Well, I’ve gone and done it. After dealing with the stupid numbness in my hand over the summer, I’ve finally gotten to the point where an actual issue is going on. We moved at work, see, and the new location has very old desk with old-style keyboard trays that don’t hold the mouse. With my issue, I have to have the mouse at keyboard height – it’s that whole ergonomic thing, you know, where all your joints need to be at 90 degree angles and such.
For the past three weeks, however, I’ve been using my mouse on my desk, which is a good six inches, maybe higher, than it should be, angling my arm in weird ways, putting pressure right on the ulnar nerve and causing pain and numbness. It’s not a good thing, and this week things came to a head – I have constant, burning pain in my wrist and the pinky side of my hand, plus pain in my fore- and upper-arm from the strain.
So now I’m wearing my dumb wrist brace, the kind you see people who have carpal tunnel syndrome wearing, and everyone’s asking me “Do you have carpal tunnel?” And of course I say no and have to go through this long explanation – basically, that the ulnar nerve is the nerve on the other side of the hand, a nerve that controls the pinky and ring finger, and in my case it’s either compressed or pinched somewhere in my wrist or near there, and because of that my fingers go completely numb and sometimes hurt a lot.
After only a day of this I’m kind of getting to the point where I want to start making up horrible afflictions. Reality just isn’t all that impressive and people want something spectacular. I’m thinking of saying that maybe my hand was run over by a train, or maybe I blocked a bullet, or there’s a terrible burn under this. Because, you know, people tend to blow off the possibility of permanently losing the usage of two fingers, especially when they’re just your pinky and ring finger. The key word there being “your” – put them in the same situation where “your” becomes “my” and they’ll be pretty freaked out, too. I mean, come on, do you want your hand to always look like this?
I didn’t think so.