Howard Tayler (howardtayler) wrote,

My hands... so numb...

I haven't started signing books yet, no.

For the last two weeks my fourth and fifth fingers in BOTH hands have been tingling, pins-and-needles-ish.

It's not carpal tunnel. That's the 1st and 2nd fingers, and the doctor did a couple of quick tests for CT, both of which were mostly negative (which means I may have a little bit of CT symptoms, but it's not serious enough to cause the numbness.)

The problem is not the tingling. The problem is that when I draw or write, my entire right arm starts to go numb. Or sometimes not, and I'm fine.

The doctor suggested an MRI. I'm not keen on spending $5,000 as a first resort, especially since it would be $5,000 of my own money. And extra-especially since a little googling turns up "thoracic outlet syndrome" as a probable diagnosis. It's one of those damnably contested diagnoses like "chronic fatigue syndrom," where the patient can go from doctor to doctor for years and be accused of everything from hypochondria to malingering depression.

This page talks about the symptom "tingling fingers:"
http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/sym/tingling_fingers.htm

There are lots of possibilities, but the 4th and 5th finger tingling points straight at "Thoracic outlet syndrome:"
http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/t/thoracic_outlet_syndrome/intro.htm Sure, it might also be diabetes or multiple sclerosis, but I'm not exhibiting any of those symptoms (and I'm not half hypochondriac enough to imagine them into place).

The good news is that the problem has not slowed my output. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to crank through the sketch editions and two additional weeks of buffer with little trouble between now and May 20th. But it's probably going to hurt a lot, unless I can get in touch with a physical therapist who thinks he can tackle the problem without forcing me to spend hojillions of dollars on (probably) unnecessary diagnostics.
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