Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Arthritis...and something else

A chip floating around in there, from who knows what! I have CMC and STT arthritis. So it's painful when the base of the thumb moves.  

So what does it mean when you love quilting? Well my job every day is in front of a computer. Repetitive movements where there is bone on bone = OUCH! Immobilizing it while it is inflamed, apparently helps. I've been in inflammation mode for so long, I don't know what it's like not to have inflammation! So, they set me up with a hard splint. Today is day one with it and so far so good!

When I was explaining what I like to do in my spare time, I learned a whole lot! Apparently one pound of pressure (which really isn't a lot), exerts 10 pounds of pressure on the joint in your thumb. That relates to the pinch grip -- aka when you have to hold things between your finger and thumb.  It has been a very, very long time that I have been able to pinch without pain. Having the lower base of my thumb immobilized, seems to help - but honestly I haven't put it to the test. The occupational therapist said to keep the splint on doing the tasks that make me "uncomfortable". I laughed and said to her, "So you basically mean I have to wear it all the time!" and smiled! 

I am going for more injections in day surgery and then we will see if I am a candidate for surgery. They are hoping to buy me more time before having to head to a more invasive surgery!

Well, this is a new day! I feel bad for all of you with arthritis out there! The Accuquilt has helped with cutting out, and I've basically avoided much of the cutting I do with a ruler and rotary cutter because of hand placement on the ruler. It's all a journey in learning how to  change things to reduce pain.  

Typing is ok. Slow, but then again not using any part of my thumb (i.e. spacebar) is a change. It's been a couple of years having an ergonomic keyboard at work...which I love! 

I would love to hear from anyone regarding modifications to help you with quilting. What do you do differently than you did years ago?

Meantime...Happy Quilting everyone!



Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh, Margo, I can't imagine how uncomfortable that is when you want to do something. Just dealing with minor carpel tunnel is a pain sometimes. I just have to stop doing what's irritating it for a while. I have no suggestions, but I really empathize with you. It's my large joints that cause me problems, and I don't accommodate very well.

Margo said...

Hey thanks for the sympathy Susan! I cannot imagine the pain you are in for the bigger joints! EGADS! I've been taking loads of vitamin D that has been keeping the larger joints at bay, but my hand! The quilting hands! lol... Thank heavens they ruled out carpal tunnel. A couple of my co workers had surgery for theirs and they are thrilled with the results!