I'm wondering... are too many things blamed on Carpal Tunnel? I'm 42 years old and five years ago, I'd never even heard of it and now it seems like everything having to do with the hand is blamed on it. I'm finding that I'm getting really annoyed because people are nodding and saying, "Yup, you have Carpal Tunnel" simply because I make a face and start rubbing my hand. Everyone thinks they're an expert and don't need to actually listen to my symptoms. If I start to talk, they shake their heads and seem to mentally block out anything I have to say. "No, no, I know what it is. You have Carpal Tunnel". If that's what I have, fine, but I need to be told after I've described what's been happening to me.
That being said, and I apologize for the length of this post, here's my story: About a week ago, I woke up with pins and needles in my pinky and ring finger and the side of my right hand. This has been continuous - has not subsided, but does not seem to have got much worse since that day. Though I didn't notice it at first, the rest of my fingers are slightly weaker than they used to be. I notice it when opening up a can of soda or turning off the tap and trying to apply pressure. There is also slight swelling in all of my fingers, though I can't tell much until I fold my fingers over into a fist and compare my hands side by side. Around when it started, I did start using my mouse a lot more, my wrist resting on the edge of my desk, cutting off circulation and causing soreness there.
Is this really Carpal Tunnel? Or could it be a coincidence that these symptoms showed up around the time that I started using my mouse more? Could it possibly be something else? I've heard of gout in the hand and types of arthritis and other things causing somewhat similar symptoms. I am also overweight and have had swelling in my feet and ankles in the past and right now. So, could it possibly be something else? If it is, indeed, Carpal Tunnel, why don't the symptoms subside when I sleep and/or rest my hand?
Please feel free to say the words, "Yup, you have Carpal Tunnel" after reading this. Believe me, I'd much rather hear those words than something that could possibly be much worse and requiring me to *gulp* go to the doctor immediately.