Arthritis sucks


Not sure where it came from. Perhaps it was playing too much guitar, or all the motorcycle/bicycle riding I have done over the years. Or it is just bad luck, but the arthritis in my left thumb sucks.

I started noticing it a few months ago. When I started cycling again seriously (more than once a month 😉 ) I noticed that my left thumb was sore afterwards. It has gotten progressively worse, until in early September I went to my doctor. X-Rays showed a deterioration of the cartilage in my left thumb (boo) and a bone spur. Put me in a spica splint, told me to take 800mg of vitamin I twice a day, and if it didn’t get noticeably better in two week, to go to a specialist.

Needless to say, it didn’t magically improve, so off to a specialist I go.

There I get more x-rays, and a really shitty piece of news. There is virtually NO cartilage left in my left thumb, there are multiple bone spurs, and while the bone spurs will likely wear down (and thus the discomfort will reduce somewhat), my thumb will never be good again. This time I get a custom make spica splint for my thumb to wear while sleeping, and I still take shedloads of vitamin I.

After that first appointment with the specialist, I will admit that I had to sit in my car and cry. My thumb (and by extension hand) will NEVER be good again. I go back in 6 weeks to check on it, and if it isn’t better (and the Dr. said that was a stretch), it would be time for cortisone shots. That should control the discomfort. But the cartilage is gone for good.

Today, I tried playing guitar. Good news/bad news. I have done enough practicing in the last few months that some of my speed and chops were coming back. Bad news is that the thumb pain is pretty bad while playing. I fear it is just a matter of time until I will have to put my axes in the case and give up playing.

I am too damn young for this shit.

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By geoffand


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November 2013

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