Numb Finger

I'll just watch the clock while the doctor looks at my Xrays in the other room.
I’ll just watch the clock while the doctor looks at my Xrays in the other room.

A day or two before I left for my vacation on Bois Blanc Island I woke up with my left pointer finger feeling numb.

I’ve had numbness like this on other parts of my body in the past, but its always gone away in a day or two.

This time the numbness has stayed around for around a month.

I used WebMD to try and figure out what was going on and there was some pretty scary things on there. Fortunately, I didn’t match all the symptoms of any of the more serious conditions.

A self-diagnosis wasn’t enough for me so I made an appointment at the local clinic.

My wife had her eye on a particular doctor at the clinic to be her own primary care physician. I tried to get an appointment with that doctor so I could preview her for my wife, but she was on maternity leave until November.

Instead I got an appointment with a different, but equally competent male doctor.

I’ve never had a male doctor for my regular visits. Neither has my wife. Nothing wrong with the doctor I saw today, but I’ve always been more comfortable with women. I think we’ll go to the female doctor on maternity leave for any future problems.

So! The numbness in my finger! I’d feared something horrible like peripheral neuropathy or Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Instead the doctor said it was something much more mundane.

It was likely just physical trauma to my radial nerve which takes sensory information from my hand to my brain.

The damage would normally repair quickly, but its possible I’ve been aggravating the injury by sleeping on my hands.

So the injury might fix itself if I stop sleeping on my hands.

However it might be too late for the injury to fix itself within my hands.

In that case the nerve would need to regrow from my shoulder all the way down to my hand.

When nerves are regrown from the shoulder they extend about one centimeter each week.

My arm is roughly a meter long (I haven’t measured exactly), so if the nerve regrows from my shoulder then I won’t have feeling in my finger again for another two years or so.

So lets hope my finger gets better soon if I stop sleeping on it!

-Mister Ed

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3 thoughts on “Numb Finger

  1. Another possibility: Too much finger-twitching when playing computer games. I have various numb fingers just from playing Solitaire, let alone a real video game. I would suggest thinking about the gaming tasks that you do with that finger and then trying to do them differently or not at all.

    I have a wrist splint that I wear at night when I start to get numbness in my hands. It helps, but I don’t need it very often.

    • It’s possible, but if it was video game related I’d assume there’d be improvement the week immediately afterwards when I was in Michigan. Aren’t typing injuries supposed to be painful anyways?

      • Typing injuries can be either painful or numbing. I suppose it could also be from repetitive tasks in the lab.

        In any case, a week off at Bois Blanc wouldn’t necessarily make a noticeable difference. That would just stop the injury from occurring. It would necessarily give it time to heal.

        I’d suggest sleeping with a wrist splint for a week or two and see what that does.

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