24 October 2007

Fold, spindle, mutilate

I've been dragging my feet on this post for a while. To be honest, I don't like the uncertainty of all of this and it's taking so long to figure it all out that I'm feeling very adrift.

The status of things so far... I've had 3 physical/occupational therapy appointments. She gave me 6 pages of exercises intended to help with carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, de Quervain's tenosynovitis, and trigger finger. In subsequent visits, we've discussed modifications and variations of the exercises to relieve some of the discomfort and other problems that I've experienced doing the exercises as illustrated.

Last week, I met the orthopedic surgeon to whom I've been referred. Since appointments almost never start when scheduled, I brought my drop spindle to the appointment with me so that I could spin while I waited. I managed to spin for about 45 minutes in the waiting room before being escorted back to an exam room where I spun for another 20 minutes while I answered questions for the patient history and then waited for the doctor. (Met an interesting woman in her late 60s who told me with tear-filled eyes that she hadn't seen anyone spinning since visiting her grandmother as a child.)

When the doctor looked at my hands, I had the weirdest impression that he was disappointed. He reminded me so much of a young boy who opens the door to go outside after the first snow of the year only to find it disturbed by someone else's footprints. He performed a quick physical exam, gave me some instructions while he tapped on my wrists and elbows and then ordered a nerve conduction study and EMG.

The test is scheduled for next week and sounds like a laugh riot. I can't imagine why people aren't lined up around the block to have teflon coated wires poked into their muscle tissue so that electrical current can be zapped directly into the muscle to simulate nerve commands.

Between doctor's waiting rooms and my weekly depression support group, I'm getting quite a bit of spinning in. Enough that I felt justified in purchasing a "real" spindle instead of the CD drop spindles I'd mostly made do with until now. (I have a spindle that I made using a toy wheel and a dowel. It works quite nicely, but still feels somehow illegitimate.)

My new baby is an Ashford Turkish Spindle. What I love about this, and the reason that I just ***HAD*** to have it and managed to justify the purchase to myself and anyone else who would listen, is that Turkish spindles break apart leaving the spinner with a center pull ball from which to ply or knit. After spending more hours than I care to think about hand-winding 300 and some odd yards of handspun singles into a center pull ball using a make-shift nostepinde fashioned from disposable chopsticks from Sprout's favorite Chinese buffet, I realized that my hands/wrists are not equal to the task of regularly winding singles for plying. I know that I could just use my ball winder, but I have found that I lack the patience to wait that long to move forward with the next step of my spinning.

The next addition to my spinning arsenal... A Golding Aromatherapy Spindle... I've heard nothing but good things about Golding spindles from other spindlers and I can tell myself that this one has therapeutic benefits on top of the meditative benefits of the spinning itself.

On a completely unrelated note... to balance my whining about medical stuff... here are the results of an online quiz that I stumbled across thanks to Ravelry.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Apprentice. You've got the basics down pat and you might just be falling in love with this hobby. Big needles, funky yarns and simple shapes are the name of the game shudder, but it doesn't mean you don't experiment a bit, here and there. As an apprentice, you probably fall back on other people to get you through those rough spots, and if you don't know anyone who knits, you probably have a few books or online sources to tap.
Take this quiz!

Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Galvani%27s_legs.gif

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came across your blog today and see that you're undergoing treatment for multiple repetitive strain injuries. I have them too, and found great relief from acupuncture. I haven't read enough to know if you have tried that, but it doesn't sound like it. Part of the reason why surgeries don't help is because it's only treating the point of pain, but the problem originates much higher, in your neck and shoulders. I found that when the physical therapist worked on my hands and arms, it didn't make any difference, but then when my acupuncturist did some work in my neck and used the needles, it made all of the difference. I still have some mild pain and occasional tingling and weakness, but it rarely keeps me from performing my job (admin work) or hobbies. Sometimes I overdo it, but have to step back and stretch and rest more.

I believe that the acupuncture is what really helped me. FWIW, though one of my doctors was pressuring me to rush into it, I didn't have surgery, and that was partly because I'd seen relief through deep tissue work, chiropractic, and mostly through the acupuncture.

Happy new year!