Mayo Clinic Day 3
For at least the last 7 years my right dominant hand index finger has been swollen. I’ve been thrusting it forward at every doctors appointment since it began. Sometimes it is much worse and swells like a sausage. Sometimes it turns purple. If I eat a lot of sugar it gets worse, as does everything. It’s more swollen in the morning when I can’t close my fist. At it’s worse I can’t even bend it. Doctors have glanced at it and maybe given it a pinch over the years, said maybe it’s arthritis, or maybe Raynaud’s, but I’ve never been able to get them to go any further. The finger is so unusual and unpredictable it has been nicknamed “Fat Finger” by my family.
Most recently I told my primary care that this was the year of the finger. I wanted to get this finger figured out. She told me that she didn’t want to discuss my finger until I had gone back to see the neurosurgeon – the panicky one that scared the pants off of me about needing to do surgery immediately, almost 3 years ago. So, I went to an acupuncturist who stabbed it a few times over the course of my first few appointments and then basically ignored it to focus on my hip and my neck. To her credit my hip pain of more than a decade has been completely gone for several weeks now. (Knock on Wood). To my disappointment every time I let her touch my neck the symptoms get much worse for a time.
I was meeting with the neurologist yesterday and she was asking “what else?” It felt like she asked me fifty thousand times. Bryan and I kept telling her more things until we couldn’t think of any more (we still forgot some that we remembered later). One of them was my finger. She asked if I had shown it to a doctor. I told her I had shown it to all of them. She said she thought it was probably arthritis, but she ordered and x-ray and arranged a visit with the hand clinic.
Today we saw another amazing, brilliant, funny and personable physician. If you are wondering where they all are, I think they are hiding in Minnesota. First, though, we met his very kind resident…
#MayoClinic #OnAMission #FixMySpine #FixMyFingerToo
This young doctor looked at my x-rays and examined my finger and in the end said that he was really stumped, but that we were about to meet with the expert.
He left and returned a few minutes later with “the expert” who promptly exclaimed that my finger appeared to by “very mysterious.” Again the exam and the poking and prodding and he showed me the x-rays of my finger and said that from what they could see there is no arthritis and no reason for my finger to be in this condition. The only thing he could come up with is that there must be a foreign body in my finger causing this. He said it most frequently happens to people who garden. Typically they will find a thorn from a rose bush or something similar.
Tomorrow I’m having an ultrasound of my finger to try and find what has been causing these problems from the last seven or so years. I’m excited, and curious, and really on the brink of hysterical hilarity over it all.
P.S. Included are Lily’s snapchats. The kid has been awesome about entertaining herself through all of this.