Thursday, October 2, 2008

Living with Tendonitis

So, I had my baby back in February and, obviously, I haven't done anything with this blog. Things have been crazy for me because I got tendonitis about 6 weeks after my baby was born. I got it when I had my first child and it has returned.

My condition was diagnosed as de Quervain's tenosynovitis, which is commonly known as "new mom's syndrome" because a lot of new moms get it. The symptoms include pain and swelling in the area where the thumb meets the wrist. One way to know if you have it is to do the Finklestein test: form a fist by wrapping your fingers around the thumb and bend your wrist away from your thumb, sort of like you're holding a tennis racket down. If you feel a sharp pain at the base of your thumb, you may have de Quervain's tenosynovitis. You should consider treatment by a professional.

When I first got this problem, I wanted to find out more about it and how to treat it because it was really painful. I searched the web looking for information and also for people who have the same problem. It seemed like I was the only person with the problem - I didn't know anyone with the problem personally. I felt like maybe there was something wrong with me that I got the problem. I mean, I knew lots of mothers who had many kids and they didn't get this problem. I also wanted to know that this problem wasn't permanent. My pain was constant and it affected my everyday life. Many times, I felt depressed and frustrated, and also scared that maybe it wouldn't get better. It did eventually get better after months of physical therapy, getting shots, and rest from activity (which was very difficult with a baby). So, I hope that this can help others who may have this type of tendonitis, or any type of tendonitis brought on by excessive activity. Know that it does get better after appropriate professional treatment. I felt fortunate to have help from family members and access to good health care.

My sister recently sent me links to a couple of relevant articles that you can check out. The first one gives good background information about de Quervain's and the second one is about a new way of doing cortisone injections that sounds more effective than the traditional method that I've gotten.

If you have this problem, I assure you it can get better because I've been there. My best wishes to your speedy recovery and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just need moral support.