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Wrist and Shout.

It's like the metal arm that Beyonce wears in "Single Ladies," sort of.  Or not.About two weeks ago, I had this little, nagging pain in my right wrist.  Not so much at the bendy part, but on the outside of it, right on the bone.  It was sore to the touch, aggravated by movement, and hurt when I woke up in the morning.  It seemed to get worse every day.

So, because I'm a very bright girl, I didn't do anything about it.  Instead, I went to the gym, continued to work feverishly in efforts to meet some writing deadlines, and even finished a scarf I was working on.  (Crochet.  Yes, I am a Grammie-in-Training, it seems.)

Thanks to all of this injury aggravation, I finally had to get myself to the doctor's office yesterday.  The phone call to the nurse/receptionist, as always, was awkward.

"Hi.  It's Kerri Sparling.  I think I have carpal tunnel or some nonsense."

The nurse laughed.

"Hi, Kerri.  Sure, can you come in this morning at 11:45?  So we can check out your nonsense?"

(They are so patient with me.)

"Thanks, see you at 11:45!"

When I arrived, my wrist was throbbing after a morning's worth of mouse-clicking and typing at work.   After being weighed (five pounds since the wedding - more on that later.) and having my blood pressure checked (120 over 72 - good to go), I waited for Dr. CT to visit me.

"Carpal tunnel?"  She said, walking into the room with a concerned look on her face.  "And hi, Kerri.  Carpal tunnel in diabetes is common, but let's make sure that's what you have going on."

"It hurts here," I said, pointing to the outer right hand side of my ... well, my right hand.  "And when I lift it in a pulling motion, it doesn't hurt.  But a pushing motion and a lifting motion kills."

She took my hand and pressed on the sides, asking me to flex the tendons.  "Here is the worst?"  

"Yes.  Yup, right there."  

"Well, the good news is that it isn't carpal tunnel.  It is tendinitis, though.  I'm sorry because I can tell this is making you very uncomfortable.  What I want to do is start you taking Advil three times a day, wearing a wrist brace while you sleep, and layng off the mouse as much as you can.  We need to let this rest so it can heal properly, okay?"

I'm like an addict.  My Internet-itchy fingers started to quiver.  

"Ah, staying off the mouse will be tough because I work all day on computers and I have a tendency to write a lot when I get home at night."   

She shot me a look.  

"Okay, okay, Dr. CT.  I will be mouse-free as often as possible."  Possibly a lie, but I'll try, anyway.

Tendinitis.   Another side dish that seems to come with diabetes.  Fantastico.  Anyone else have any experience with this one?  I'm looking for fast recovery and yet the ability to remain bloggy.

Edit:  Great idea from George and some folks on Twitter - might need to Bedazzle that shit! Now I just have to order one.  ;)


I had to have surgery so you may want to ask others. :(

I hate diabetes most for all the side's that come with it. I say, bedazzle it.

Ouchee. What hurts worse, the tendinitis or the mouse ban?? Oh, and no knitting lessons until you heal up. :(

Hi Kerri,

Sorry to hear about the Tendinitis. I deal with a lot of computer users, it varies what people get. I see a lot of the carpal tunnel people switching to ergonomic keyboards and trackballs or trackpads. The trackball should also help with tendinitis too I would think. Another thought is going with dictation/voice recognition software like Dragon, so you're not typing at all, just talking to your computer, and now it IS sort of listening. ;)

Had tendinitis once (Tennis Elbow to be precise) and The Wife had the wrist kind like you do. I simply stopped playing tennis for 6 weeks (tough when you worked @ the tennis courts for six yrs thru college) and The Wife got the wrist brace (with the steel rod that hurts to be hit with @ 2am!) She also switched the mouse to her let hand, a struggle @ first, but she can use both hands now for mousing. All this was before I was diagnosed Diabetic, though. Good luck, we feel your pain!

First time commenting ... love your blog and sometimes I feel like we're living in parallel universes! I just went to the doctor for CT last week. Within 15 minutes, I had a surgery scheduled. Good luck with your hand -- I know tendinitis can be very painful.

