"It would be best if you stopped gardening," said the hand specialist I was visiting because of some mild but chronic pain I'd been experienced ever since I was knocked off my feet while ice skating last February.
"I don't garden," I said. "I'm really more concerned about being able to exercise and protecting my hands so I can play the violin. I'm a violinist."
Last February while skating with my kids, a woman skated into me from the back, and I never saw her coming. My feet were knocked out from under me, and I went flying into the air. I landed on my tailbone, slamming my arms and hands into the ice. Fortunately I did not land on my head or spine. Still, it rang my bell, and I only noticed later that my hands hurt from the impact. That mostly went away, and I still could play the violin. But after months, I still couldn't lean on my hands without pain, meaning I couldn't do push-ups, certain yoga poses, etc. This wasn't going away. I didn't want it to spread and get worse, and I was also a little concerned I may have broken some tiny bone in there. Not something to ignore, if you use your hands for a living.
The young doctor had taken some X-rays, and the good news was that nothing appeared to be broken.
"You probably activated some arthritis in the base joint of your thumb," he said.
Arthritis? Sorry, that sounds scary to a violinist. I wanted to know more.
"You can take some ibuprofen if you want," he said. "We can wait until it gets worse and then do surgery, but you probably don't need surgery now."
"Actually, I just want to know how to help things heal," I said. "I don't want it to get worse, but I just need to know what I should do, and what I should not do."
"Well, you should probably avoid gardening," he said.
"I don't really do any gardening," I repeated, gritting my teeth. I didn't mention that I don't actually have a YARD. "I really just need to know how to help it heal."
"You can take some ibuprofen," he said. "But it's true, the more you use your joints, the worse arthritis will get. But if it gets worse, we can do surgery."
"In the mean time," he said. "I would avoid doing any gardening."Tweet
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