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Unable to use hand/arm for a year.

Hello, dear friends. I am here because I am currently and gradually losing function of my entire right arm due to incompetent doctors. The issue began as a minute sharp pain in the lower joint of my thumb back in January of this year. I had been moving, carrying, and cleaning a lot of things, and drawing a lot on top of that. I had been drawing for several hours on a baby portrait for someone when my thumb began to hurt in the joint. It wasn't really enough to make me stop right away, but I began to notice right away that picking up things had become a challenge, including with the use of my index finger. Doing much of anything caused some pain, so I didn't waste much time seeing my doctor about it. I also brought up several other symptoms I was having. Chest pain (I have asthma) swelling of a surgery scar on my shoulder, sharp pains with a surgery scar within my belly button and some other things. I saw my physician twice, and he only said "carpel tunnel syndrome," even though it wasn't in my wrist, and told me to get a splint. The second time he was incredibly rude to me and told me to get a job and got very religious with me, despite that I had just signed my divorce papers only a month prior and had to alter my entire life and lost my home and many other things, so I was under a lot of stress at the time. My situation was unhealthy when I saw him. I was living in a laundry room next to a wood burning stove the entire winter, and had to move into my childhood home next to a chemical plant. (When I was a child, my family and many others won a lawsuit because we were exposed to chemicals and radiation compounds used in meth and were not alerted. My family and others have many issues, including an incidence of hydrocephalus from age 14 in my older sister-- a similar incidence also found with our young neighbor, and an uncountable amount of cancer and other issues.) I have realized I am allergic to virtually everything, especially dairy, and my face and body keeps breaking out into hives and compromises my breathing sometimes. My living situation could not quite afford a strict diet at the time (but I've been on a strict diet since the beginning of the summer now.) The splint did nothing, as every time I bumped my thumb or index finger, the swelling in my palm and thumb and index finger would become intense. This has been going on for months to the point that the pain has moved all the way up the tendon to my shoulder, my arm has atrophied and fingers are beginning to grow stiff. My arm is beginning to feel somewhat foreign to me. On top of that and the severe allergies, my body does not seem to want to hang onto much in terms of nutrition. I eat a hefty variety of meats, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, almond milk, only natural things as all others are murder on my stomach, Vitamin C, and yet my weight has dropped below 100lbs now and my stomach seems unwilling to hang onto much sometimes. As of last year I was 115lbs but I quit birth control after 8 years April of 2014 and have noted what I thought were healthy changes. I was with a very abusive person and had been under a severe amount of stress and had to leave my situation to protect my life. I first began to notice my degradation in September of last year after, seemingly without reason, my entire back broke out in hives. I thought it was acne at first, but it was like a thousand needles and itched terribly and took many months (maybe 6) to clear up. I have an autoimmune disease called Interstitial Cystitis aka Bladder Pain Syndrome, so I thought somehow this was related, but never have I been or quite felt the way that I do lately. In September of this year, I became dehydrated and collapsed and had to go to the hospital. I went a second time to receive an IV because all of my organs were hurting. I saw a physician and he decided not to do a physical or blood tests and because it was early and my hand was not swollen at the time, told me there was nothing wrong with me. I was persistent and saw a specialist a week or so ago and she has some ideas about what may be going on with my hand, but because of the healthcare system, my appointments and tests seem like they are incredibly spread apart and it feels like it is taking a long time. I have become very concerned, because I have never experienced symptoms to this extent before and don't know what's happening, and feel as though my doctors are not taking me seriously or are not doing enough to figure out what's happening to me. I am becoming more fatigued by the day and miss being able to do -anything-. The loss of my entire arm and having to be careful with using it in any manner with little to no protection has prevented me from being able to do even the simplest tasks in my life. I am scared I will lost the function of my thumb/hand and will no longer be able to draw, play piano, or do anything else that I was blessed to do because of how long it has been. Heating pads and ice packs have had limited and temporary impact. I take AZO, acetaminophen, Pro-air, Lidocaine, and use ointments to deal with my symptoms and manage my incurable bladder disease, which is also being affected more than ever. I am 25 years old and a woman. If anybody has any sort of help or suggestions or anything, the solace would be appreciated. I just don't know what to think anymore, but hope my immune system is just compromised from stress, etc., and maybe I have a deficiency of some sort right now. Thank you, everybody.
1 Responses
144586 tn?1284666164
You have a complicated and confusing medical presentation. You appear to have several medical issues which may or may not be related to one another. A common cause of the issues you have with your arm and hand is a subluxion injury, secondary to forcible neck flexure in the distant past. It sometimes presents itself as a gradual inability to hold a pencil or pen, pain in the fingers and loss of the ability to move the arm. Sometimes it results in a so-called "frozen shoulder". My opinion is that this is not carpal tunnel syndrome. You need an MRI of the cervical vertebra C1-C-5 and then a physician who knows how to treat subluxion injuries. There are two directions to go in, based upon the degree of deterioration.. They may prescribe intermittant axial trtaction for seven to ten minutes several times a day and forced flexure of the head through the limits of pain. But don't do this unless under a physician's supervision. There is a good chance you will regain use of your arm and hand.

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