With the way things were progressing in the Fall, what with me doing more outdoor climbing than I had ever done, you would think that I would be well on my way to recovery for a great Spring season. However, that simply has not been the case. While my elbow no longer bothers me (which is a weird feeling), this has only led me to notice more and more the pain in my hands.
As has been documented here previously, for the better part of 2007 I struggled with tendonitis in both my elbow and my shoulder. I took time off here and there but never for more than a couple of weeks in a row. The pain got better but never quite disappeared. This situation led me to spend most of the Fall trad climbing which ended up being a blessing in disguise. I had some of the most fun days I have ever had climbing, mostly at an area that I had dismissed as being “not worth it” all my years of living here.
Unfortunately, as my elbow got back to full strength I began to turn my focus to another problem that had been ailing me since before the elbow problems began. Since about December of 2006 I noticed that my fingers were starting to hurt during climbing and at work while typing. I wasn’t a stranger to finger pain from climbing, but this pain was different. It was a pain that would radiate throughout both of my hands with varying degrees of painfulness. Not excruciating by any means, but incredibly persistent. I had it looked at early in the year, but nothing really came of it so I just lived with the pain most of the year.
As the Summer came to a close and the pain was only getting worse I had my hands looked again. Apparently the problem is that my fingers are hyper-flexible which causes them to receive undo amounts of stress from activities like climbing and typing. This is especially unfortunate when you consider that climbing and typing are pretty much all I do (as you might have noticed). It took a few more months for the wheels to get set in motion for me to receive some sort of treatment (mainly just PT) for this, and that is the stage I am at now.
Sadly, a big part of this stage involves not climbing at all. Not the “not climbing” I did all last year where I “not climbed” on several road trips. No, this is the sort of “not climbing” that has kept me from pulling down in any way for basically the last two months. Apparently this process could take quite a long time (months, probably years?) so it looks like I could be “not climbing” for the foreseeable future.
However, part of my newfound optimism is to look on the bright side. So I’m getting psyched for other things this Spring like spotting Mrs. Narc’s ankle and taking a lot of pictures of other people pulling down. What this will mean for our future plans of relocating to a more climber friendly part of the country remains to be seen. One day at a time I guess…