November 06, 2018

Intermittent Fasting Trial, Day 6 -- EMG Test and Updated Cabinet Pictures

Today was another day that felt rather easy to get through without even thinking about food or feeling hungry until the late afternoon. I have to say, I really like this pattern of intermittent fasting. For those of you who asked, I am eating a full day's worth of calories in my eating window (I would guess roughly 1600-1800 calories, but I'm not counting or measuring). Intermittent fasting isn't about eating very little food; it's about eating your day's worth of food in a shorter time frame.

I finally had the EMG test done on my arm. I'm still having pain and numbness (the pain is at night, and the numbness is during the day) and the wrist splint the neurologist prescribed last month hasn't helped at all.

The drive to the neurology center is an hour, so that alone took up a chunk of the day. The test was done in two parts: the first was done by a technician, where some sort of recording device marks how my nerves respond to stimuli from electrodes. I have a TENS unit for my back, and I expected the test to feel similar to using the TENS unit (it turns out that I was right--that's exactly what it felt like).

The technician, Kim, was super friendly. She asked if she had tested me before, because I looked very familiar to her. We eventually discovered that she actually knows me from my blog! That's happened to me before, where someone has recognized me, but it still surprises me. Small world :)

Kim hooked me up to the machine and we chatted as she zapped me over and over again. From the first ten seconds or so of the test, she said she can see that I definitely have carpal tunnel syndrome. From what I understood, the first part (the test that she did) was to test how quickly the nerves were able to send electrical signals, while the second part (done by the doctor) was to evaluate muscle activity from the signals.

The neurologist came in to do the second part of the test. He placed a needle into several different muscles and had me relax and then flex each muscle (my deltoid, triceps, biceps, one or two somewhere in my forearm, and then two in the muscle at the base of my thumb).

The needle pokes felt like needle pokes, so no surprise there. The doctor confirmed what Kim said, that I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I don't think either one of them really believed me/understood me when I explained just how bad the pain is at night. I KNOW what a 10 is on the pain scale... I've felt it before. I broke my jaw completely through in five places. That was a 10. This pain in my arm? It makes the broken jaw a 9 out of 10, because this is worse.

But it's "just carpal tunnel" syndrome, and it's "only mild", so it doesn't require surgery. If this is mild, I can't even imagine what severe carpal tunnel syndrome feels like! So, I'm supposed to continue to wear the wrist splint (in the middle of the night, I usually wake up frantically tear at it to come off because my arm feels like it's on fire).

Needless to say, I feel frustrated. I wanted hope that it's going to get better, but instead I feel kind of patronized, like a little girl who has a boo-boo and is told that a simple kiss will make it all better.

But anyways, enough about that. When I got home, I put a second coat of paint on the pet feeding station, and I FINALLY put the finishing coat of paint on the last of the cupboard doors! I am so so so happy to be done with them. They have to cure for at least a few days before I hang them, but I'm just glad that I don't have to paint them anymore.

I will be thrilled when I can finally put away the paint for the entirety of the project! But I have to touch up a few spots on the walls, the ceiling, and I have to paint the island in the kitchen. I was hoping to get started on the flooring this month, but it's pretty expensive, and we'll have to wait another month to save for it. In the meantime, we're going to try to get everything else completely ready.

Since I don't have any photos for this post, here are "before" and "current" photos of the cabinets:

cabinets before painting

cabinets after painting

I wish I had photos of the "before" complete with the popcorn ceiling and crown molding. It's crazy how different it looks. I will take photos of the whole kitchen once I get all of our stuff put away. Our kitchen table is loaded with cans of paint!

But looking at the before/current photos, I can't help but feel pretty proud that I did that! With my own two mildly-carpal-tunneled hands, and bipolar mind, I managed to do something pretty awesome :)


29 comments:

  1. Those cabinets look lovely! I am not handy at all and am impressed with the shelves you built on your own. You should be proud.

