For years I silently dealt with severe wrist pain. In high school I struggled with just doing class work and gritting my teeth. My wrists were so fragile that once during a haunted house in our theater department where I was playing a zombie; I fell and broke my left wrist in such an unbelievable way that my friends and even the theater directors couldn’t help but laugh at me until they realized it was more than just a silly fall.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is partly to blame for my weak and pain-prone wrists. In high school when I would tell my parents about my pain they thought I was too young to experience Carpal Tunnel. However, I come from the first generation that grew up on computers and adding to that fact that I have always been a writer so if I wasn’t playing on the computer, I was writing away old fashioned-like with a good old pen and paper. Because of this, I was most likely more prone at a younger age to develop Carpal Tunnel and other wrists issues.
Unfortunately, I continued to go untreated for my pain all through high school and a couple years past until about a year and a half ago when doctors finally started listening to me. I was set up with a Nerve Conduction Test first. The test came back with no results – unusual for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but thought that maybe because I had been fighting through the pain for so long these tests were likely to come back inconclusive. The doctor that conducted the test dismissed my pain though and did nothing further for me.
A few months later I moved areas and found an incredible doctor who not only believed me but immediately set me up with a physical therapist. Her hypothesis was that what may have started for me as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has since affected other nearby nerves and thus was probably why the Nerve Conduction Test came back with no results and why other doctors thought I was making the whole thing up. I’m not sure why exactly I’d make that up though – pain killers, perhaps? I suppose, but sadly I’m very much against medication to treat pain when there are better more long term options available like physical therapy. But I’m young and I suppose there is quite a problem with young people abusing prescription drugs, but I digress.
I began physical therapy and it improved my strength and took away a lot of the pain. Due to moving around and insurance issues though I had to take about eight months off of PT and actually just found a new doctor yesterday to get started again to hopefully completely get rid of my pain. In the meantime, I ice and massage my wrists daily and wear wrist guards as often as possible for short-term pain alleviation. And from here on out I’m not letting my physical pain go untreated just because someone doesn’t believe me, but rather I will always search until someone takes me seriously and helps me.