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Am I justified or just stupid? (Medical Thing)

Mr. GMr. G Man, I love the way you talkUsing 40 words where 4 will doRegistered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm having a problem with my left arm, where my hand has a sort of tingling and slight numb feeling to it, and my upper arm varies from feeling just uncomfortable to some pain from the shoulder to the elbow. This has been going on for about a week, and it's a condition that's been coming and going, but the last few days it's been a constant thing. I'm starting to think I should go see a doctor, but my parents feel that it's no big deal, and I'm blowing this far out of proportion because I've never had any real problems like this before, and that I should just relax and wait for it to go away.

I continue to be really anxious and nervous all the time, because I'm not convinced this is a minor issue. Just today I was woken up at 5 AM with my left hand almost entirely numb, though it went away once I just gave it a good shake. I know there's a very good chance I'm just being stupid, but am I right for being very concerned about this, or is this actually a very simple issue I just need to wait out?

Mr. G on
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Posts

  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2010
    How old are you?

    It sounds like pins and needles to me (the feeling you get when circulation comes back to a limb) which is a normal thing, but the thing is it shouldn't be constant like that. It could be nothing, but it could be a developing circulatory problem, and in my opinion yes, it's the sort of thing you should get checked out if it's been going on for a week.

    You can always call your doctor, describe what's going on, and see if they think you need to come in.

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  • mysticjuicermysticjuicer Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    *slaps your parents* Maybe it's minor, maybe it isn't; the people who can tell the difference are called doctors.

    Edit: There's a world of difference between "my arm is pins and needles all the time" and "I have the sniffles."

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  • Mr. GMr. G Man, I love the way you talk Using 40 words where 4 will doRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I'm only 16. I live like shit, though. I eat terribly and rarely exercise, but I stay at a lovely 135 lbs.

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  • mysticjuicermysticjuicer Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Mr. G wrote: »
    I'm only 16. I live like shit, though. I eat terribly and rarely exercise, but I stay at a lovely 135 lbs.

    Can you take a bus?

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  • Mr. GMr. G Man, I love the way you talk Using 40 words where 4 will doRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I live in suburbia, so a bus is really only useful if I want to take it into Chicago.

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  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2010
    Regardless of how you eat, you should probably see, or at least talk to, a doctor. They'll either tell you to stop living like shit, or that something abnormal is going on. If you're worried and this hasn't happened before, it's probably better to ask than not.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
  • mysticjuicermysticjuicer Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Mr. G wrote: »
    I live in suburbia, so a bus is really only useful if I want to take it into Chicago.

    Okay. Can you get to the doctor on your own? If yes, do that. If you can't, can any of your friends' parents give you a lift?

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  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
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  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2010
    Unless you have a free clinic nearby, or the $60 to take care of the bill yourself, I would really start out by calling your doctor up and seeing what they think if you can. Your parents are going to have to pay for this otherwise, and while I definitely do think you should see a doctor it might be unwise to leave them out of the loop.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
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  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Could be a nerve problem from the way you sit at your computer or if you do any other sitting/standing/repetitive tasks at work or home.

    Pinched nerve, RSI, etc etc. Lots of names in this broad range of problems. If you sit in a way that puts pressure on your elbow or wrist this can cause the pain you describe.

    Nobody will really know without a medical degree and taking a look at you. I'd just go to the doctor and go through with them.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Are you American? Do you have insurance?

    You should very seriously consider the financial implications of seeking care.

  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Have you been really stressed out lately?

  • Mr. GMr. G Man, I love the way you talk Using 40 words where 4 will doRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I've only been stressed out because of this. I'm very worried this means something awful is happening to me.

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  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Mr. G wrote: »
    I've only been stressed out because of this. I'm very worried this means something awful is happening to me.

    Sometimes stress can do strange quirky things like this, then you worry about it more and the condition gets worse. Since you said you weren't stressed out before this happened, I'm more likely to think along the lines of the rest of the people and it might be a pinched nerve or circulation. This is one of those times it's good to see a doc and get it checked out. Chances are it's nothing, but better to be safe than sorry.

  • Mr. GMr. G Man, I love the way you talk Using 40 words where 4 will doRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I've also been experiencing a tingling in my feet in the last day or two. It's possible this can be attributed to something else; while worried my situation was cardio-related, I did an improvised stepping exercise for 20 minutes the last two days. Since I'm a dumbass, I did it on a milk crate in my room, edges and all, and also I did it in only socks.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Perhaps I'll get nailed for playing devil's advocate, but ...

    Numbness upon awakening is likely due to positional/postural circulation issues (you slept on your arm or with it hanging off the bed).