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  2. The cabinets look great!! My Aunt has (had!!) severe carpal tunnel, and she couldn't afford surgery, so in a last ditch effort for relief she tried the treatment from this site-https://www.mycarpaltunnel.com/ and it has healed her! She will sometimes get a flare up, but she just puts on the hand things, and it goes away. Might be worth a try! Hope you find relief soon!

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  3. Did they suggest an ultrasound guided injection for the carpal tunnel syndrome?

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    1. They said if the splint doesn't work down the road, then they can do a cortisone injection. I really would like to avoid that, but I'll do anything to get rid of this pain!

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    2. Cortisone shots are pretty awesome, imho. They hurt like hell going in, but then they help so much, and sometimes the helping can last a reeeeally long time. I've not had it for carpal, but for other unrelated things, and it is always amazing.

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    3. My resistance to the cortisone shots is just that one of the side effects is that the cortisone can alter your mood, particularly in people with bipolar. My bipolar is SO stable right now, I'm afraid to make any changes!

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    4. I'm currently in NP school in a neurosurgery rotation at one of the best hospitals in the United States (not bragging, I was placed here by dumb luck). I am by no means an expert, but I've seen a lot of carpal tunnel patients. Here are typically the things that the surgeons want you to try before they are willing to operate:
      Splinting and rest
      Injections or oral steroids
      NSAIDs

      They also do lots of revisions on minimally invasive surgery and will only do open release. Recovery can be long (4 weeks with restrictions), and slow. Nerves only regenerate 1mm a day, which is the size of a sesame seed. Most improvement is seen at the 6th month mark, and full benefit may not be seen for a year!

      Just something to think about.

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  4. Wow! The cabinets look amazing! You have sone skill! Also I agree, there is no “just” with carpal tunnel, your description gave me flashbacks to when I was pregnant and had terrible CT. I would wake up with fire arms sobbing through the pain. It was horrible, I had no idea how painful it could be. The splints helped me a little in the beginning but once it got really bad none of the doctors, acupuncture, chiropractic, creams or funny rolling machines made any difference. Thankfully mine went mostly away as soon as I delivered my baby but I still have a little bit for as long as I keep nursing. Best of luck to you. I hope you can find a solution!

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  5. Boo to the carpal tunnel! Since it’s mild it should ‘simmer down’ when you back off of the painting and repetative movements!! The kitchen looks fantastic!!!!

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  6. Beautiful! Everything looks so professional. I know what a lot of work this is - I just painted our old cabinets. It's hard, but what a feeling of accomplishment. You can add to your blog "Katie the Karpenter"!!

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  7. I have carpal tunnel and totally understand the pain you are going through. I find deep tissue massage is the only thing that works for me. When you first start it will be super sore but after a few sessions it really starts to make a difference.

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  8. Your cabinets look great! And your persistence and follow through win first prize! About that carpel tunnel: I have had carpel tunnel in both hands, and went through splints, exercises, lots of ibuprofen, then cortisone shots, and then two surgeries. I urge you to have the cortisone shots. They work! I felt much better in both hands, and had two rounds. Having two rounds that did not last set me up for the surgeries. I had tried the lesser approach, and it did not work. The surgeries were laparoscopic, anesthesia but not general anesthesia, and a quick recovery. The results last! I fought the carpel tunnel for 15 years, and wish I had not resisted the shots and the surgery for so long. CTS affected household chores, biking and kayaking, sleep, computer use,etc. email me if you want. smerickson at comcast dot net. And go you! Might try that intermittent fasting thing myself.

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    1. I would actually prefer the surgery to anything else! But because this is "mild", surgery isn't an option for me yet. I'm afraid of the cortisone injection simply because a side effect of cortisone is that it can alter one's mood, particular with bipolar. I'm so stable right now that I am afraid of upsetting any balance! But if the pain keeps up, I'm going to reconsider. I'm glad you were able to resolve your CTS. I feel so bad for anyone who has it! I had NO idea how painful it can be.

