Knit Without Ceasing, The Body Electric

An old-fashioned diagnosis

I was sitting on the table at the chiropractor's office, telling him a story about an old ailment.

When my daughter was an infant, I told him, I had De Quervain's Tendon Synovitis.

He looked–well, I'm not sure of the right word. Puzzled wasn't quite it, nor was perplexed.  I wish I could say nonplussed, because how often is that the right word? But those are all too strong. He allowed a small smile to cross his face and said, "That's an old-fashioned diagnosis."

Yes, I am the queen of the whimsical ailments.

(Ask me about the time I had vestibular neuronitis, for instance. Or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Or Hepatitis A when I was 10, and for no apparent reason. Or measles, after getting the vaccine. You now know my complete history. In reverse.)

Friends at the Big Event may have noticed the way I picked up and put down my knitting, though I attempted to mask my frustration. After all, a cruise ship is no place to be making the worst of things. I had sun and water and friends and food and drink without end. Who really needed knitting?

But my hands and wrists have been a problem since the end of February, and while my back injury, which apparently was separate, appears to have improved greatly, these necessary helpers have not. I saw my primary care physician today, and she announced her diagnosis.


De Quervain's.

There are a number of things we can try to take care of it; I have wrist guards for night-time wear and Aleve has been recommended in place of Advil, we did blood work to be sure there is no thyroid component, and I will see the sports medicine doctor in two weeks for possible injections into the sheath of the tendons.

Still with me? Because that one almost put me under.

In closing, I would like to mention that this condition is also known as–

wait for it–

Mother's Wrist.

14 thoughts on “An old-fashioned diagnosis”

  1. Ow, ow, ow! I’m sorry that you have this pain. And that the treatment sounds worse than the pain!

  2. I would write more about how awful the sheath tendon thing is but I am laughing too hard from the althernative name…. mother’s wrist.

  3. I hope you get some improvement and relief – I have a mild case of what I diagnose as tendonitis for me. No fun. and frustrating I am sure.

  4. I like your new blog.
    I was thinking about the ailments I know the Japanese names for, because I had them. kikanshien. (bronchitis.)

  5. Hmmmm….I wonder if this syndrome can be caused by being handcuffed too tightly? Because (after reading the link) this sounds suspiciously like the pain I still have in my thumbs and wrists since October…

  6. Towanda, it sounds from what I read today like an injury can be part of the picture. Have you talked to your doctor about it?

  7. I have had that from knitting and from the position I use to hold the otoscope against a child’s wiggling head. The injection sounds horrible, is horrible (I almost fainted the first time and now it is the only medical procedure that I need my husband to drive me to), BUT…and it is a HUGE BUT….I have had it done three times because the relief occurs within 8 hours and lasts about 3 years and living without the pain and stuck fingers is fabulous.

  8. Why? Why is it called “Mother’s Wrist?” Do men get it? What do they call it if/when men get it? Probably something like “Lumberjack’s Syndrome.”

  9. Sherry, yikes!
    I have placed a friend on stand-by in case the shot happens before Pure Luck returns from his work trip.
    KathyR, too funny!

  10. Oh, I missed this! No knitting!
    I have to be careful myself and not do mindless knitting for long stretches at a time.
    ::tosses chocolate and hugs::

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