Question: Hi. I’m a male, around 40 years of age working for the last 18 years as a Executive Secretary / Office Coordinator. I a have lot of job responsibilities one of which is heavy typing work. I’m always under pressure and stress due to insecurity of job. I was an active athlete till late last year. I will be thankful if some one will help me out, guide, share, or exchange the views with me regarding my problem (possibly RSI). Since last 4-5 months my right hand is not functioning properly; it is numb. I feel like there is no power in it. I cannot write and cannot lift anything. Sometimes I even feel like it is not taking commands as desired. I have seen several doctors and had consumed a lot of medicines but all in vain. The disease is it yet to be diagnosed and the cause is also not known yet. To add more to my worries, my other hand (left) is also getting affected and it is also having some numbness for the past couple of weeks. I have stopped typing for the last 6 weeks or so, but the problem is still persisting. I don’t know what to do next and I’m helpless in regards to which doctor (specialist) I have to consult. Already I had visited / checked-up with at least 5 different doctors but none of them were able to detect the exact problem.
Answer 1: Have you seen a neurologist? I am no expert but it sounds if as the symptoms you are experiencing could be linked to neurology.
Answer 2: You need to stop the intensive typing, it isn’t easy, but it has to be done. I have a speech program, Dragon Naturally Speaking, it is excellent for bulk typing, and also within Windows programs. You need to ask to be referred to a rheumatologist. He may send you for a bone scan, which is to rule out muscular sympathetic dystrophy, then will send you for Ultrasound, to test for soft tissue damage. I have been prescribed painkillers, such as the talked about nerve drug, Amitriptyline, and Co-dydramol, a pain killer. These drugs do have side effects, drowsiness, possibly nausea. The important thing is your health! Don’t push yourself through pain barriers, treat the pain seriously.
Answer 3: I have lost my job due to acute tenosynovitis but I feel so much better for not typing in the amounts as before. I am extremely poor, but feel progress is being made. No progress can be made when you are still working intensely at a keyboard. There is no doubt about it , this is a terrible injury, not least because you feel isolated and alone. No one can see the pain that you feel. When I first visited my GP, she diagnosed Tenosynovitis, which was only now, 8 months later officially confirmed, following extensive medical treatment and exploration. You must find a specialist to help you, and you must do it sooner rather than later.