I normally live a healthy life or I should say I am normally healthy. I have never really smoked or drank alcohol or even drank coffee or tea with an occasional exception some 40+ years ago when I was really quite young. No really health issues to complain about that can’t be directly attributed to not exercising as much as I should and my metabolism slowing.
Now, I am complaining about a finger, Mr. Tall Man on my left hand. There are lots of things that could be the cause of that.
I know that there are a couple of options. One, someone in my youth didn’t appreciate the “California salute” which would have certainly been followed with some torque to that finger. Of course, I would have expected that the right hand was the more likely offender with that appropriate wave. Two, I certainly smashed that finger into at least several footballs and several basketballs. I may even have smashed into a volleyball, a tetherball, a dodgeball, or maybe even a softball.
I started having problems with swelling and pain in my finger about 2008. It got worse over the next year until I finally gave in and went into the doctor. The General Practice doctor was helpful but not an expert on hands. I called a Navy buddy that is now an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hands. He told me that I should be able to manage with a shot of cortisone. The whole thing would continue to be manageable with shots but the time that each shot was effective would decrease.
The shots used to last almost a year before I needed another. I did well with that for about 4 years. Last year I had 3 shots and just barely managed to control the pain or swelling. I figured that I needed to get a real evaluation again. I visited a doctor in Qingdao in March and got an opinion but my personal take was I would trust a dairy farmer to give me better advice. Nothing against dairy farmers, they are quite competent and in fact, the dairy farmer certainly has my vote if I can’t get to a real doctor.
I asked for another appointment with a specialist from my local medical support team. After getting an appointment in Shanghai, I visited with a doctor that was supposed to be a hand expert. During his visit, I lost respect for his ability when he told me he had never seen anything like and would have to speak with colleagues about how to proceed.
I visited a doctor in Hong Kong this weekend and I can tell you that the third time is the charm for my doctor visits. I finally got an evaluation that made sense. My diagnosis is a strained and inflamed A3 palmer ligament.
I am glad to finally know EXACTLY what the problem is and what I need to do with or about it. It feels better already.