Her Story: An Un-dreamable Pain

It was late-Summer, 2015 when I knew I had to deal with an irritating pain in my fingers. I told my husband that I was going to have this issue checked out, and please, please don’t analyze it (engineering mentality), it really was no big deal. OMG, this was so far from the truth. I had no idea what was about to hit me. I had no idea that my life, as I knew it, was over.  I didn’t want this issue that was overtaking me. I didn’t realize that my body was over reacting to a minor pain and was causing me increasingly more and more pain. It was doing so without my knowledge or understanding. All I could do was to say, “huh”?  I wasn't really interested in understanding the idea of pain. I just knew that my fingers were becoming more painful; they were lightly tingling more and more. At that time, I was primarily just interested in learning how I could “fix” the issue. All I wanted was to deal with this irritation and simply get over it so I could return to my enjoyable, fun, busy life.

I had a very busy job, and I wanted to get over this “pain” and get back to work. The pain that I am referring to was very specific. It began immediately past my wrist on my left hand and then covered my entire hand (palm to fingers). When at work, the tips of my fingers would randomly feel different and slightly tingly. Come Christmas 2015, the pain in my hand was becoming exhausting to deal with. I remember not being able to hold up a plate to get food at a work Christmas celebration. I was having such a hard time at work and felt embarrassed and nervous. At this point, I was doing anything to help my fingers from not hitting the keyboard. I even tried wearing winter gloves while keyboarding. Unfortunately it only got progressively worse. I remember sitting at my desk in the early part of the afternoon one day at work thinking that if I could just get to work, and really focus, that I might actually catch up! But I wasn't able to; my left hand hurt too much. This strange feeling lingered off/on for many months before tingling and then the needle stabbing pain took over. At first, this feeling that was just an irritation was slowly turning into my own personal hell.

I felt my life shift dramatically. Everything I loved to do required help from my left hand! Every simple thing in my life just became complicated. Before this pain, I had a job that I really liked and a great relationship with my boss. I usually worked about 45-55 hours/week. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was a lot of hard work.  I traveled frequently. My husband and I would take a winter and a fall trip anywhere from California to Florida or somewhere special closer to home. I would go on a trip with my sewing friends, or just go on a girls weekend somewhere. Because I am addicted to sewing clothes, I attended sewing classes,  sewing group meetings, sewing retreats, etc.  I loved riding bike on my own, or with my husband. We would also golf together. Before we married he taught me the game. It's been a special time for the two of us or also with another couple to be out on the green. I was happy; nothing was stopping me, except for the pain.

My life was suddenly filled with doctor visits, appointments with specialists, numerous tests, countless surgeries  and physical therapy...a new and different lifestyle. Medical professionals were my new friends and completely took over my life.

Due to this over powering pain that had now gone on for months, I noticed that my communication skills were deteriorating. It was beginning to be hard to hold a conversation, even with a few people. I was becoming noise sensitive. When I was in a small group of people I could barely tolerate the sound of their voices.  I found that noise caused my left hand to be more painful.  My husband had to be with me when I left our home. I was becoming scared of being away from the safety of our home and being with others. For an extrovert, such as I am, this was very hard. The pain was ultimately ruling my life; it always stole all of the attention. I felt like I was not a part of the world. I felt like I was floating in a cloud of pain, unseen, un-relatable and could not fit in anywhere, anymore.

I couldn't watch a movie with any of violence in it. If I did, I would fall apart and cry uncontrollably. All of this emotion would make my hand hurt so much more. I  had to be concerned about any emotions I could feel as emotions led me to more pain in my hand. It was ridiculous and I was growing weary;   I cried out to God, wanting this to end! I kept asking God to help me thru this horrific situation.

Family and friends slowly quit calling me. They did want to know that I was okay, but couldn't find the words to encourage me beyond that. I felt very lonely.