Sorry I've been slack about posting again. These darned hands are just not cooperating with me!
Anyway, after doing all the blood test and x-rays (and getting virtually nothing), the reumy sent me to a neurologist who specializes in nerve conduction studies for a very detailed testing of my hands and arms. I don't have the "formal" results yet, but the Neuro told me that out of a possible 0-4 range of carpal tunnel damage, I am over 3 in both hands and the left is worse than the right. Surgery is essential and he wants me to make positive sure that I get a really good surgeon who specializes in hands and (in his words) "can do this surgery in his sleep". There is concern that the nerve damage may be permanent in some areas, but I won't know all the details until I get the actual report in hand.
The Dr. gave me the names of a couple of good surgeons and it turns out they both work in the same practice as the spine specialist that just figured out what was causing the intense spine pain. The Nerve Conduction Study HURT like crazy, and I thought surely the needles would be easier than the electricity, but he had to do so many deep muscle "sticks" to get the results that I thought I was going to faint. He even had to do my neck on the left side because that hand and arm are so bad. Thankfully there did not seem to be problems in the neck that he could tell.
They will be sending my reports out on Monday and I'm going to have them send one to me too (for my records and to fax over to my other dr's myself). This way I can be sure everybody gets a copy of what they need! So it's off to surgery AGAIN! I have my follow-up from my bladder surgery this week and two other Dr. Apts too. It should be a busy time for a while.
Has anybody here ever asked for both hands to be done at once and if so, did you have good results? I want everything over as soon as possible because I'll very soon have to be driving my step-father to have radiation treatments for prostate cancer. They are building on to my house (a mother-in-law suite....so to speak) ASAP. I need my surgery done soon so my hands can heal and I can drive him. They will probably live here while he is undergoing the radiation, but don't need to be directly around my daughter, so this is the best thing. I'm sure they will go home a few days a week, but I expect daily company for at least three months....and the drive is over an hour each way (after taking my daughter to school. I have to be back by 3 to pick her up, so we'll really have a hard time, but I do love them and it's worth it for my mother and my step-father.
This is yet another example of things happening for a reason. If I were still working, there would be nonone to help them with this situation. He helps me by driving me when I need it and now will be my turn to return the favor. You never know when the shoe will be on the other foot.