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    2. Katie, I agree with other commenters who have said the symptoms might ease with rest. As amazing as your kitchen is looking, I can't help but think all the repetitive motions involved with painting and sawing and such have been aggravating your condition. Most doctors will want to start with non invasive treatment, and rest and splinting are non invasive. I totally understand wanting to finish a project once you've started it, but maybe ease off once the major cabinet work is done and outsource some of the jobs. Your health is the most important thing you have and your family needs you healthy! Also, if you're in pain and unable to function, that will definitely impact your mood negatively.

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  9. Ugh I need to get back to the doctors...

    Kitchen is looking fab!

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  10. Your cabinets look fantastic! Great job!!

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  11. Your kitchen looks amazing! Painting cabinets is quite a process (as well as super expensive if done professionally) so you should be proud. Also, so impressed with all your carpentry skills!

    So sorry about the carpal tunnel and all the stuff you are doing really aggravates it. I hope once your project is done you will get some relief. Please keep us updated. Sending you long distance support!

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  12. That kitchen looks completely amazing! People above have already said it, but all that repetitive motion is what is making that carpal tunnel so much worse. My first peak season working at Amazon I had the exact same issue. I would wake up in the middle of the night with my arms just burning, and actually ended up spending many nights sleeping in a chair because I couldn't lay down. What ended up helping was deep tissue massages, as someone else mentioned above. I had to have them weekly for a little while, and it helped a lot. And then the season ended in late December, and once I wasn't doing the repetitive motion it went away, which took maybe 6 months or so.

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  13. Kitchen looks awesome wow!

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  14. love the transformation of your kitchen! I was told I had carpal tunnel and needed surgery, but I was afraid to have the surgery. a family member suggested seeing their chiropractor that does electric acupuncture. I was very skeptical, but it worked for me! That was 20 years ago and I still haven't had surgery. I do have to go in once in awhile (once every 2-3 years) and have it done again, but no surgery, my hands are no longer crippled with pain like before and I have arthritis in them. I know the night time thing you are talking about too.

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  15. I had carpal tunnel with ulna cubital in my right arm. OMG it was so bad that my right hand was always ice cold but the company doctor (it was caused from work) said it wasn't bad. I went to an orthopaedic doctor that my family doctor referred me to and he said no, it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen. Funny thing was that the company doctor and my doctor actually worked together. Eventually the company doctor concurred with my doctor and I had the needed surgery. HUGE change in my arm and I no longer have the constant pain. Hope you can get some relief soon!

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  16. Try taking 50 mg. of Vitamin B6 every day. NO MORE than 50 mg. though. It really does help the carpal tunnel.

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    1. I take B6 everyday for my cubital tunnel syndrome and it has been helping me big time. Worth a shot for something that costs a few bucks from Walgreens! :)

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  17. One thing to remember about your carpal tunnel: it's caused by inflammation and swelling in the tissues in your wrist because of over use. At the moment your still doing a lot of painting and DIY which isn't giving your wrist any time to recover. Once you've finished your project and completely rest your wrist you might find your pain improves. It tends to take some time to get permanent nerve damage, so your carpal tunnel could completely resolve if you give your wrist a chance for the inflammation to calm down.
    Keep using the splint and at the end of the day of DIY ice your wrist and rub anti antiflammatory cream on it.Then rest it as much as you can.
    Hope it feels better soon.
    Vicki (medical doctor in New Zealand)

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  18. I am super impressed by the kitchen! The color and hardware look awesome. It's amazing how much it changes the look. It sounds like it's been a ton of hard work, congrats!

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  19. Your kitchen looks great! You should be very proud of all you've done! Hopefully your CTS will simmer down once you're done with all the work. CTS is mostly from the repetitive movements, but can also be related to hormones. Many women develop it in pregnancy and perimenopause - even without the repetitive movements. I wouldn't make any drastic decisions about how to treat it until you're done with your project and give it a few weeks rest.

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  20. All your hard work is paying off - your kitchen looks amazing!! I really like the shelves you added, too!

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  21. Hi, have you ever considered acupuncture? Sounds absurd, but it can help alleviate pain.

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  22. Those cabinets are INCREDIBLE! You did an amazing job! I can't believe that's a flipping DIY katie! DAMN GIRL!

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