The 10 Things I Learned About "Car Pool Tunnel"

Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Estate Pipeline, Inc.

I admit, this post has NOTHING to do with real estate...


Car. Pool. Tunnel.

That's what the orthopedic surgeon said I had yesterday...

Well...Its actually "carpal" tunnel syndrome...a compression of the median nerve (one of the two main nerves that drive feeling in your hands) in the center of your wrist at the base of the palm of your hand that causes pain, numbness in the thumb and first two fingers, and loss of muscle mass or control at the base of the thumb.

Fun!! Joy!!

Yeah, not so much...Ive been putting up with this in both hands now for roughly 5 years now...and finally decided to do something about it.  Thus the reason for the orthopedic surgeon. (Hey, it's not a carburator. I can't fix this one by myself.)

Who am I trying to kid? I can't fix a carburator either...

Anyway...After having my initial consultation with him, here are 10 things I learned about carpal tunnel syndrome that I didn't know before....

1. In order to determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you have to go through a "nerve conduction test".

2. "Nerve conduction test" is a medical term used specifically to hide the fact that they are going to shock the living crap out of your hand not once, not twice....but roughly 20 times PER NERVE (Remember, there is two per my previous statement above)! And, this is on both hands!!

3. Now I know why Frankenstein was so pissed all the time.

4. Faking a heart attack while getting electrocuted a nerve conduction test will cause a medical office to go into full-blown panic mode. For real!

5. My orthopedic surgeon's office staff does not have a sense of humor.

6. Nerve conduction test data is sent via computer to Harvard Medical....Yes, THE Harvard Medical. It takes less time to get the results back from Harvard Medical than it does to do the actual test. So, when the doctor comes in with the results, your fingernails are still smoking just a bit.

7. When an orthopedic surgeon uses the phrase, " of the worst cases I have ever seen...", you know you are about to finance something really expensive he has on his Christmas list.

8. You can not do a carpal tunnel surgery on both hands at the same time unless you have some REALLY close personal friends that are willing to do ANYTHING for you. And, I do mean ANYTHING!

9. Opting to do this one hand at a time has given me the ability to say that my wife is incredibly grateful about my decision. (In case you didn't get those last two jokes...We have a 19 month old. She already has one butt she has to wipe during the day. you get it.)

10. "Hand-to-Shoulder" syndrome isn't the same thing as the rubber arm you get when you fall asleep on your arm wrong and cut of the circulation only to realize it when you roll over and try to shut off your alarm clock but your arm is roughly as responsive as a flesh baseball bat. Yeah, it's NOT that.

Comedy aside, carpal tunnel syndrome sucks. It causes pain and numbness, loss of grip, even loss of muscle mass in your hands. And, if left untreated, it can cause permanent damage including loss of feeling, loss of muscle mass or specific movement, even complete breakdowns in moder skill. (How important is typing to you???) From one lucky recipent to another, if this is you, get it checked out.

Oh yeah, if you're curious..."Hand-To-Shoulder" syndrome is a side effect of SEVERE carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a pain transferance from the crushed nerve in the wrist and manifests as stabbing pain in the center of your shoulder joint. Yes, it hurts. No, pain pills dont help. Trust me on this one. I should have stock in Advil.

You will probably hear more about this episodic adventure as my journey continues......




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Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Matt -- Im fairly certain those in combination would cause it. :-) The numbness I can deal with, almost....its the pain thing that drove me over the edge.

Nov 04, 2009 04:04 AM #26
Marcy Eastham
Town & Country Realty Corvallis Oregon - Corvallis, OR

Sorry this is happening to you, Clint.  I know my desk set-up isn't very ergonomic, so I try to stretch out my wrists and hands as much as possible.

Most people I now who've had the surgery say it's a huge relief.  When is your surgery?

Nov 04, 2009 04:16 AM #27
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Marcy -- No worries...Anthing has to be better than what Im living with right now. ;-)

Surgery is set for next Wednesday.

Nov 04, 2009 04:20 AM #28
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Clint - LOL I love it - Puter-butt! Yep that would be me! maybe I should buy an exercise bike and use that as my chair - :) ~Rita

Nov 04, 2009 06:03 AM #29
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT
Nov 04, 2009 06:12 AM #30
Lisa Oden
Results Realty Services - Lawrenceville, GA

Clint - I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with constant pain.  I had back surgery several years ago and the pain prior to surgery was like nothing else I've ever experienced.  However - You made me laugh out loud more than once!  You'd better start sucking up more than ever to your wife!  One hand at a time, or both at once - one is a shorter period of extreme wrath.  The other builds over a longer period of time with potentially dangerous results!

And - I think I may have to put that treadmill computer thing on my Christmas list. Defeat Puter-butt!  I'll be thinking happy thoughts for all of you. 

OH NO!  How will you post during your recovery???  Unless you can type with one hand, we may have to go cold turkey!  I can't bear the thought!!!

