March 29, 2021

April Book Pick and Carpal Tunnel Flare-Up

First, I completely forgot to pick a winner for the 'West With Giraffes' Kindle book giveaway! I totally spaced out I guess. But I used to pick a winner today, and that is... Christie H. I just sent you an email to confirm the email address to send the book. So sorry that it took so long!

Speaking of books, it's almost April, which means it's almost time to start my April read-athon book. (You can read about the year-long read-athon I'm doing here--it's a 'Friends' theme.) 

Last month, I had to read a book with an animal in it, and because of that, I discovered what became one of my top three favorite books of all time: West With Giraffes (Amazon affiliate link). The prompt for April is:

Chandler: "Could I BE more excited?"  - Read a highly anticipated book.

When I looked through the prompts for the year, I knew which book I was going to save for April. I bought it in the fall, and I was so excited to read it, but it's a LONG book--900+ pages--and I was waiting for a good time to dive in. As you may know, my most favorite book is 'The Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett. I've read the trilogy twice, which is saying a lot--I'm a slow reader, and those books are about 1,000 pages each.

Well, Follett wrote a prequel to 'The Pillars of the Earth' and it was released last fall. I don't normally buy books (I like to borrow them from the library) but I bought it right away. It's called 'The Evening and the Morning'

Because it's such a long book, I actually started reading it yesterday to make sure I finish it before the end of April. I decided to aim for 5% per day (the Kindle Paperwhite shows your progress in the book by percentage, so it's easy to keep track that way). And today, I actually read 15% because I already really like it.

By the way, if you've never read 'The Pillars of the Earth', you may want to check it out. I would NEVER have picked out that book by reading the description--the only reason I read it back in the day was because Oprah raved about it so much. It's a historical fiction book, and history was always been my least favorite subject in school. I usually got C's and D's in history classes!

'The Pillars' takes place in the 1100's. I think the thing I love most about the book is visualizing what life was like for people back in that time period. The book description makes it sound like it's all about religion, politics, and history, but if that was the case, I wouldn't have wasted my time reading it.

It's a very detailed story, taking place over many years, about several lives that intertwine; it's full of romance, drama, action, suspense, comedy... you name it. (It's a bit graphic at times, so if you're concerned about that, you may want to read spoilers about it before reading the book.)

Anyway, I loved 'The Pillars' so much that I read the sequel, and then I read the trilogy last year, and now I've started the prequel. 

Today, I spent a lot of time reading because I vowed that I was going to rest. My carpal tunnel has flared up BIG TIME and it's completely miserable. I feel like I can't catch a break lately! I got a nasty blister and had to quit going for walks to let it heal, so I started riding my bike instead. Then I injured my knee pretty badly, so I had to quit biking. Then I picked up a project to work on while my knee healed--refinishing a TV console and coffee table--and now my carpal tunnel is telling me no.

The carpal tunnel syndrome started a few years ago when I was working on remodeling the house. I spent a ton of time scraping the texture off of the ceiling, mudding the drywall, sanding the heck out of it, priming, and painting. I did this stuff every single day for MONTHS.

Then I started having problems with my hands and wrists. I went to a chiropractor, which didn't help. Physical therapy, which only helped a little. And a neurologist, who diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome. He gave me a prescription for a wrist splint (the pain was mainly in my right hand) and said he could do cortisone injections. I declined because I have had a couple of bad experiences with cortisone (it makes my mood go completely crazy). I would love to get carpal tunnel surgery, but he made it sound like he wouldn't consider that until I try the cortisone first. 

After the last few nights I've had, I'm going to find a different doctor and try again. I really didn't like the neurologist I saw--he made me feel very rushed and it didn't seem like he was listening to me at all.

The pain at night is the worst. I wake up in excruciating pain several times a night. I am not one to exaggerate pain--I know the pain scale well. I've given birth twice, I've shattered my jaw and had two surgeries on it, I've had skin removal surgery... those topped out at a 9 on the 1-10 pain scale. You know what is a 10? This carpal tunnel syndrome!

