Return of the absentee blogger (again). Elsie and I, day #548

It’s been ages since I took some time out to write on here.  It’s been a busy year so far, and to be honest its been good, after a shaky start.

I had my left Carpal Tunnel and trigger finger (middle) operated on a few weeks before Christmas 2014 and it was a bit of a disaster.  I ended up back in hospital with infection and had to have washout of my wounds and IV antibiotics, with another two trips to theatre and General Anaesthetics over the Christmas holiday.

I wasn’t a happy Boylie.  On top of all of this, my joints were pretty stiff and sore and I was getting depressed and frustrated with the lack of progress, or any sort of diagnosis. Thankfully my hands are better, with a combination of meds, lots of physio and steroid injectionns. This has made a huge difference to my mood – the pain and constant pins and needles I was experiencing were really getting me down.

6 months of duloxetine (prescribed for the pins and needles) also helped my mood.  I know it’s not for everyone, and I had quie a few of the unpleasant side effects.  (Dizzines, insomnia, difficulty passing urine). It also made me feel pretty flat for the first few months.  I’m not sure if ths was a bad thing though.  It certainly helped with the feelings of hopelessness I was getting at the start of the year.

The pain and the pns and needles were driving me round the bend.  I couldn’t sleep and I felt like noone had any answers to my questions.  I was beginning to imagine a future of increasing immobility and pain. It looked pretty bleak to me. Until mid 2014, I was regularly running 10k’s. Worst of all, the hand pain was making it impossible to play the piano. I’m no concert pianist, but I can play a tune or two, and I really missed being able to play.

I’m not 100% sure when I started to feel better. I’m also not 100% sure exactly what made the biggest difference.  Looking back on it, I was clearly clinically depressed. I never told my GP how bad I was feeling at the time and I know this was wrong. I did know though, that I could get a prescription for Duloxetine because the pns and needles were so bad. At the time I didn’t want to talk about my feelings to my GP, but I knew I needed some sort of treatment.  I’d had duloxetine before (when I had surgery on my right hand and wrist) and I responded well to it.

This coincided with a diagnosis of Diabetic Cheiroarthropathy and limited joint mobility and some slightly frustrating physiotherapy.  In the end I got some very good advice from the diabetes team about keeping mobile and reducing the pain in my joints and feet.

I’ve accepted that I’ll probably never run another road race, but I also realise that I need to keep moving.  I had gotten into a cylce of doing less because I was sore, which was in turn making me more stiff and sore.

I’ve swapped running for cycling – nothing too dramatic, just nice easy rides along the canal towpath or the local disused railway path, with the occasional ride to and from work.  I’m slowly increasing my distances and the sweet spot where the endorphins kick in (that was so easy to achieve when running) is just around the corner. I’m graduallyy losing weight too. This can only be good and will certainly help the sore joints.

Numbers have been pretty good (considering my diet) and I’m dabbling with the Freestyle Libre again. I can’t afford to use it constantly, but every now and then is great for adjusting basal rates and I’ll hopefully get that elusive HbA1c of <7%. I’m hovering between 7.1% and 7.3%. The exercise is helping with insulin sensitivity. If I could just stop eating cake. Then again, 7.1% is acceptable.

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