From Now On, Nobody Is Allowed to Pull My Finger

Over the past few months I’ve had this odd, persistent issue with my right index finger. It hurts a bit, from time to time, but there’s nothing specific that seems to cause it. Some days it’ll be uncomfortable, other days I don’t notice it at all.

For a while, I assumed it was a repetitive stress issue, as this is my mouse clicking finger we’re talking about. At its worse, there was maybe one day where I ended up using my right middle finger to click and navigate, but that’s been the worst of it.

Since the issue has gone on and on, and hasn’t really improved… I figured it would be good to go and see the doctor that treated my wrist problems. So I made another appointment with Dr. Wiedrich at the Chicago Center for Surgery of the Hand.

I went through a lot of finger stretches and motions, to see just where I was experiencing the discomfort. I also had some x-rays done while I was there.

Unfortunately, I thought I could have received a digital copy of the x-rays… but found out that CD’s cost $25. In hindsight, I should have taken a photo of the x-ray itself.

Long story short: I’ve got arthritis. It’s a small growth of bone in my right index knuckle that’s causing the discomfort. And based on the x-ray, there’s also a small cyst on my right ring finger, which is an indicator that I may experience something similar there in the future.

I was given a prescription for some anti-inflammatory medication, which I’ll be taking for about two weeks. In addition to that, Dr. Wiedrich took me to a back room so I could be fitted with something called “Buddy Braces.”

This back room area was one I had never seen before. On walking in, it was a longish room with about five or six tables/workstations. There were maybe four or five other doctors attending to several groups of people. I saw a lot of velcro fabric in spools on the walls, as well as some kind of heating device that held a lot of hot water (it resembled a large lasagna dish). Doctors were putting in what looked to be an 8.5×11 piece of pasta in there… and I later saw that it was something that could be molded to fit a patient’s arm/hand exactly.

It was a little surreal being back there, and the whole time I couldn’t help but think that I was attending some kind of craft-based summer camp… waiting around for someone to teach me how to make lanyards.

As I was glancing around the room, I spotted some dry erase boards where people had left good stories about why they were at the doctor’s office. I think “Bike Jousting” is a fantastic reason.

I did ask one of the doctors if I could photograph the notes, and got an ok (so long as there weren’t any names due to privacy concerns). As I was snapping a photo, a girl nearby told me that I couldn’t photograph the stories without adding one of my own.

I responded with the fact that I wish I had a good story for my injury… but mine was lame, since my injury was a result of the slow ravages of time.

On the way out, another doctor pointed me to another set of stories (which he said were better). I felt weird lingering and photographing so much, so I just took a quick closeup.

Back at the office. Here’s a shot of my buddy braces. Hard to believe these guys cost $40, but we’ll see if my insurance covers this.

And yes, in order to write out this blog post… I did take them off. Shhhh.

Wrist Injury: Visiting The Chicago Center For Surgery Of The Hand
I’ve Now Torn The Cartilage In My Left Wrist, Too. Somehow.
Images From My Wrist MRI
Wrist MRI Results: Options And Decisions
The Lanyard, Text
A Note on Lanyards

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. i need to get this same thing checked out. i have pinky pain after gripping – hairdryer, knife while cutting, wii mote, etc.. i think it’s arthritis but i should go see..

    rachelle Reply

  2. Oh man! I’ve been there! My doctor was Dr. Nagle! In grade school, I went to go hold an elevator open and it chipped my growing plate on my right thumb. I had to wear one of those braces, too. It gets annoying, but you get used to it. Somewhere I still have mine. I had to wear it for soooo long it felt like (I think in reality it was like 1.5 months or something). But yeah, that room you go to is so fun. I begged, BEGGED for that clay that they give you as therapy. I never did get it. Here’s hoping you do, Felix!

    Marty J. Christopher Reply

  3. I broke my pinky doing a flying cannonball leap from a tire swing. As it turns out, that finger isn’t intended to withstand the force of an entire pudgy kid landing on it.

    Melissa Reply

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