I can feel your pain (pun intended)- mine is in my right shoulder. Though I'm not diabetic, I also spend 8+ hours a day working at the computer, and an unhealthy amount of time on the computer at home(as well as knitting!) I'm a graphic designer, so telling me to lay off the mouse is like telling a surgeon to lay off the scalpel. Have you tried adjusting your work station to be more ergonomic- something as simple as raising/lowering your chair or getting a cushion to sit on could help. A keyboard tray mounted underneath your desk can help too, to get your wrists in a more natural position. I've also found that topical pain patches can provide some help- I use Absorbine Jr. or Icy-Hot. The rubs are OK too but they are kinda stinky.

miss kerri,
you should get some of the compression kind of gloves like these: http://tinyurl.com/cgpo9u

i used to use them when i did data entry piece work, they really helped!


I feel for ya, Kerri. I don't think I can go eight hours without being on the computer doing something. I love my laptop and wireless internet.

Hope it heals up fast for ya.

You kinda glanced over that 5 pounds....is there a "growing" issue you need to discuss?

Are you having a baby? We are all dying for you to have a baby. You're our Jennifer Aniston.

I certainly feel for you about the mouse ban, etc. I've had my share of hand, wrist, forearm, etc. overuse injuries (never seen to by doctor, and mostly occurring pre-diagnosis)... I've tried the stretchy glove Landileigh mentioned -- for me it is useless because I need my full fingerspan to work the keyboard correctly. My Other Half finds he does better at the computer using a trackball (specifically, the Logitech Trackman series trackballs) than with a mouse or a touchpad.

As far as the Bedazzler... I could use one for some of the costumes I do for Donovan B. Bear (I think I have one... over by my mother's). And as far as crochet... also haven't done it in a while, but I need new glasses first... I like the real tight three-dimensional Irish crochet, using nothing over size 30 crochet cotton, and I find it doesn't work without PERFECT visual correction.

Good luck with less mousing and more resting.

The brace at night Will help. Just remember to put it on. ;-)

Yes it is common amongst us. I developed "diabetic frozen shoulder" last August. It's super painful and according to the Doc and google this could take 2 years to fix itself. Needless to say I'll be happy when it does! Welcome to diabetes the later years here...another goofy thing we get!

i had something similar a few weeks ago and put one of those casts on it for a few days, it got better really quickly. Hopefully yours will too!

Would it drive you nuts to switch the buttons on your mouse and use it with your left hand for a while? In my last cube job I got in the habit of switching it up every few weeks. Really minimized the neck/back/arm pain, plus it was really entertaining anytime the IT guys had to do something with my computer.

Well, I've had "mouse shoulder" for a couple of years on and off. It really helps to move the mouse in front of you rather than to the side. I assume this would help with the wrist as well.

On a side note, I cringe every time I hear, "Oh, diabetics tend to get XYZ more." I have to believe that this is an easy, throw away excuse for all that ails us. I mean, it's not like you are sitting on your duff with your hands in your lap all day long. You are a writer/blogger. I am convinced there's no link much of the time.

Just wait until there *is* a bun in the oven. Everything from zits to morning sickness will be due to the D #not!#.Good grief. And feel better!

Sadly I have has a ot of experience with both carpal tunnel and tendonitis. I have a couple of suggestions:

My husband switched over to a track ball. He said that it helped him a lot.

I switched to an ergonomic keyboard. And tried to find as many keyboard/mouse equivalents as I could...

But, the biggest suggestion I have is to check your posture when using the computer. There are lots of websites that explain the best method. I had a tendency to slouch when using the computer. That led to everything from neck issues to wrist problems.

Keep your brace on. It really helps.

Good luck!

Kerri, I have been reading for a few weeks now, but today's post really pushed me to comment - the similarities to my life are getting absurd! You are EXACTLY 1 week older than I am (I turn 30 on Sunday) and I am getting married in six weeks. And for the past week I have been struggling with a pain in my wrist, probably due to my over-working the mouse at home and work (haven't gone to the doc yet). Oh, and did I mention I'm a type-1 diabetic, since I was 11, and just started the pump in October.

I guess I really don't have any advice on the wrist situation, but I did want you to know that finding your blog has made my ability to deal with being diabetic so much easier. I feel much more normal reading your stories of the trials and tribulations of living with this disease, and your site has opened my eyes to a whole world of people with shared experiences when I have felt very alone in living with diabetes. Thank you.