During the day, it's mostly just annoying rather than painful. But at night? It feels like my arm is on fire while simultaneously being stabbed all over and having my fingernails ripped off. It comes in waves, much like contractions during childbirth. I can feel the intensity rising until it peaks and then it slowly backs down. I end up writhing and pacing and crying and moaning... I'm sure it sounds like I'm giving birth!

When I get up in the morning (I've been getting up before 5:00 the last few days because the pain flares up the most when I'm in bed) my hands are super swollen. Jerry was kind of freaked out when he saw how swollen my hands were today. That's why I said I was going to rest my arms. I'm finished with painting the furniture (which is what caused my carpal tunnel to flare up again), and just have to put it back together and get it in the house. I think next week I'm going to try walking and see how my knee feels. I'd love to start the Couch to 5K again. And I'm going to have to rest my hands for a while.

Estelle's certainly not complaining--she loves sitting on my lap ;)

At least I have a good book to read! If I end up loving it, I'll do a giveaway for a copy of 'The Evening and the Morning' (or if you've not yet read 'The Pillars of the Earth', you could choose that instead). But I'll write about that when I finish the book. Now, I'm going to try to go to bed early and hopefully get some sleep tonight.


  1. I had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists 5 years ago. I had tried cortisone shots, but I was in the agony you are describing, especially at night when my mind has nothing else to focus on. I hope you find a surgeon who will skip the shots and go straight to surgery. That pain is far worse than child birth, IMO, because there is no relief, no reward :( I'm so sorry you are living with that.

  2. Please get your carpal tunnel surgically repaired! I waited too long and deal with permanent nerve damage.

  3. Yikes, the CT syndrome sounds awful.....Here's to your recovery!!

  4. Try going to see an Occupational Therapist for your wrist. You will need a referral/prescription from a dr. There are many who are certified hand specialists and only do hands. Those are the ones you want. They treat this kind of condition all the time.

  5. I had a carpel tunnel issue and did do the cortisone shots. However, I went to an orthopedic facility so you might have a better experience there. Neurologist can be difficult by nature. Here (in GA) its called Resurgens Orthopaedics. They aren't in your area, but looking at their website might help you figure out what type of practice you have in your area.

  6. So sorry the CT is flaring up again, Katie. Wishing you some relief soon. 💜

  7. I had carpel tunnel issues and finally found a doctor to listen to me that splints weren't the answer (I had tried them for years). He had me get tested to see my nerve responses and that was enough for him to do surgery without cortisone shots. After the surgery he said we caught it just in time because if was so severe he was shocked I didn't have more significant nerve damage (and it was on the wrist that did not hurt as much as the other). My point is - try another doctor! Like other people, I went to an Orthopaedic doctor not a neurologist.

    Also... I did both hands at one time...and uh while I didn't have to go through it twice, I would probably spread it out if I were to do it over. Having to be helped with EVERYTHING really was not fun.. from bathing to using the bathroom to getting dressed. What annoyed me the most was waiting for someone else to feed me 🤣

    1. I forgot about the nerve test. That should help an ortho get her right in! Mine was great and listened to me amd did surgery without it, thankfully, but I was driving to the next state over to get ANYONE to give me shots way too often. He agreed that simply wasn't okay and I am SO grateful for those (separate, LOL) surgeries.

  8. So sorry to hear about the flare up. I hope you find a doctor who listens and helps you. As for Pillars of the Earth, YES! Fabulous book. I'll have to check out the other one.

  9. I like others spoke, have had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands.......however, I will tell you that sleeping in the hand splint does help some until you're able to have the surgery. It feels so much better after it all heals up, you'll be glad you had it done.

  10. Yes sleeping with straight wrists is really important. Also I found I was holding my phone with a bent wrist while typing or playing and stopping that by switching to a different position etc my pain went away. It was never as bad as described but removing a watch restricting my wrist and being very aware of my wrist angle gave it chance to clear up. Your right not to ignore the pain!


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