Monday, September 13, 2010

Holy Mongolian Fire Oil!!

My hands have been extremely painful for about a month now. I suspect the pain originally started from overuse in two ways. First, I let my painfully adorable 2 year old cousin do sit-ups on my lap, using my thumbs to pull herself back up. Probably shouldn't have done that, but I just couldn't resist her cuteness and her desire to play with me. Second, while RK and I drove from Ohio back to Colorado, we got totally sucked into playing this trivia game, Sporcle, on my iphone. I probably shouldn't have spent so many hours keying in our answers on my little phone with my thumbs, but we were enjoying ourselves so much and it really helped us pass the long hours.

After I got home, I thought if I just tried to rest my hands, I would be fine. But it turns out that it is nearly damn impossible to actually rest your hands unless you just never get out of bed in the morning. Because you use your hands for everything. So, though I was doing my best to rest my hands, particularly my more painful right hand, the pain just seemed like it was getting worse and worse. In class one day last week I accidentally hit my hand on the desk and it hurt so much that I literally had to close my eyes and concentrate on not vomiting. Time to call the doctor.

I called Nurse Connie and told her the pain was making me want to vomit. She got me in to see the physician's assistant that same afternoon. And while I was talking to the PA, my rheumatologist even stepped in to check on me quickly too. I am really grateful for the team at that office since they always take such good care of me. They all poked and prodded around the base of my left thumb, trying to figure out if it was tendinitis or arthritis of my lowest thumb joint. 

In the end they couldn't tell for sure, so we decided to treat the tendinitis for now. The PA took an inch-long needle and stabbed the length of it into my thumb, so she could put prednisone all along the tendon. It wasn't pretty to watch, but compared to how much that sucker already hurt it barely hurt at all. She said it might take three or four days for the full effect.

This is where the Mongolian Fire Oil comes in. It has been three or four days and my hands, particularly along my left thumb, are still killing me. I'm starting to feel confined by what I can and can't do with them. But, in any event, I set out to cook a special dinner for APL - delicious Asian lettuce wraps that I had when I visited my cousin. Her recipe didn't call for Mongolian Fire Oil, but I was going to add some because APL loves that stuff. 

I was reaching into the cabinet over the stove to get the oil, and then....One minute the bottle was grasped in my hand....the next minute it just...wasn't. My grasp had failed and the entire unopened bottle of Mongolian Fire Oil hit the stove top and shattered into a billion pieces, spraying sticky orange oil everywhere. And I just looked at my hand and couldn't figure out why it hadn't worked. My hand just hadn't worked. My joints didn't stay bent to keep me grasping the bottle. And I looked at the mess and wondered if my hands would behave well enough to clean it up.

Luckily, APL arrived home at that moment and took over cleaning up the glass so I wouldn't cut my hands to smithereens trying to clean the glass myself. After that it was just a matter of sopping up the beloved oil with paper towels so we could throw it away, and I could do that. And in the end, I managed to cook the dinner and everyone agreed it turned out delicious.

But I'd like my pain-free hands back now. I really didn't like the feeling of helplessness I had today when I looked at the shattered bottle and the Mongolian Fire Oil spilling out all around it.


Helen said...

I've done this with all sorts of things, most annoyingly big, full cartons of milk, but definitely never with Mongolian Fire Oil!

I know how frustrating it is. I'm glad you were able to continue making dinner, and that it turned out so well.

Rebecca said...

It was an amazing meal and you are a rock star! Maybe we can have a cast made for your hand to enforce a mandatory rest period?


~Mariah~ said...

It. Was. A. MESS.

I also dropped a full glass of water on to the carpet that same evening. At least it was water.

Laurie Grassi said...

And here I thought, when I read the title of your post, that Mongolian Fire Oil was going to be some awesome treatment for sore joints!!! Oh well...

Hope your hands calm down soon! :) L

~Mariah~ said...

Thanks, Laurie. No - I wouldn't recommend rubbing Mongolian Fire Oil on your joints. ~;o) It probably wouldn't be pretty.