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?