Monday, June 20, 2011

The Hits Keep Coming: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Before I tell this chapter of our story, I'd like to thank Barb Collura and Kelly Barrett and the entire team at RESOLVE one last time.  The Father's Day Twitterview was great, and I think truly appreciated by its attendees.  Thanks also to the entire audience for your enthusiasm and re-tweets, especially @MiriamsHope!

For the transcript of the Twitterview, please follow this link:

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Toward the end of the second trimester, JK started to manifest new symptoms.  First came the swollen knuckles the somewhat-arthritic feeling in the fingers.  Forget wearing rings at that point Wannabe Moms.  If you can get one on, you'll never get it off!

Then came the kind of pain in the hand, wrist, and forearm that limits you in every way.  Holding a pen hurts.  Typing hurts.  Hell, gripping a friggin knife and fork stings like you would not imagine!

Icing was not very effective.  And massage didn't make much of a difference either.  JK did not want to take pain relievers - after all she was pregnant - and Tylenol is not such a great anti-inflammatory.

Sleeping is the worst.  Every time you shift in your sleep, the pain from the Carpal Tunnel is enough to wake you up.  Simply finding a comfortable sleep position is a task in itself.

I emphasize these points, Wannabe Dads, because it might be easy to shrug off the pregnancy symptoms that do not affect the babies, or seem comparatively minor.  Don't.

I figure that the moment that the Carpal Tunnel began to cut into JK's sleep was the time to look at other effective remedies.  We had a gel splint recommended to us.

The gel splint is effective for a number of reasons:
  1. It immobilizes the wrist and supports it.
  2. The gel conforms to the area and gently massages it.
  3. The splint limits the amount of fluid that can collect in the area.
  4. (optionally) It can be applied cold if you wish, to bring further relief.
You can buy these splints at most drug stores.  They are quite easy to find.

For the first time in a while, JK was able to sleep.  Better still the splints, used regularly, began to reverse the symptoms, to the point where JK could sleep without them after a couple of weeks.

But if you believed that this pregnancy had nothing else in store for JK and I, you will soon learn differently.  The biggest hits were still to come.


  1. I feel so bad for JK! :( Wishes and hopes for relief.

  2. Thank you for mentioning that sleeping is such a chore when pregnant. Sometimes I feel like I make such a big deal out of something so little, but it is important. I appreciate seeing this experience from your point of view.

  3. I had never really heard of anyone having things like carpal tunnel as a side affect of pregnancy before until I met my roommate. She had twins as well and in the second trimester, all the way to the end of her pregnancy she had it as well. She said it was terrible and made it so hard to do anything. She also said that as soon as the twins were out, she felt better and could literally feel her hands relaxing. I think that is so crazy and I feel terrible for anyone that has to deal with that kind of pain all the time. Hope JK feels better and is getting much better sleep now.

    I'm here from SITS and I will definitely be back!