Toby Comments on Thanksgiving Dinner

The strings in these string beans are so tough they're more like guy wires.
You know "guy wire" yet you still sometimes forget and poop in the house?

I do NOT poop in the house. Don’t listen to her.


While waiting for an appointment with a neurologist, I may have accidentally stumbled onto what’s been wrong with my arms and hands. Mind you I have described these symptoms to half a dozen doctors yet no one brought this up as a possibility.

In the mornings, I wake up with what I refer to as “Barbie arms”. They are paralyzed – frozen in one position. I can’t move my hands or bend my arms. It makes things difficult because I need to use eye drops as soon as I wake, but I can’t pick them up. Also, trying to use the bathroom is quite challenging. Sometimes my arms and hands hurt badly, sometimes not as much. My arms are weak so that I can’t hold them up unless I concentrate it. Last year I had to buy an electric jar opener (not can opener) because I could not grip a lid.

Each doctor I’ve talked to has thought this to be MS, but of all my symptoms, I thought this one was a bad match because the pain and paralysis depended on what I was doing.

Finally my pain started localizing on my upper arms. Out of curiosity I looked up that part of the arm and learned that the ulnar nerve is located there. Compression of this nerve can cause cubital tunnel syndrome – a very common relative of carpal tunnel syndrome. So why did no doctor recognize it? I’ve told everyone to the point where I’m sure they are sick of the sound of my voice.

I found some stretching exercises online that are supposed to help with this syndrome. I know that the root of my problem is related to sleeping position, and I don’t know how to fix that, but maybe these exercises can give me some of my life back.

Yet another thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving!

Hope all of our Bitey World friends had a nice Thanksgiving too (even if it wasn’t technically Thanksgiving in your country)!


Dream Our World

The holidays are coming! Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Dream Our World for all those you love. Not only will it be a gift of love and laughter, but you can say that you know the author. (Toby and I can sign the copy, if you’d like.)

Dream Our World is available from my shop at L Bowman Studios.






  2. Well you’ve certainly got a lot of nerve. snorf, snorf The exercise thing sounds like a grand idea. I know that I have to do my near daily 20 minute stretch while at the gym or I get a case of sciatica that would make Beelzebub smile. But with a good stretch routine ( i got help and advice from a good personal trainer) I can stay reasonably limber and comfy. And I do poop in the house. In the bathroom, unlike some terriers we know who shall remain nameless for now.

  3. This is wonderful news! I have a problem with the nerves in that area, but nothing like you’ve experienced. However, I feel like I could teach a class on sciatica these days. Exercises are wonderful to help with this stuff! Keep us posted and we’ll be praying for no surgery. By the way, Maverick says that when your mom gets well, you need to make her take you to the park to poop because even though you have tons of land where Mommah wouldn’t have to pick up said poop, it’s way more fun to watch her bend over and try to get back up while holding a full bag and a leash that you’re straining at.

  4. Toby needs to give his mom sleeping lessons. Plop, roll, stretch, get up running! Or get a cat! Cats know how to relax like no other creature on earth. I learned a lot from our cats, but I digress…
    The arm position – sleeping dilemma is one I can relate to quite well. I just said recently that I wish there were a way to remove my arms at night and re-attach them in the morning. Often my arms and shoulders are numb after waking up, or the numbness awakens me in the middle of the night. Oh Joy! 😕. Remember as a kid being able to sleep anywhere anytime? Ahh, those were the days.

    I hope since your last message that the exercises have helped some and that Toby has remembered that pooing outside is better than inside! 😄

  5. I hope you get relief soon. Do you have a recliner that you can sleep in? That helps me when I find myself having problems with one of my nerves. My doctor had me also doing stretching exercises to help.

      • It took several trips to the ER, then about a year to figure out what was happening. My first neurologist sent me to a research neurologist and the research neurologist had it figured out in about 3 months. Over all, it took about 9 months for them to figure out what was going on. I still have problems (this week has been bad), but overall, I feel so much better. Most days, I don’t even feel bad anymore.

          • They thought I might have MS for a bit. I collapsed at work a couple of times. It felt like my “strings” had been cut. I couldn’t control my body below my neck. Then, another time it felt like I was having a heart attack. It turned out to be complex or compound migraines. I also had shingles that caused postherpetic neuralgia, which means the damaged nerve fibers send confused and exaggerated messages of pain from your skin to your brain. So I will have pins and needles sensations as well as burning sensations. I was also having a problem with my left arm that turn out to be a nerve. My doctor had my doing stretches for my arm and that cleared up. When I am having the burning sensations or pins and needles, very often I feel blah. I just feel bad and I feel like I will collapse. I feel weak and it is hard to do anything. My doctor recommended that I take allergy medicine when this hits as well as my migraines medicine. The allergy medicine helps.

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