weeks ago, I had an entire week of flipping "tails," which corresponds for me to doing the exercise bike. Last week, it was an entire week of flipping "heads," corresponding to the elliptical. This week, it's been 2 days of elliptical and 1 day of bike so far (I took off on Monday). While training this afternoon (lifting day), I felt my hip hurting. Now that I'm home, it hurts to roll onto my side. I guess this is probably my tendonitis coming back, but I had hoped that it was gone. I had a cortisone injection in my hip about 7 weeks or so ago, and it was feeling pretty good, but now that it's hurting to roll onto my side, or do certain motions, I'm a bit...nervous. I guess if it persists I'll have to go back to an orthopod, maybe get into some physical therapy. Have I mentioned how much I hate PT?

To top it all off, my ankle's been feeling stiff/sore all week. I guess it's normal, it's hard for me to tell. It's been 4 years and a week or so since my fusion, and it's been feeling great in general, but this week has been especially uncomfortable.

Oh well. 3 day weekend, that can only be good, right?


BugsMom said...

Have you considered using ring splints? My daughter has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and they have helped a lot to increase joint stability in her fingers. She has them on all ten digits and loves them!

Wendy said...

Just don't keep setting a date in further in the future to take care of your right hand. If we're going to ride across the country on our bikes (or at least together in a century), we'll both need to be healthy. :O)

Anonymous said...

hi, what type of ehlers danlos do you have? i'm trying to find out through the skin stretch version, because i have the skin stretch, but they are told me, i have the hypermobile type, but i thought this kind do not have the skin stretch. can you tell me if you skin stretch or not, and what type of ehlers-danlos is this? thank you for the information.

kristin said...

I do not know which type of EDS I have (or if I have it at all), yet. I have an appointment for the middle of September at the genetics clinic at Hopkins. My orthopaedists seem to think I've got the hypermobile type (Type III, maybe?), but just looking around using Google, it seems that there is some overlap between the types.

Sorry I can't be more helpful. I'll be posting info as I get it, so if I find something out later, I'll be sure to post it.