Thursday, August 18, 2022

Trigger thumb

I've talked before about my left-handed traits.  My first teacher taught me to write with my right hand at the request of my  mother, but I still do most other things with my left hand, although I really didn't realize that's what I was doing until Cliff began calling me "Lefty".  Some of you know that I decided to write with my left hand during the pandemic, and I can now use that hand for writing; although my left-hand writing isn't pretty, it is quite legible.  I don't really try to improve it at this point, but I write all checks left-handed when I'm paying bills, and usually if I write to my sister, I do that left-handed.

I open doorknobs with my left hand; I pull weeds in the garden with my left hand; I unwrap a stick of butter using my left hand, as I noticed this morning.  I wouldn't have noticed it, but after pulling so many weeds in the garden this summer, I now have a condition called trigger thumb.  If I bend my thumb to use it and then straighten it out, the knuckle in my thumb pops, and it hurts.  There's also an area below my thumb that pains me all the time... it isn't horrible, but it does hurt.

When this first began happening, I knew immediately what it was because Cliff had it in years past, so bad he couldn't even unbend his thumb.  He had surgery for it, and never had another problem with it.

I haven't had the problem too long, and I see online there are exercises one can do that might reverse the condition.  Amazon has some things to help with it, for instance a splint glove to wear while asleep to keep the finger or thumb straight and some plastic ring-like things to keep the affected digit from bending.  I'm terrible with doing exercises three times a day, so I'm not sure how that will work out.  

We had two inches of rainfall Tuesday, so now I can actually pull weeds.  You wouldn't believe how difficult it was for me to use my right hand for that.  So, back to that stick of butter:  This morning I started out using my left hand to unwrap it, but OUCH!  So I did it with the right hand... very slowly and tediously, I must say.  How could such a simple thing be so difficult? 

It's amazing the wear-and-tear problems we senior citizens discover about our bodies every day, crazy things that my mother never warned me about, like skin tags and loss of hair in various places, and yet hairs cropping up where they shouldn't be.  I have a frail hair as thin as a spider's web that grows out of a certain place on my neck; I have no way of knowing when it's there until one day we're going somewhere in the car.  We'll be stopped at a stoplight and my husband will say, "Sit still.  I need to pull your hair."

Ouch!  How much fun can a person have?   

I guess all these crazy things still beat the alternative.  So far I've kept my sense of humor.  If I lose that, please, somebody just shoot me.


  1. Our hands definitely get overused. I'm pretty sure I'm developing some arthritis there which I don't appreciate.

  2. Me too,Margaret! My left thumb is swollen all the time and sore. And I am right handed..

  3. 73 year old lady writing in from Mumbai India. I read your posts every day. I had this trigger thumb a few years ago, and went thru all the fuss of splints, strapping. and so on. It kept interfering with the cooking and dishwashing which I do my self, and i am not used to gloves. Believe it or not, I found the solution in making dough. We make fresh whole wheat tortillas every single meal, and one needs to make a dough for that. I used the trigger finger hand for that, and the entire exercise was like a slow massage for the base of the thumb, the joints and the wrist and the palm. The trigger finger healed in a few days.

  4. My friend wears a splint for trigger thumb and it seems to help her. I am really aware of "lefties" given that my dad was left handed as is one of my brothers. I am right handed (with terrible handwriting) -- but I do quite a bit with my left hand, and I discovered just how much I could do with my left when I broke my right arm. Eating was a problem but I worked that out by turning my fork upside down like they in Europe. Hope you are able to get some help for the thumb

  5. Life is hard in so many ways but still I rejoice. I want to live a long time. I hope you and Cliff have many more years. Everything is harder when you lose your spouse, but still I find many things to feel happy about.


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