In the Arms of Sleep

I’ve been fairly inactive since I finished up my long ATV ride about a week and a half ago. The arm and shoulder pain I experienced during the ride subsided for a while, then returned briefly, and since two Sundays ago I’ve been experiencing numbness/tingling and weakness in my left forearm and pinky finger. I was alarmed at first, and tried getting in to see my doctor, but the receptionist said the next available appointment wasn’t for three weeks. Pluh. I decided then that I would just wait and see–I really didn’t want to pay for an emergency room visit. For a few days the arm got neither better nor worse, but over the past couple of days it’s been feeling a little better. It did get a little worse today after I jumped on the trampoline for only a minute or two. After that happened, I was determined to find out exactly what was wrong, so with the help of the internet I self-diagnosed the problem. I’m guessing that it’s ulnar nerve entrapment, or more commonly called handlebar palsy.
My ulnar nerve is being pinched somewhere, but I’m not certain where. The numbness only occurs below the elbow, but I still have some pain in my shoulder that may or not be related. I’m sure that it arose from the position I sat in for 120 miles on the first day of the ATV ride. I had a lot of gear on the seat behind me, and I was wearing a backpack, which forced me to hunch forward for nine hours of riding. The following day I rode without the backpack, and though I endured pain (sometimes agonizing) all day, it actually subsided that evening. I’m not sure why it came back a couple of days later, nor why the nerve is still being pinched now.
Anyhow, I haven’t done much of anything but sit around and worry about my arm for the past little while. This weekend I finally got out and enjoyed myself for a bit. I took the boys to Kids Day at the city park just up the street on Saturday. I almost didn’t take them–crowds of kids aren’t my thing–but I’m glad I did, ’cause they enjoyed it. Later that day I went for a short hike above Helper to find a geocache. The following day I hiked to Wild Horse Window with the kids, which I wrote about previously. For the foreseeable future (hopefully not more than a week or so) I plan on taking it easy and letting my arm heal. I won’t be riding my ATV or mountain bike, and apparently I won’t be jumping on the trampoline either. Maybe I can get Traci to do more dishes and mow the lawn too. 😉

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