Nov 04, 2009 07:18 AM #31
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Lisa -- Im sure the surgery will be fine. Im a quick healer, so I think i will be back in the saddle quicker than most think.  And, there is no way on this Earth I will be able to quit THIS addiction cold turkey. ;-)

Good luck with the Puter-But syndrome. :-)

Nov 04, 2009 07:24 AM #32
Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
Keller Williams Realty - Arlington, VA
Your Northern Virginia and D.C. Realtor

Clint: Do you plan on spending less time on Twitter after the surgeries? I'd be sad. I need to prepare myself.

Nov 04, 2009 07:45 AM #33
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Laura -- Hell no! I plan on being on here MORE! Like Kid Rock said...."I got a new nose to go along with my habit". New hands....more typing. ;-)

Nov 04, 2009 07:52 AM #34
Robin Taylor Roth
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties - South Plainfield, NJ

I really shouldn't, I know, but I truly am ROFLMAO!  You have a very funny "take" on the situation.  I also remember your rubbery-arm issue, from earlier in the week.

I'm fortunate:  my "car pool tunnel" syndrome (clever, but sneaky way to up your photo count!) was caught early (15 years ago), and is well managed by

  • re-engineering my workspace, so that the chair, desk, keyboard, and mouse are what and where they should be, not just haphazardly located wherever
  • regular chiropractic care (which includes checking / adjusting the neck-shoulder-arm-wrist-hand group)
  • ergonomically correct keyboard (took some getting used to, but I love it)
  • hand-wrist brace, if necessary (very rarely, now).

I'm sorry that your carpal tunnel syndrome has worsened to the point that you have to have surgery.  That's really a shame.  However, I know that you'll be much more comfortable, afterward.  Note that you'll still have to do many of the things I do, to ensure you don't create additional problems.

Best of luck!

Nov 04, 2009 09:39 AM #35
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Clint - Yeah the pain when I had it was pretty rough.  I used to wear hand braces after shows to try and keep my wrists from bending and giving me that pain.  Best of luck with the surgery!

Nov 04, 2009 11:08 AM #36
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

Robin - is there a race for photo count?  POINTS for photo count?

Clint -

If I had

(1) a car like that,

(2) a pool like that, and

(3) my own personal tunnel,


I don't THINK I'd be whining, Jack!

Nov 04, 2009 01:45 PM #37
Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!


the good news is everyone is cheering for you!  Loved the pictures and your attitude... Thanks for making us laugh.. wow.. fake heart attack... No humor in the Dr.s office.. Note to self!!!!

Nov 04, 2009 02:32 PM #38
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

I still think I might do both at the same time. I'm not sure after the first surgery I would go back for the next.

Nov 04, 2009 03:04 PM #39
Bonnie Kappler

A good sense of humor does help.  I was a week away from cts surgery when an observant Dr. tested me for Lupus.  Apparently the wrist is a point that Lupus "attacks".  I went on Cortizone and the CTS was gone.  WOW  Scarrrry!  Hope all goes well with your surgeries.  By the way was blogging a contributing factor.  LOL

Nov 04, 2009 05:46 PM #40
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Hi Clint,

I'd love to say "I'll meet you in the tunnel", but I sure hope I won't.  Get better soon :)

Nov 04, 2009 10:05 PM #41
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Robin -- Yeah, re-engineering isnt an option when the NCT (electrocution) had to give me 5 times the jolt usually required to produce a response. Pretty bad deal for me. Happy you are laughing at this...I am also. ;-)

Matt -- I was curious of you had to do that...I know a lot of my guitar playin friends that are in that boat.

Lori -- 1. Agreed. 2. Agreed. 3. Agreed. :-)

Carra -- Yeah, this place is like family. Glad you liked the pictoral take on the subject....and yeah, dont do that. Trust me on this one. ;-)

Terry -- I dont know...the whole thought of having to give up ALL personal responsibility for 3 or 4 days doesnt sound pleasant. My wife is a paralegal, not a CNA> :-)

Bonnie -- Yes, yes it does! Good to hear that your CTS was remedied...and yes, Im sure it is a contributor :-)

Marzena -- MUAH! I dont want to meet anyone in this tunnel. ;-)

Nov 04, 2009 11:11 PM #42
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Clint - sorry to be so late - was a bit pre-occupied last week! :)  I know it sucks but I'm glad you're taking care of yourself!  So here's the thing - you'll just have to call on your friends - dictate the tweets you want sent out and we'll type them FOR YOU!  it will start a new rage - DICTATWEET!

Nov 09, 2009 02:36 AM #43
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Pam -- Dictatweet sounds like a perfect service...!!! In fact, wouldnt that be the perfect thing for people with loss of hand control...Voice-recognition software that would populate twitter/facebook status, etc....HMMMMMMMMMM.....

Nov 09, 2009 02:46 AM #44
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I hope I don't get that...  I move all over the place when I am spending my time typing... so far, so good...

Nov 21, 2009 12:48 PM #45
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