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Postpartum Pains

Posted Jan 21 2010 12:00am
There are a few nagging things that women deal with after giving birth:

  1. Extra weight 
  2. Lack of sleep
  3. Soreness whether it be from a vaginal delivery or c-section
  4. Baby blues or in some cases, postpartum depression
  5. In the case of runners, trying to get back to the pre-pregnancy pace, duration and races (I can't wait until I'm REALLY back!)
But how many ladies out there developed carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy? I did and was told by many that it would go away at some point after giving birth.  It happens as a result of water retention during pregnancy pressing on the nerves. 

I woke up one day during my third trimester and had a pins and needles sensation in my right hand. It never went away. And at some point it started up in my left hand as well. I spent my third trimester sleeping at night with carpal tunnel braces on both arms - how ridiculous I looked!

After little Robby entered our world, the carpal tunnel syndrome did not leave. Week after week went by until my 6-week postpartum OB visit and I was still wearing those damn braces at night!  My OB suggested I visit with a neurologist, which led to a few tests including an MRI (just found out I'm terribly claustrophobic) and an EMG (electromyogram), which is a very unpleasant test where you get electric shocks and pins stuck in your hands and arms (ugh!).

The EMG test revealed that my pain is severe and the neurologist recommends I contact a hand surgeon. What?!?!? I absolutely DO NOT want to get surgery. Yes, the tingling is annoying and painful at times. But surgery? 

What a pain the butt. All I want to do is get back out there and run. So on that front I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I have a few hand surgeons' phone numbers pinned on my bulletin board and I'm still debating whether to call them or not. Hopefully they'll at least try meds or injections before jumping straight to surgery. How frustrating! 

And as for running....

I run the Long Island Half Marathon every year. It's in early May.  I usually start training for it in mid-February.  Physically I feel ready to start training.  My only dilemma is not being able to train properly because I won't always have someone to watch little Robby. He's too young to take out in the baby jogger, not the winter weather isn't the best to take an infant out running.  

I really need to investigate purchasing a treadmill for our basement, although I LOATHE indoor running. I'll do it if I have to, but would rather not. I guess making adjustments is what being a mommy is all about!

For all you running mommies out there:
How soon did you get back into training for a race? 

And how did you do it with a little one? Was there a baby sitter? Did you only run indoors on a treadmill at home? 

Anyone else out there have bad carpal tunnel 3 months postpartum or longer? 

As for my workouts this week, I ran with Toby on Monday. That run must have done me in because I've had a cold the rest of this week. Trying to rest up so I can hopefully get back out there this weekend!

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