Left Hand… Raspberry colored Splints

As I have explained previously, this disease is symmetrical, so whatever happens on one side of my body will eventually find itself a place to settle in on the opposing side. The last couple of weeks have revealed the exact same swelling in my left hand. Same joints: left pointer MCP and the thumb. There doesn’t appear to be anything I can do to stop it or keep it subsided unless I choose to take some Western Medicine measures like cortisone injections. Last summer when I was trying to collect my scattered life after it was grossly destroyed, I took to those measures to decrease the pain that suddenly had awoke in my right hand. My Calgary surgeon had already informed me that my left wrist had suffered such irreversible damage while living in Calgary that surgery was the only way to mitigate the pain and further destruction. In Canada the only option was a wrist fusion, however I wasn’t convinced this was my only option or the right choice at the time. I knew I was going to come back to the US, so I decided to wait so I could get another opinion. Meanwhile, my right hand became the more immediate as the index and thumb pain was intense and was where all my emotional stress had decided to reside. I became desperate to try and find some type of relief, so cortisone was my temporary physical pain reliever until I finally found myself back home to start over.

The next mission I have is to try and put off surgery in my left hand for as long as possible. I now have a matching splint for my left hand that I am to wear when the inflammation is out of control, traveling, and while I am sleeping. We are hopeful this will delay surgery for a bit longer. This right hand has done me in and honestly was so much harder than I ever expected. It has brought me to my knees at times, but has also been a distraction for me in other areas of my life. My occupational therapist, Karin, has had some hard discussions with me lately regarding my disease and what lies ahead. She is working on convincing me that lifting heavy weights may be a thing of the past, however I am not ready to swallow this piece of advice just yet. We are working at compromise…

My dynamic splint came off last Thursday. Due to the increasing pain and inflammation in my left hand, Dr. Purdy and my OT felt as though the over compensation being done by my left hand was just going to make matters worse. They wanted to get me more balanced with starting to use both of my hands. A new splint was created for me to wear when I am doing anything physical, traveling, or just feel the need to have extra protection. The splint also includes my right wrist since it is the healthier of the two. I am wearing buddy straps during the day and will continue to wear my sleeping splint at night.

I see this as onward, upward, and forward… Let’s go…

Make it Count by adding balance.

Ashley Stevenson