"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Help! - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome???

That's a term I've heard for a long time, and always thought of as some kind of arthritis-like pain in hands and fingers.  (Updated below) 
(Updated again 05 Dec 2010 below)

For months now (since my 68th birthday on May 25) I've had problems with my fingers and thumbs feeling numb and thought it to be a circulation problem; hence the walking regimen I've forced upon myself since the end of May. While good for other things, it may turn out to have been an exercise in futility for this particular problem.

You see, a number of people where I work, observing my problems, have raised the possibility of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). While that sounded just plain wrong to me, I finally decided to look it up on the internet.

So, what did I find?

(From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms - Get The Facts )
(Emphasized symptoms match mine perfectly)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms...
 - Sleep interruption from numb hands and tingling fingers
 - Waking up -- Numbness in Hand at Night and Pain in Wrist
 - Hand Pain and or Wrist Pain
 - Weakness in Hand and Wrist - loss of hand muscles
 - Pain Radiating up the Forearm
 - Poor Circulation, Hands falling asleep
 - Cold Hands - Forearms warm
 - Loss of Hand Grip Strength
 - Loss of Feeling Sensation in Fingers & Thumb
 - Dropping Objects - Forks - Glasses - Pen - etc.
 - Numbness in Fingers or Tingling - Index, Middle & Ring Finger
 - Numbness in Thumb
 - Loss of fine motor skills in hands - Clumsiness in Hands
 - Aching Shoulders and Neck

Most Frustrating Results Patients Report Due to CTS Symptoms...
 - Lost Time at Work and Unproductive Daytime Sleepiness
 - Inability to Button Buttons, Tie Shoes, Turn Key, Apply Make-up -etc.
     (Can't say about Applying Make-up; have yet to try it. :-)
 - Interruption of Earnings
 - Day Time Grogginess Affects Safety and Effectiveness at Work
 - High Blood Pressure and Poor Health from Chronic Sleep Loss
     (Haven't checked blood pressure lately. I reckon that goes on the to-do list.)
     (UPDATE - 22 SEP 2010 - Have now emphasized the blood pressure part.
      Checked it on Monday 9/13 and again on 9/20.  Numbers classified; let's
      describe them as "bomb" range for now. Yet another thing to deal with.)
 - Irritability Often Impacts Valued Relationships
     (Don't have any relationships, so N/A)

That's an awful lot of correlations, so consider me convinced.

Now, what to do about it?

I probably need to be consulting with someone, but in my experience the "someone" usually likes to be paid for it. So, one of the first steps is to get with one of my managers and see if the bite for company insurance is something I can handle. At least find out what my options are; what is possible.

And, before anyone preaches to me what a "no-brainer" insurance should be, my experience does not include any instances of something that was impossible before, miraculously becoming possible just because it became desperately needed; the universe doesn't appear to work that way.

I would like to hear from anyone with experience of this condition, who's "been there and done that" (if there is a "done that", as in past tense, with this condition).

Did you find things to do, or to use, that really helped?

I'll be researching what I can, but I'd really like to hear from you.


(Originally posted 09/12/10 8:17 PM)

UPDATE - 05 DEC 2010 -  A few days ago, I got the following email...
Hello Paulinhouston Admin,

I came across your site paulinhouston.blogspot.com while browsing the
internet and I saw its potential in giving valuable information to every
person who visits it.  Because of this, I would like to share to you a
website that also offers very important information on a non-surgical
method of treating carpal tunnel syndrome - the

I believe we would be a valuable resource for your visitors.  Please be so
kind as to list us as a resource on

Best regards,
R***** M*****

I did some googling on the organization, their technique (The Julstro Self-Treatment System) and on Julie Donnelly, LMT (who developed the system). What I found was mostly testimonials of various kinds that read as if authored by the people promoting this. I did NOT come across any negative views or allegations of fraud (although, as Carl Sagan once noted, absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence).

I've decided to give it a shot. I ordered the kit...
SKU Description Option Price Quantity Total

Julstro Self-Treatment Kit with Pain Free Living Book $187.00 1 $187.00

1 X Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living (print)

1 X Julstro Self-Treatment Kit

Subtotal $187.00
Shipping & Handling $14.95
State Sales Tax (TX) $16.66
Total $218.61

And then emailed this reply to the request...

After researching you a bit and (so far) finding nothing negative about you or your technique, I have placed an order for your Julstro Self-Treatment Kit with Pain Free Living Book, gambling a total of $218.61 (including S&H and Sales Tax),

To say that I'm skeptical would be an understatement worthy of a Brit; the money I have just committed to this ain't pocket change in my current situation. This reflects the kind of desperation that drove Steve McQueen to try laetrile treatments in Mexico (of course, we know how THAT turned out).

When I get the kit, I will give it as fair and honest an evaluation as I can, and will report that in updates of my blog post. By doing this, I am rolling the dice; if they come up "snake-eyes", that too will be fairly and honestly reported.

So, we'll see what commences.

And, here is what they wanted me to paste into my post...

Interested to know more about carpal tunnel treatment?
Take advantage of the free resource at www.carpaltunneltreatment.org and
find the best solution to your carpal tunnel questions and concerns.

Update - 07 Jan 2011 - This is continued in Carpal Tunnel Self Treatment

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