When doctors don’t understand your condition

Tonight’s family chat felt particularly depressing. We haven’t seen Chris’s family since last Christmas, and who the hell knows when we will ever be able to see them again. They asked about our mediocre Thanksgiving at home, which was likely the worst Thanksgiving I’ve ever had as pathetic as that sounds. We asked them about their plans for Chris’s parents to go to Sydney this Christmas to spend time with Chris’s brother. Chris’s family, even those in Melbourne, will not all be getting together for Christmas this year, either, as people are spending time with their immediate families or just trying to stay away from large gatherings. 2020 is truly a sad and divided year where we are all apart.

I was icing my elbows for some of the time that we were on the Hangout, and Chris’s mom asked about what I was doing. I reminded them that I’ve been going to physical therapy to treat my condition, which apparently has been diagnosed as cubital tunnel syndrome. Chris’s mom, being a doctor, was puzzled initially, and started explaining what cubital tunnel syndrome is to Chris’s dad. “It affects the ulnar nerve that runs down from the neck to the hand,” she told him. She turned to me: “It’s strange that you would get this. Ulnar nerve damage is usually a result of trauma.”

Ahhhh. Yes, in general, that was true once upon a time… prior to the creation of MOBILE PHONES.

This is when it hits me that just because someone may be a doctor or whatever professional title they have, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they stay up to date with the latest awful things happening in medicine, diagnoses, and society at large. Perhaps that’s why all doctors and all professionals should be trained and updated in their fields. In the last 10 years, there’s been a ridiculous rise in the cases of cubital tunnel syndrome, and the vast majority of those arise from excessive mobile phone use. Yep, you’re reading the post of one of those affected losers right here.

Four weeks ago, I had no idea what “cubital tunnel syndrome” was. I didn’t know the name of this nerve running from my neck down to my hand. And unfortunately, now I know. Sometimes, ignorance really can be bliss.

I really do wish I were still that ignorant.

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