Quietly suffering.

September 28, 2009.

The alarm goes off early.  Oh, so early.  Whose bright idea was it to take an early morning flight home to Denver from this quick weekend trip “home” to Wisconsin?  Oh, yeah, ME.  After all, I’ve burned through all my vacation time and need to get to work as soon as possible on this Monday morning.

Hey, wait a second…  My right arm is still completely asleep.  And numb.  This better end soon.  Come on already.  Come on, wake up!!!


Six weeks later.

And from that moment, I’ve had an issue with varied degrees of numbness, tingling, and pain along the right side of my arm and hand, in my ring and pinkie fingers on that hand.

Of course, I freaked.  I Googled.  The most likely problem is ulnar nerve entrapment, sometimes called ulnar nerve neuropathy.

Yeah.   That word.  I saw that word and I haven’t seen a doctor.  That word which should scare the pants off anyone with diabetes.  Most certainly someone who claims to be a diabetes advocate, right?  Even at the Connected Council meeting, I was quietly suffering with the knowledge that something was not quite right.

Truth is, I’m still searching for a primary care physician.  I need to find one who listens to me, who understands how my type 2 diabetes is treated, and who isn’t willing to pass me off to a bottle of Vicodin or muscle relaxants.  I’m not willing to go back to the one I was seeing – the practice managed to lose my electronic medical record, for goodness sake!

Obviously, this presented a problem.  Fear of what might happen at some doctor’s office was holding me back from seeking a live-and-in-person medical opinion.  I didn’t want to be chastised for poor blood sugar control (because I control it pretty well according to my endocrinologist) or even worse, getting that dreaded “all in my head” phrase.

I chose instead to take the suggestions of what Google searches told me about the condition.  I stopped leaning on my right elbow on the bus while I slept during my morning commutes; I limited the time spent at the computer in the evenings; I stopped sleeping on my stomach with my elbows bent at my head; I even gave up my wimpy 3-lb dumbbells.  The numbness and tingling and pain is much better than it was and I’ll be willing to bet that by the time my endocrinologist appointment comes around in three weeks, it’ll be gone.

And if it’s not, the possible ulnar nerve neuropathy (cringe – there’s that evil word again) will be the number one issue I bring up at said appointment.  The number two issue? Asking for a recommendation for a good primary care provider who works well with the endocrinologist’s practice.

Posted on November 9, 2009, in Diabetes, Doctors and dentists, Health, The 'Net. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I’m glad your arm is feeling better and I hope it continues to improve. Asking your endo for a referral to a PCP is a good idea.

  2. lynn @ human, being

    If it’s ulnar entrapment, an acupuncturist can help you a TON. I’ve had that issue from cycling on a bike that didn’t fit me well, and after 3 rounds of acupunture, it was all fixed. The ulnar nerve starts in your neck, so it could be impinged all the way up there.

  3. Rachel, the mom I am is thinking, why are you waiting??? Can you call your endo’s office and get some suggestions???
    I’m glad it’s feeling somewhat better.

    • Just too much fear of being told it’s “all in my head”. It’s something that happens too often and I’ve bought into it, unfortunately…

  4. What Colleen said. But I’m not a mom. I just agree. ;-) Glad it’s better. It’s better to know what you are facing and your options than to just wonder. Happy Dblog Day!!

  5. I agree with Coleen- call your endo, get some referrals and make an appointment!
    I know it’s hard to put the fears aside, but you need to. Your far to important to put yourself on the back burner!
    kelly k

  6. Scott K. Johnson

    Dang – I’m so behind on stuff that I had no idea you were hurting! I hope that by now things are feeling better, and that maybe I’ll read an update about it being all fixed or whatever.


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