Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Frailty, Thy Name Is Wrist

The human body is an interesting, well-designed machine overall. But for me, its Achilles heel isn’t a heel at all: It’s a wrist.

During the past several weeks as I’ve schlepped bricks all over the place, hefted 50-pound bags of gravel and 60- and sometimes 80-pound bags of cement, and shuttled hundreds of gallons of dirt around, this design flaw has become painfully clear. I’m afraid that if it’s possible for a woman to be a “limp-wristed wimp” I am one.

My wrists are small. They weren’t cut out for this kind of thing. I was hoping that such regular activity might strengthen them up a bit. (Maybe it has or it might hurt even worse! There’s a pleasant thought.) And I try to be judicious about how I use them since quitting isn’t an option at this point.

One life-saver has been my little cart. I shudder to think how much agony it has spared me. The fact that I’ve already broken both wrists in my lifetime (one of them, the left, has been broken twice, once in two places) can’t be helping my case any either. Maybe this is arthritis?

What’s funny is that people keep asking about my back. My back, for the most part, is fine. My knees are really taking a beating which tells me that I am, perhaps, following the old “Lift with your legs, not with your back” line to a T. My hands and fingers are often sore, but hey, that happens. My wrists? Sometimes there aren’t adjectives adequate to describe how they hurt.

About three times in the past week, I’ve reached for something, picked something up, or else put my hand down for balance and it has been BLAM! Like seeing stars kind of pain. It only lasts for a short time, lessens, but continues to ache. I’ve tried several OTC remedies including Activ-On, Flexall 454, and Ben-Gay. They all work to some degree, but never for very long.

OK, athletes and athletic DIYers – tell me YOUR best remedy. I’m all ears.

10 comments:

J.Bro said...

You're not going to want to hear it, but the best remedy for overuse injuries is RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

Jayne said...

I agree with j.bro--RICE is your friend. Not that I follow this advice myself. My right shoulder was developing a repetitive motion injury from all that shingle-pulling. We'll see how scraping paint & caulking affect it...

sarah said...

I totally feel your pain - we just put in 2 brick patios, it's been a week since we finished, and it still hurts my arms when I reach up for the dog treat basket. I had no idea at the time how badly I was hurthing my arms. I felt like a total invalid for several days after. But - almost back to normal now. So when you're done & can do the ol' RICE thing, you'll be all set.

NV said...

Thanks, everyone! Aren't we just a bunch of stupid, crazy troopers?!

I've purposely avoided doing anything nightly this week, even though the weather has been good, just to try and rest up a bit. (Wouldn't have been able to last night anyway as I had to work from home for the first 90 minutes after I got there.)

Ty'sMommy said...

Wow! That sounds like what I did to MY wrist last year. It took quite a while with a support brace before the searing pains finally quit.

Vicki @ notsosahm.wordpress.com said...

I'm guessing it would be too restrictive to wear some kind of brace? I don't know, I try not to lift heavy things :)

Jennifer said...

No advice... but sympathy... I have limp wrists, too. And hands. You'd think for all the get go I have I could lift heavy objects... but not if it involves grasping with my hands/holding with my wrists!

NV said...

Ty'smom, V, Jennifer -- I think I'm going to have to dig out my brace. It will make doing anything difficult, but it's a trade-off I may have to make. I'm still wondering if it's arthritis and will probably have to get it checked out, especially if it keeps up like it's been. :(

Ann said...

YOUNG LADY! Get THEE to an orthopedist! What if you are developing carpal tunnel or something? Oh my....

NV said...

Ann -- I'll go ... this winter. :-)