    You say "numbness" or "pain" and its's not associated with fever, redness, an injury, or something else obvious then likely as not the physician is going to call for a ct scan ($6k billable or $1500-2K out of pocket if you've got decent insurance). From personal experience, paying $2K to find out there's nothing wrong with you is not fun, you sit there thinking "if I just waited another day or 2 would it have cleared up on its own?" So it's undertandable why your parents adopt a wait and see attitude.

    It actually isn't rocket science. You don't have obvious symptoms of infection or injury and you bring these symptoms to an MD who has no patient history on you they're probably going to want to cover their ass an order some pricey diagnostics to rule out the extremely remote possibility you have a tumor or something.



    That all said, if you're on your parents insurance and you're real worried about this see if you can get them to setup an appointment with your pediatrician/GP to check you out and see if they think you need to see a specialist.

  • TavataarTavataar Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I am not a doctor.

    As others have stated, numbness and tingling can often be a sign of nerve issues. As far as I know, nerve issues are not something that you want to leave untreated. You should go to some sort of family doctor, or even your pediatrician, who cares, and get checked out.

    -Tavataar
  • Mr. GMr. G Man, I love the way you talk Using 40 words where 4 will doRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    My parents have finally agreed to get me an appointment with my usual doctor tomorrow. I've never expected this to be the end of me, I just want a professional opinion just confirming that this is just a pinched nerve, or something. I'm sure this could turn out to just be a minor issue, but I don't want to just sit at home and deal with it when there's any chance at all that this is actually a severe problem.

    For all I know, I'm secretly a diabetic and all my extremities are about to fall off, and I'm also a leper. I just want to explain what's going on with me to a doctor and get an opinion.

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  • TavataarTavataar Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Glad to hear it! Good luck!

    -Tavataar
  • ransimransim Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Mr. G wrote: »
    I'm having a problem with my left arm, where my hand has a sort of tingling and slight numb feeling to it, and my upper arm varies from feeling just uncomfortable to some pain from the shoulder to the elbow. This has been going on for about a week, and it's a condition that's been coming and going, but the last few days it's been a constant thing. I'm starting to think I should go see a doctor, but my parents feel that it's no big deal, and I'm blowing this far out of proportion because I've never had any real problems like this before, and that I should just relax and wait for it to go away.

    I continue to be really anxious and nervous all the time, because I'm not convinced this is a minor issue. Just today I was woken up at 5 AM with my left hand almost entirely numb, though it went away once I just gave it a good shake. I know there's a very good chance I'm just being stupid, but am I right for being very concerned about this, or is this actually a very simple issue I just need to wait out?

    I actually had this just happen to me recently. Weird.

    I had no idea what was going on, I kept getting these short electric feelings if I hit my elbow on something and my pinky and ring finger were both completely numb. My arm was also stiff and achy in places and it was just generally not comfortable.

    Apparently my ulner nerve had been entrapped in my elbow from the way I was sleeping (arm folded generally with my hand under my head while on my side).

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00069

    What the doctor explained to me is that there are points in the wrist, elbow and shoulder and neck where the two major nerves can become entrapped/pinched. It can cause weird electrical sensations, numbness, stiffness/pain.

    The two major nerves for your hand are the median (controls half the ring finger to the thumb) and the ulner nerve (handles your pinky and half your ring finger).

    It can also lead to more severe disorders related to muscle wasting in the hand.

    I thought it was just the normal sleeping in the wrong position thing, but I'm kinda glad I listened to my BF and went to an orthopedic doctor. No surgery for me thankfully, just some therapy to help stretch the nerve and some guidance is correcting my sleeping patterns along with getting some mobility back into my hands/arms/upper body.

    If the numbness is persistent you could have a nerve entrapment, and YES you need to get it looked at. No its not life threatening but its better to start fixing it before it becomes a more severe issue.

    Edit:
    Also what the doctor told me is that really you should be mostly concerned if it persists for 2 months. Mine had been around for about 4 weeks when I finally went so they started me on therapy rather then start doing major testing/more intensive treatment.

    The doctor also had me taking a mild anti-inflammatory medication as well to help with the pain I was having. It helped quite a bit actually. So good luck!

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  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I am also not a doctor. I once experienced tingling in my extremeties, but it felt a bit different from tingling due to poor circulation. My doctor ran a bunch of blood tests and it turned out that I had a Vitamin B deficiency. I started taking supplements and it went away.

    Good luck at your appointment.

  • Mr. GMr. G Man, I love the way you talk Using 40 words where 4 will doRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    My doctor said it's just a strain or motion injury, took an x-ray, prescribed me some anti-inflammatory medication, and sent me on my way. The same kinda problem just started in my other arm, but she said that's just due to compensation for my left. So basically, there's been nothing to worry about. But still, there were too many coincidences for me to just not go to a doctor.

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  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Glad to hear it was nothing serious.

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