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A personal touch

A little at lost for a great title for this post, but I do have something personal to share today. As some of you might know, I’ve been experiencing pain in both my wrists for quite some time now (a year to be more precise). Doctors wrote it off, saying I’ve been continuously overburdering them with computer work. 

I’ve worn special wrist braces for nearly 3 months, followed by specific exercises to gain back muscle strength in my forearms. It seemed to help, until a few weeks back, when the weather finally got a little colder. I felt I was back to square one, so I wanted a new appointment with the hand therapist. She finally referred me to get an ultrasound.

The ultrasound was last Monday. The hand specialist doing the exam was still in training and he was confused for about the first fifteen minutes of the ultrasound exam. Why? Because he thought he could see muscle tissue on the dorsal side of my hand (so not my palm, but the top), where he should only be finding tendon tissue. Since he is still in training, he figured he was doing something wrong. After nearly 45 minutes he was convinced it was muscle, but he had never heard of a muscle in the dorsal aspect of the hand. He called the hand surgeon into the small office, who quickly confirmed it was extensor digitorum brevis manus. Say what…?

extensor digitorum brevis manus
There are five types of Extensor Digitorum Brevis Manus, a relatively rare anomalous muscle on the dorsal hand. I still have to find out which type I have.

Am I a freak of nature?  Apparently, 1-3% of the world’s population has this extra muscle in either one or both hands (uni- or bilateral). In my case: bilateral! Besides it being relatively rare, it is even more unknown because it usually gives no clinical symptoms and people can grow old without ever knowing they have one or two extra muscles. Then why do my wrists hurt?

Symptoms occur for those who do a lot of manual labour. In this day and age, this also includes computer work. Ah, there it is. Computer work. That’s me. ;) But is there a treatment? (Besides avoiding computer work, which is not really an option for me)

There are apparently two treatment options, although I can’t really find much about this online. The hand surgeon told me they could cut the nerve for the muscle, but this usually only relieves the symptoms temporarily (I guess because the muscle is still taking up precious space?). The other option is excision. EEEK. It looks like I’m going to need surgery to both my hands!

Why am I telling you this? Because it will interfere with my blogging schedule. I used to post on Mondays and Thursdays, but the last couple of weeks I already skipped a few. And there will be less posts in the upcoming weeks, especially if I really need the surgery (again: EEK).

Next week I’ll have an appointment to get more information about the possible excision, the risks and recovery time. I’ll update you lot soon after. This will probably mean less crafty and inspirational posts in the upcoming weeks! :( BUT, hopefully, I’ll make a full recovery and I’ll be able to write and create more than I ever have for Mippoos.

Bottom line, it was a frustrating year with a lot of uncertainty and vague symptoms and conclusions. Finally someone recognized it for what is is and hopefully it’ll soon be over!

If you’re still reading, thank you for taking interest in my personal story and please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on the subject!

3 thoughts on “A personal touch

  1. I ran around with mystery symptoms of a mystery disease for four years. They finally figured out what it was and there is a ton of relief in knowing. You’ll be past this soon and sewing and blogging and sculpting until you can’t stand it anymore. :)

    1. Wow, four years! How did they eventually find out what it was? Thank you for the encouraging words! :)

  2. […] be having surgery on Monday November 25th, an excision of an extra muscle in my right hand (our previous post tells you more about this). Recovery time is at least 3 weeks, so the quietness on our blog and […]

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