Gonna post about something unrelated to books for a change. Well, mostly at any rate.
Not long after the new year I developed a numbness in my left pinky, part of the ring finger, and the surrounding palm area. I chalked it up to too much typing or too much guitar playing and thought nothing of it at the time, the idea being that it would just go away.
Long story short, I've been to about five different doctors through ten appointments and three different tests. I was poked, prodded, x-rayed, hit with magnetic waves, and had electric currents shot through my arm. Don't worry, it sounds worse than it really was =) During the course of all of this, I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. In layman's terms, a nerve somewhere between my elbow and wrist is pinched, thus the numbness. It's just like carpel tunnel, only it's the nerve on the pinky side, not the thumb side.
So, what now?
SURGERY! On Wednesday morning (at the ungodly hour of 6:45 am) I'll be undergoing surgery on my left arm. It won't be much unlike the orthopedic surgery one would get on their knee. The good doctor will be making a small incisions at both my wrist and elbow. He'll be clearing up some room in the small tissue in my wrist around the tunnel where the nerve runs. That should solve the pinky/ring finger numbness. A similar incision will be made around my elbow, but he'll be performing what's called 'radial nerve translocation'. That involves moving the nerve from where it runs along the funny bone to an area where it won't be pinched.
Friends, both online and off, have been asking me if I'm scared? The answer is, no, not really. After MONTHS of dealing with a finger and a half that feel constantly asleep, and all the requisite tests and doctors appointments, it's nice to have a fucking answer.
Now, none of this is life threatening. I can easily live with a pinky finger that doesn't want to do what I want it to do. But, I'm a guitar player and I've written a thing or two: something I'd like to keep doing. I'm right handed, but the left hand is my fretting hand. That's the hand that picks out the notes on the guitar's neck. Without a functional pinky and ring finger, I can't feel the strings and the results are shitty slop to say the least. I'm no Steve Vai but I don't suck either. Guitar's been in my life for over 20 years and I've gotten pretty good at it. The prospect of never being able to play again blows. Also, there's the whole writing thing. That's not so bad because I've basically retrained my left hand how to type. I've been clocked at almost ninety words per minute, so yeah, it blows not being able to type up to speed but I've been working around it. Timing-wise, it's not so bad. Ghosts is published and I've been taking a bit of a break from writing, although I'd like to get back to editing my other book. So, that's going to be interesting, but at least it won't involve long hours of typing; it's mostly just cleanup.
So, what next? Insofar as recovery, I'll have a brace on my left hand for about a week. Furthermore, the doctor informed me that I'll need to wear a 'dressing' on my arm to protect the elbow for 'longer than that', and in addition, my elbow will be 'tender' for a while and my hand 'won't exactly work properly' right away.
That's the long and short of it, folks. While I'm not scared, I'd like this shit to be over with at long last. Seems we're headed that way. After months of this crap, it's good to have a probable solution in sight. If'n ya don't see me on FB or blogging much for the next few weeks, you'll know why.
And that's that! Hope this post finds you well! Until next time, take care.