Finger Woes

I sat down to work as usual this morning, and after about a half hour, noticed that the tip of my right ring finger was half-numb and tingly.  It bothered me enough that I looked up numb finger on the internet, and I was assured that it was most likely carpal tunnel.

As lunchtime approached, I had thoughts about digging out my carpal tunnel wrist brace, but couldn’t help but notice that finger looked blue between the joints.  I don’t think my finger should be blue.  Carpal tunnel is about nerves; this looked to be about blood flow.

I had lunch and went out and fed goats, and the cold made my finger even number.  When I came in, whereas the rest of my fingers and me were rather red from the cold, this finger was white.

I went down and walked on my treadmill for a half hour.  This eliminated all symptoms.  But they gradually came back over the course of the afternoon.

I have been wearing a ring on this finger for over 20 years.  I obviously took it off at the first sign of trouble this morning; but it wasn’t at all tight.

I also have had this feeling in this fingertip before, now and then, briefly; but it was generally when out feeding goats in the cold; and coming inside was enough to make it go away.

In the past I’ve chalked it up to most likely damaging a blood vessel in my finger from carrying pails of water.  The pails that don’t have ergonomic handles, that are just a wire handle, can really dig into your fingers when the pails are full of water.  But I haven’t lifted a pail of water all week.

Still, I suppose I COULD have damaged something somehow without realizing it; and it’ll heal within a day or two.

I wish that it were easier to get medical opinions.  What if your health insurance provided you with a phone number and a pin number; and you could call the number, provide your pin, and you would be validated and your co-pay charged.  Then you could tell a doctor or nurse your long sad story, and they could give you their opinion.  And the whole thing would be about 20 minutes long.  Wouldn’t that be great?

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