Monday, June 13, 2011

A Big Finger

One night last week I looked at my left index finger knuckle and gasped. It was enlarged and lumpy. I remembered my mother’s arthritic knuckles and winced.

But this was different. It wasn’t in the joint, but rather it floated on top of the knuckle and it actually moved as I flexed my finger.

My husband quickly suggested that I go see Dr. Barth, the hand specialist who would probably have charged me $120 to walk in the door. But I was not so quick to rush off to a specialist, especially for something that didn’t hurt at all, just looked weird.

So instead I arranged to see one of the physical therapists at the place where I do personal training, suggesting it might be a ganglion cyst. I described it as something perhaps connected to the tendon sheath that runs over the top of my knuckle.

Within about 10 seconds, Lauren confirmed that I was right. She knew all about those cysts -- where they often show up, the fact that no one knows what causes them, the fact that they often simply disappear on their own, and the historical remedy of smashing them with a book (which she did not recommend). She suggested that I hold off seeing a doctor as long as my cyst was not causing me any discomfort.

So I continue to go through life -- chopping, playing the piano, doing everything I would normally do -- with my strange lumpy knuckled finger, which looks so much worse than it feels.


Blogger Steve said...

I have never heard of a ganglion cyst. Interesting! Yeah, don't smash it with a book. Yikes.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I've heard of them but I'd never seen one before. I'm glad it doesn't hurt.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Fresh Garden said...

I'm glad it doesn't hurt, I'm so worried about you.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They can be unnerving, huh? I'm glad it doesn't hurt!

Years ago, when I was both a bodyworker and musician, I developed one in my left wrist. I attributed it more-or-less to overuse. As it grew, it impinged somewhat on my range of motion and became mildly uncomfortable. Over time it "dissolved" on its own, like so many things do.

I hope yours goes away quietly on its own!


1:49 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Don't listen to Steve, smash it with a book. could wait it out. Hope it doesn't impact your playing.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

I've always heard it can't be just any book, it must be a dictionary. But I wouldn't do that...

2:50 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

As a teenager, I had one on the top of my hand. It was big and gnarly. One day it just went away.

3:05 PM  

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