I've had tendinitis that flares up periodically in my left elbow for years (old injury, plus being left-handed). One thing that I found that helped was becoming "ambi-mouse-trous". I left-mouse at home and right-mouse at work, or vice versa. I've also gotten small pain patches that smell like wintergreen and help - called Salon-pas. Having the proper posture and keeping the keyboard and mouse at the proper level also help. Good luck!

Mine is a double whammy first this summer I took a bad fall off the work truck and almost broke the head of my bone in my arm so now i own a titanuim plate and 10 pins. Now that the bone is healed and the hardware is holding im dealing with nasty evil tenditis not only in my right wrist but from being in a cast for almost 2 months and over compensating ive got it in my left elbow too ! Im doing physical therapy 2x a week but oh my elbow just kills me ! : (

oh yes, I have it too but it comes and goes. the wristies are gorgeous - I have a black one for my left wrist and a lovely beige one for my right wrist. I actually mouse with my left hand but developed it in my right wrist first when I was a lowly rep at an insurance company using the numeric pad on the computer all day (unnecessary info...) anyway....it does feel better with advil and wrist braces when needed and I can go for months - years - without ever having trouble.

Make sure that your work area is very ergonomically correct (your work might even have people that are on site that handle this...)

Good luck! Coincidentally - I got my first bout of it just before I got pg with Ian. nudge nudge wink wink.

K - try one of these for a mouse, they look funny, and take some getting used to, but are amazingly comfortable.

I've had CT / tendinitis since a "shelf building accident" about 4 years ago. I call it my "old man wrist" (I'm *only* 32) where I can tell when it's going to rain before it actually does. Also, if you tend to use a trackpad on your laptop a lot, dont. The "over rotation" of your wrist will only aggrivate those muscles.

Also, the Microsoft Ergonomic split keyboards are a great keyboard. The split design takes some getting used to (I see a trend forming), but is fantastic for people who are on computers all day. I wish you good luck and quick healing.

I don't have tendinitis but I did just have surgery for trigger thumb ... something I was also told is common in type 1 diabetics. I feel your pain with 1) being told about yet another side dish from the betes and 2) having to "take it easy" with the mouse. It may not be easy but I'm hoping you can manage enough to feel some relief. I would think the brace would help ... I hope it does!

I had tendonitis in my left elbow, omg it hurt. I forgot what I was put on but it worked, thinking steroids, not good for bgs.

I also had surgery for carpal tunnel, it went fairly well, bad recovery, wish I would of insisted on the scope procedure, but anyhow, I learned to left mouse and now I can mouse with either hand. At work I left mouse at home right mouse.

The biggest thing is ergonomics is your wrist completely supported and is your lower arm completely level with your mouse, ARE YOU USING YOUR LAPTOP ON YOUR LAP, if so STOP!!!

Try getting a Wacom pen mouse (http://tinyurl.com/ywh2f5). It's like using a pen for a mouse. They're not cheap, but definitely alleviate the pressure on the wrist. I definitely feel your pain, though. In college, I developed HORRIBLY tendinitis in my wrist from playing lacrosse and kayaking in cold weather. My wrist swelled up terribly and I couldn't hold onto anything. Finally, I had to be put in a cast for several weeks to allow it to heal. It was my right hand (which I use to write) so note-taking was impossible and the computer was equally frustrating. It took about 4 months total to heal up.

Hey Kerri,
Sorry this is late. I have tendonitis right now. It's like the fifth time it's flared up since last summer. It's so painful, and i can't rest it because of school work. I havent been the internet in ages. I wear a wrist brace, this doesn't get rid of the pain but it makes the pain stay in one place if you know what i mean? I can cope with it better that way.
I hope it gets better for you.

Kerri, Use R.I.C.E. = Rest, ICE, Compression, and Elevation. ICE works best for me every 4 hrs. for 15 minutes per session!!! Use ICE!!! I am a type I, and it helps me.

I actually work on a computer all day - I was off work for awhile with tendonitis - mine was called Dequervain Disease - near close to the carpal muscle - turned out to be arthritis - who knew? I don't think it really has anything to do with your diabetes.
I take Aleve and it helps the pain .. mousing aggravates it, and I've tried all different kinds, but dr says the smaller the mouse, the better.
Good luck

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