DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis

During our trip, I realized that I’m possibly suffering from an RSI. DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis. My wrist has been painful for a couple months now, but it all culminated in Phuket when I threw a beach ball to a little Aussie girl while swimming in the pool. The motion of that overhand throw (two handed) hit a sweet spot, and I ducked underwater to scream as loud as I could. Cool! The most painfully painful pain I have experienced in a while. Purifying, in a pure-grittish way. I went back to the room and laid on the bed for awhile. We went to see the local clinic the next day, where the doctor told me I was suffering from tendinitis. I accepted this at face value and let the nurse (who was kind of cute but not pretty or lovely or understanding like my girlfriend, I might add) wrap my wrist. Later, Nam’s sister, Nok (who is the most selfless person I know), convinced me to see a famous doctor in Bangkok, and I did so in order to get a second opinion. Good thing, too, because this doctor knew his stuff a lot better than the Phuket guy, who was probably more used to injecting penicillin into Fat German Ass or urine testing Recently-Impregnated Japanese Princesses than diagnosing specific types of RSI.
But this Bangkok doctor was great. He runs a private clinic located in the heart of the city. It opens every night after he finishes his rounds at a big local hospital. When I first walked into the place (comprised entirely of a large fluorescent-lit waiting room with a small adjoining treatment room), I immediately was reassured because the nurses/receptionists were Old Women, Greatly Experienced Yet Non-Bitter types. As I waited, I noticed that some of the patients in the waiting room were bearing gifts – flowers, food, etc. – and placing them on the reception desk after being treated. In retrospect, I’m absolutely sure that these people had no money and that the gifts were actually barter (Is that the correct word? I’m using it to express “goods for services”). This reminds me of stories about my dad, who accepted goods (one specific example was jars of Tupelo honey) when patients did not have money to pay for treatment (props to pops for that), and also my pal Taro’s dad who accepted produce from families that sent their kids to his juku (cram school). Thinking about this kind of stuff makes me happy. Buddha would be moved (In fact, he is).
He did more specific testing involving twisting, tapping, and squeezing my hand, wrist, and arm to isolate the specific area of Pain. I now know this area is called the tenosynovium which is the slippery covering of a common tunnel for two tendons – the abductor policis longus (APL) and extensor policis longus (EPL). I assume my l337 mousing caused the irritation to I read that the reason this is important is to distinguish it from another type of tendinitis where the intersection of the tendons is irritated (and hence requires another treatment). Doc approved of the meds the Phuket doc had prescribed (a pain reliever and a “muscle relaxant” – at first I thought it might make me crap my pants or enable Gumby-like contortions), and said that if the pain persisted, cortisone shots to the wrist would be next. All I can think about is how much a wrist injection would hurt. Pretty bad, I imagine. Also, the last step, which is apparently a final solution of sorts, is surgery to widen the tunnel surrounded by the inflamed tenosynovium.
All this Latin reminds me of a documentary I saw in high school history class. The narration ended with the words, “we can woe the plight of doomed Australopithecus,” delivered in Britspeak (Lorries, brollies, biscuits, etcetera, etcetera, and so forth. Is the word “soldado” used throughout the former British Empire [colonies reconizeable by Commonwealth Game attendance] or only in OZ?).
Surgery, huh? Gotta ask dad about this one.

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