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Ulnar Neuropathy & Life....

2004-11-17 @ 2:26 p.m.

Ulnar Neuropathy
Ulnar neuropathy, or ulnar nerve dysfunction, is a form of peripheral neuropathy. Ulnar tunnel syndrome is a specific ulnar neuropathy. The ulnar nerve travels from the shoulder down the outside of the arm, supplying flexion to the wrist and aiding in movement and sensation of the wrist and hand, to the 4th and 5th fingers in particular. Ulnar neuropathy is marked by numbness and tingling in the 4th and 5th fingers and the outer side of the palm. Common causes of this condition are:

∑Direct trauma, such as fracture or dislocation of the elbow
∑Prolonged external pressure on the nerve at the elbow, where the ulnar nerve is close to the surface of the body, or at the base of the palm
∑Compression of the nerve at the elbow or wrist from soft-tissue swelling, bone spurs, or damage to the myelin sheath that encases the nerve

Diagnosis

Diagnostic testing, including X-ray, MRI and nerve conduction tests, focus on determining the cause of neuropathy, so that the patient and doctor may pursue the correct course of treatment.

Treatment

Ulnar neuropathy may be treated conservatively with simple nerve flexing exercises, night-time braces to hold the arm straight and over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, to lessen swelling and pain. The patient is advised to avoid using the hand, especially for activities involving small muscle movement of the hand. In more extreme cases corticosteroids may be injected to reduce swelling and pressure on the nerve. If symptoms are unresponsive to more conservative treatment, or there is evidence of nerve degeneration, surgical intervention may be called for.

Prognosis

If the cause is correctly identified and treated, the patient can make a full recovery and regain complete use and sensation of the hand, though the possibility of partial disability also exists. If left untreated, ulnar neuropathy, like other nerve dysfunction disorders, can result in loss of sensation and atrophying of muscles.

Sources: WebMD.com, my neurologist and personal experience.


Surgery is Friday, and this is what is going on with my hand, arm and shoulder. Today I go in for my pre-op to get the entire doís and doníts the night before the surgery. Dan rearranged his work schedule to be there for me. (More than what I could say about how Paul ever wasÖlol)

The surgery will consist of cutting my elbow open, they will cut it about 6-8 inches in length, take the nerve out of the groove of my bones in my elbow (the funny bone area) and slide my nerve in between my muscles in my arm, this is supposed to release any pressure on the nerve itself. After that for the next 4-6 weeks I will be placed either in a cast or splint, Iíll find that out for sure this afternoon on that part.

I spoke to my dad today and asked him if he told mom about my surgery since she isnít speaking to me and he hasnít told her yet. Heíll be telling her tonight. Although Dad has known about my surgery since I found out when it was going to happen, yet he hasnít told Mom yet. **Sigh** I know sheís going to be mad at him once she finds out how long he has known. If she calls me, thatís hard to tell if that will happen or not. But I honestly think that she probably will. If she doesnít, Iíll be pretty disappointed because it will show me how much she really cares. I guess you have to know my mom to understand that. I mean, would you remain to be stubborn and mad at your kid and not call if they were going into surgery whether it is a minor or major surgery? That is definitely a time when you need to just swallow your pride and call. Well folks, my mother isnít like that, she will continue to hold her head up high and hang on to her pride. And it saddens me when she is like that, but as Dad says, what can you do? That is just how she is.

Hereís a little example; when I was told that I couldnít have kids and I broke down in tears Mom asks ďwhy are you crying, thereís no reason to cry itís good you canít have kids, you donít deserve them they will be just like youĒ, another; when I went in for my first 2 laparoscopy surgeries mom wasnít there, didnít call nothing until 4 days later to check on things. Another; when I went in for my major surgery to have my total hysterectomy done (due to my Endometriosis), Iím being wheeled to the surgery room and slowly fading from the anesthetic, Mom finally for the first time in 23 years tell me that she loves me. Again, when I first moved away from home after graduation and moved 3 hours away and she was mad because I moved away, sometime during the 3 months that I was gone she was rushed to the hospital and almost died, I didnít find this out until 4 years later when she finally decided to tell me, she had told my dad and brother not to tell me. There was another time when my mom and I were arguing in front of my dad and x-husband and she started yelling at me about her committing suicide (she has always threatened it the whole time I grew up, itís no wonder Iím so fucked up), well I looked at her and flat out told her, ďdonít tell me about suicide, Iíve already tried it 5 times!Ē and showed my scars, you know what she said? She yelled; ďThen why didnít you do it all the way and finished yourself off?Ē Do you know how much I was hurt hearing that from her, basically giving me her blessing to do it? To this day I am still hurt by it and that is one thing I donít think I can ever get over. After she said that I just fell apart my dad got pissed off and I went and pulled knives from the kitchen to show her Iím not afraid of suicide but my dad stopped me while mom told him to let me do it. What parent tells their child to go ahead and commit suicide? Iíve even been through where she started choking me in front of family and I let her and my dad and my x-husband was trying to pull us apart as my aunts and uncles and cousins stared. My dad asked why I let her to that, my answer-because she feels that it will make her happy. I can never make her happy and if this is what will make her happy then I will let her do it. Iím not the one that has to live with that the rest of my life of doing such a thing, itís her. But in all honesty, I am still hurt by that one suicide incident. I donít think that I will ever in my entire lifetime be healed from the hurt words that she said that day. Itís been 10 years now since she has said that to me and I still cry about it. So I hope that this kind of summarizes why I donít think she will break down, swallow her pride and call me before or on Friday. But weíll see.

So anyway, like I mentioned, Dan had rearranged his schedule to be with me, heís all worried about me and this surgery right now, itís weird, itís nice donít get me wrong, itís just weird and I think itís because of always being in abusive relationships where they didnít care that for once in my life itís nice to have him care so much. Iíve never had anyone care about me the way that Dan does. And itís a good feeling. Normally I will push people away that want to care about me but as Nick was telling me a couple weeks ago that its time that I start getting used to it and let people care about me. Jenn used to tell me that too, when her and I were roommates and things would happen with me and Jenn expressing her care and worries I would always push her away and tell her to not worry about me and that I didnít want her to worry about meÖwell Jenn, to be honest I was glad that you worried about me I just donít like to break down and admit it. But now you know that I was appreciative of it it was just that stubborn streak of me, you of all people know me best.

I think what made me realize that I should accept people caring about me and wanting to be there for me was when Paul and I broke up. I was so hurt and so heartbroken because I loved and cared about him so much and he pushed me away and I hated that. And when it was all said and done I was alone and I hated that feeling. I was alone because I pushed everyone away. Because of Paul I had lost Jenn as my best friend for over a year. And it hurt. I lost all my friends, and I have no family that lives here in Denver. Now, I am trying my best to accept the fact that my friends do care and worry, just please give me time to get used to it and for the way I pushed you away in the past, Iím sorry. Iím truly sorry, and this apology goes mainly to my best friend Jenn.

Well now that Iíve been all sappy I should get some work done. Blessed Be!

Much Love~

~V~


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