I haven't done a share post in a while, so I thought I'd share. I've been through a rough patch this last year. I had carpul tunnel release surgeries on both hands which required me to stop my Enbrel for a while. That caused a nice RA flare.
Then after years (5 to be exact) of my complants of pain in both my elbows, I started showing signs of severe muscle atrophy on my right hand and slight muscle atrophy/wasting in my left hand. Up until now, my Rheumy as well as my Primary MD have told me it is "just my RA". Both my arms hurt. It feels like someone is hitting my funny bone with a hammer all the time. The shooting, electrical shock type pain up my arm to my arm pit and down my arm to my ring and pinky fingers.
After the visual signs started showing, my Rheumy referred me back to the Hand Surgeon who did my carpul tunnel surgeries. To make a long story short, mmy Ulnar Nerves in my arm (often referred to as "the funny bone") are not fitting into the grooves in my elbows right. My grooves are to shallow. The ulnar nerves are pulled tight and across the bones at my elbow every time I bend my elbows. This has caused my ulnar nerves to be smashed flat and frayed.
My surgeon says the ulnar nerves are very comparable to an outdoor electrical extention cord with lots of little electrical wires, each wrapped in a protective coating and then all wrapped inside another, thicker protective coating. Mine, he said...just happened to look like it was run over by a truck multiple times, smashed flat and with the little wires all fraying out.
My right arm surgery was on 12-2-11. The official surgery name is: Ulnar Nerve Anterior Submuscular Transpostion Surgery. What a mouthful! I had 30 staples, 25 interior stitches and a muscle group that was cut in two sutured back together. The muscles had to be cut in order to relocate the ulnar nerve to the inside of my arm in a safe and well oxygenated area I just got released from wearing a brace on my right arm this last Friday, 6 weeks post-op. The muscles are 80% healed at 6 weeks. I have started physical therapy, thank goodness. It feels good to be able to move my right arm again. The shooting, not funny bone pain is gone in my right arm.
The left arm is still constantly shooting pain and shredding my nerves. The surgery is scheduled for my left arm on 1-23-12. I am ready to get it over with!!!! I think that 2012 will be much better as soon as I have this final surgery and I can start taking my Humira. I had to stop my Enbrel in September due to side effects (increased pain, stiffness and fatugue as well as red rashed under my eyes). I am set to start my Humira as soon as I am done with this last surgery.