Monday, February 22, 2010

Brace Yourself

If you have seen me around town, you may have noticed that I was wearing braces on my hands. For the last year or so.

People ask me almost every single day why I am wearing them, and I'm pretty tired of answering, actually. I really appreciate it when people don't ask or notice. As I put it to my coworker and friend, Shawna, "These braces are really cramping my style."

However, because I am writing this post ABOUT said braces, let me explain that I wear these braces because I have carpal tunnel syndrome. And yes, I have it pretty dang bad.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel (a passageway of sorts) in between all of those little bones in the wrist. It can be caused by several different things, such as repetitive, non-ergonomic motion, or even vitamin deficiencies in your body. When your nerve is surrounded by these inflamed tissues, it "chokes" the nerve of good blood supply and proper nerve conduction, and ultimately with time can cause permanent nerve death.

Symptoms of this horrible condition include painful burning numbness in the hand (especially while lying down), weakness in the wrist and hand, shooting pains in the arm, stiffness in the fingers, etc.

Further complicating the issue, Nathan and I do not currently have health insurance. This is a source of constant, intense worry for me. Plus, the most common treatment for this condition is to have surgery. Surgery is very very expensive, and it also seems so drastic.

Now, before you leave me lots of comments about how your mother-in-law's high school boyfriend had the surgery and it totally worked, or how your college professor had it too, and it didn't work at all for him... let me tell you, I've heard it all. Literally, I have heard so many carpal tunnel stories I could probably write a book.

Because I wanted surgery to be a last resort, I chose to seek an alternative method of treatment. (One that I could afford). I went to see a highly recommended Chiropractor in Provo named Dr. Brady. He really is awesome, and he offers a student discount! I've been seeing him twice a week, once a week, and now every other week since November 6th of last year. I have seen a big improvement, that is for sure. The feeling has returned to the tips of my fingers (hooray! no more burning or cutting my fingers without realizing it!), but it is in no way cured. I don't think that I will ever get my wrists back to normal without pursuing more drastic treatment.

I came to this conclusion at about 4:30 am last Saturday morning after having only slept two hours. All symptoms of CTS are worse when lying down, and often I cannot find relief unless I am sitting upright. Sometimes, I sit upright most of the night, dozing pathetically in the blue light of the television. I thought to myself in the wee hours of the morning,

"I'm done. I cannot do this anymore."

I talked to Dr. Brady today, and he agreed that perhaps it is time to get the surgery. I don't feel that my 4 months with Dr. Brady have been in vain though.. He probably saved the nerves in my fingers from permanent damage.

We do have enough in savings to pay for the surgery outright, but it is still going to be VERY expensive, especially for two young married kids who work part time. If I get both wrists done, it could be as much as $8,000.

Ugh. It makes my stomach turn just thinking about that enormous number.

I called the surgeon today to set up my first $200-300 consultation appointment. (I'm a little bitter that it will cost me almost a whole paycheck just to have this important person grace me with his presence for a few minutes of his day). I was relieved when I was put on hold due to "a high volume of calls" as the pleasant-voiced, pre-recorded woman informed me.

I hung up.

Maybe tomorrow I will have the courage to follow through. I would appreciate it if you included us in your prayers while we are making this big decision.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love is the answer.

I have discovered a new radio station that has really caught my interest. Maybe you have already heard of it? It is called KLOVE, and here in Utah Valley it broadcasts on the signal 90.5 FM. It is basically a Christian alternative rock station. As far as I can tell they are non-denominational Christians, broadcasting from somewhere in the Carolinas, and possibly sometimes Texas? Anyway, After investigating their "Beliefs" section of their website, I agree with almost every point of their ideology... and after becoming a pretty regular listener during my commute, I have learned to appreciate their whole "let's get together and pray for everybody" kind of attitude.

The majority of my readers will already know that am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormon). For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Mormonism, we are Christian, and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. We believe that it is through His atoning sacrifice that we may be redeemed. I also want to make a note that we strongly believe in prayer and strive to pray several times daily. I am not always perfect at this, but I try my best and am hopefully always progressing forward. We also believe that the Bible is the true word of God, and we do study it continually as part of our worship services, and also in our personal study.

....These are just a few of many things I believe that I have in common with the most of the KLOVE listeners.

I must admit that at first I wasn't so sure about this Christian alternative station... After listening to it with Nathan several times, I asked him how he felt about it. He said that he felt it was a little bit irreverent sometimes. I thought about it more over the next few days, and I could see a little bit of what he meant. In our church we are taught to use the words "thee" and "thou" instead of "you" when addressing our Heavenly Father. We believe that using the thee/thou terminology is a way of showing respect to God when addressing Him directly. Many of these musicians and radio DJ's opt to use the more casual "you" in this situation.

As I thought more about this, I realized that it didn't really bother me very much. Sure, I myself would not use these casual terms, but these people believe differently than I do in this regard. This does not discredit their testimonies. I believe Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are a powerful force in these musicians lives, and I really like that. It is nice to hear something uplifting coming from the radio, isn't it?

I like what this radio station does for me. It helps me to remember to think about Jesus Christ more frequently during my day, and to take comfort in remembering my real purpose here on earth.

Below is a video of a song that really brought me peace today on my commute home from work. Often my brain feels fatigued and cranky on my way home, and too often I bring this attitude back to Nathan, and that is not very nice. I always try to mentally fight it so that I'm not such a downer when I walk through the door, and today this song about Love really made me turn my mental attitude around. It filled my heart with peace and made me feel good about what I am doing with my life. Take a listen, and be inspired :)

P.s. If you are wondering more about Mormonism, please visit

Friday, February 5, 2010

An Apple A Day Handmades

Good Day Friends...

My friend Allie asked me to do a little guest recipe post over at
An Apple A Day Handmades.

So now this is your cue to mosey over there and check me out! No seriously.... go check me out. :)

(p.s. I made the apple a day banner too... so check it out!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I love you my dear

This month is a month of VALENTINES! My friend Allie posted this on her blog, and I couldn't help but share. Click the picture to see this adorable esty shop.

I adore February.

p.s. Nathan is suddenly on an art kick. He's drawing a lot, and yesterday we decided to get re-invested in painting again. This time, together. I'm excited. I'll keep you posted.