Case of the Numb Hand


One of the great things about my new place is how close I am to Green Lake. One of my goals for coming back to Seattle and being in The Real World™ is to exercise. I tried it a year ago with CrossFit, and had mixed success. I was able to find the time to do it, but I didn’t have any idea of what I was doing. This may have contributed to my numb hand incident last year, which I eventually was resolved with a little bit of PT, however I had lost my exercise momentum.

But, this is a new year! And it would be a shame to waste Green Lake’s paths at 5am in the morning. Running seems like a pretty easy thing that I already know how to do (no special training required, although I did run track for a season back In The Day™). So I get up, drag my self out of bed (sometimes with the assistance of Ben or Quinn, who have each run with me once – although Quinn did it with me on a mid-Sunday morning), and run.

I ran two days last week and did not get around the lake either time. I ran yesterday with Quinn and today by myself and managed to get around both times1! The sun has barely started to rise and the air is nice and cool, making for ideal running conditions (for me at least).

run_ready20080909 If I can keep this up for the rest of the week, I’m planning on getting a Nike + iPod gadget that links my shoe to my iPod. My iPod will then be able to give me real time feedback on how far I’ve run, my pace, time elapsed, calories burned, etc…all to music! Anyone have any experience using the Nike + iPod and want to weigh in on it’s effectiveness?

Anyway, most mornings I’m out the door by 5:05am. If anyone wants to run with me, meet me in front of my building. If you know for sure that you want to run, try to give me a heads up the day before so I can let you know if I’m running or not the next morning.

Hopefully I can stick with this.

  1. getting around is not the problem, getting around in time to get ready for work so I can catch the carpool is the problem 

Starting Physical Therapy

I started physical therapy for my hand yesterday. I’ll be going twice a week for four weeks. I’m working with Jamie who is a wonderful physical therapist at Select Physical Therapy. She’s not entirely sure what the problem is, but she’s going to treat it as a radial nerve problem and that seems to be working. My hand felt better after Monday’s PT, so I look forward to tomorrow’s session. She also gave me a couple of exercises to complete at home, so I’m doing those as well.

Henry Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body:

Caption: Back of right upper extremity, showing surface markings for bones and nerves.

Caption: Front of right upper extremity, showing surface markings for bones, arteries, and nerves.


Numb Hand: Update

I got a call back from the Neurologist yesterday and insurance has denied the request for a MRI. Instead, they would like me to get four weeks of physical therapy first.

I’m not sure where I’ll find the time to fit PT in, my schedule/life is pretty full at the moment.


Numb Hand

This post is for those of you who in the medical field, know someone in the medical field, or enjoy the medical field (even if you aren’t in it).

Starting last Friday (about 6 days now), the back of my left hand has been numb. The feeling is markedly different than if I had hit my funny bone. I would not describe the feeling as a tingling or pin pricking. It is similar in feeling to when the dermis is numbed with Emla Cream. There is little or no pain associated with it and there was no history to indicate why this might happen. The only other symptom is an on-again/off-again pain in my elbow.

I had a similar experience with the same hand over the summer, so this is the second time this has happened. In my previous experience, it resolved it self in a few days.

Taking ibuprofen has not had any discernable effect.

The area highlighted within the red region are where I notice the numbness. The area highlighted within the yellow region is where it feels the most numb.

Source: Henry Gray (1825–1861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918. The mucous sheaths of the tendons on the back of the wrist.
Click image to embiggen.

I’ve been to the health center to see a doctor. She has no idea what it could be and recommend that I go see a neurologist. I was somehow able to setup an appointment to see a neurologist tomorrow, so that’s what I’ll be doing in the morning.