I have a numb pinky!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Eric_L, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    A few days ago I notices a tingling numbness in my pinky and half of my ring finger on my left hand, extending to the wrist. I was freaked out. I went to web MD and it says it could be a minor thing.. or maybe MS. nice.

    A few days later I found this:
    http://www.carpaltunnels.com/cts/cubitaltunnel.html

    It describes my condition perfectly. It probably happened while I was in a marathon Space Empires IV game, or it could have been sleeping later that night with my arm bent up under my head, or maybe just laying on the floor before the TV resting my head on my hand/elbow.

    Regardless, the compresion/flexing of my elbow has irritated the nerve and now my hand will be numb until the nerve has a chance to heal. I am not supposed to bend my elbow more than 30 degrees. That means my arm hangs at my side most of the day. (I am getting good at one-handed typing) Now my fingers are all swolen from the fluids running into my hand. Try eating a burger with one hand sometime - messy!

    My big fat numb fingers. This sux. I wish it would hurry and heal.

    I thought I'd share my experience here to see if anyone else has experienced it or as help to anyone else with a numb pinky. If you do, don't freak - read the link.
     
  2. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    I had submuscular ulnar transposition (move the funny bone under the muscle) in June of '03. I tried a conservative treatment at first but opted to have the operation after the symptoms got too to be too much. I have some wonderful pics of my arm if you want to see. It took about six weeks of physical and occupational therapy to get me back to normal. My symptoms were a tad worse than yours (loss of strength in lower half of my hand and a constant feeling that I had just wacked my funnybone.......very painful). The whole "keep it straight" all the time is much easier said than done, especially during sleep. Good luck!
     
  3. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Get some carpal splints, and wear them to bed. That way, you can't bend your wrist in your sleep. It helps me a lot when I get a flare up.

    Also, aspirin. Something with an anti-inflammatory agent (not Tylenol, or other pain relievers).

    Lastly, watch your diet. Lower salts (for the fluid). And, for me, when I am on my low carb diet, my arthritis and carpal feel 100x better. When I cheat, I feel crappy the next day.
     
  4. Phil_L

    Phil_L Second Unit

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    I had the same thing: numb pinky and half my ring finger. Diagnosed as an ulnar nerve impingment. Doc said half of people need surgery to recover. Luckily I was in the other half, relieving the problem by being careful with my elbow and letting it heal over a couple months. Ibuprofen helped quite a bit. You should see an orthopedic surgeon.
     
  5. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    A couple MONTHS! Nooooo! I was all prepared for a few weeks at the most. Doh!

    It seemed a bit better yesterday, though when I bend it or touch my elbow (soapin in shower) I get the electric tingles.

    Last night I woke up with my arm bent, so I got an ace to wrap it with tonight. Not sure if today is better or worse.

    I wasn't sure about asperin or ibuproin, I tried some to no effect. Maybe I'll try again.

    I relly hate going to my doctor and hoped this would go away on its own . A 50% surgery rate is daunting...

    Thanks everyone for the input.
     
  6. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    Don't confuse CARPAL tunnel with CUBITAL tunnel. The ulnar nerve (funny bone) runs across the lower part of the elbow into the hand. In my case, the nerve was crushed by my elbow whenever it was bent. If left untreated, the muscles in the hand can permanantly atrophize. Physical Therapy does not help, and in some cases, hurts. My surgeon has a custom brace made for me to keep my arm straight. After six weeks of using the brace there was no improvement. In fact, I got much worse.

    See a good hand surgeon. Maybe a custom brace will do the trick for you. At worst it will get you out of household chores!
     
  7. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    thanks for the info mark. I am lucky, no pain. Lately it has a 'warm' feelimg, sorta like after you restore circulation after it falls asleep. Still numb/tingly, but warm too. weird.
    I see my physician Thursday. I took off the ace, i think it was compressing the nerve. I tried ibuprofin - no effect.

    So far the most difficulty i have is blowing my nose. Try it with one hand, it ain't easy - but is sure messy! (yuk!)

    Sleep is hard too. I got rude cramps in my bicept last night. I cain't wait till this is over.

    I'll have to ask my Doc about chiropractic help. There may be something they can do. I have Cigna HMO, I don't know if they cover.
     
  8. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I damaged my ulnar nerve (at the point it's in the elbow) back when I was 12. It's gotten a lot better over the years, but it's still not perfect. Half of my hand and my pinky are tingly a lot of the time, but I've learned to live with it. The doctors I saw said there wasn't much to do but try to let it heal.

    Hopefully for you it gets much better. The numbness/tingling really sucks, I admit.
     
  9. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Mark, You've got mail!


    Jeff
     
  10. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Leila
    Time for a new doctor!!! Really, view my link then get a 2nd opinion. There is aa surgical fix for this. I'm just hopeful mine is minor enought to heal without it. After YEARS it is time to look at the surgery.
     
  11. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    well, I went to see my do today. He says it is probably from leaning against my desk at work. He says that with light symptoms (no pain) that conservative treatment is suitable. He thinks that I don't need to worry about bending my elbow and that ibuprofin is a waste. He only wants me to wear an elbow pad during the day so I don't bump the nerve.

    I tried a few pads on yesterday bu they all squeezed my arm too much. I'm still going to avoid using my arm and I bought a heatingpad wrap for it. According to the doc my recovery will be gradual and measured in months. crap.
     

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