At the end of December I woke up one morning with a stiff neck. It was one of those lingering things that took about a week to go. I had roughly one day of respite before waking up to find that the stiffness had merely gone on holiday to the other side of my neck.
This then travelled to my shoulders, due to the fact that I was perpetually hunched over one side or the other.
After quite a while of deluding myself into thinking that it would sort it self out, I booked a massage in the hope that it would release whatever was trapped and give me a bit of relief. Two sessions in and I was about to rotate my head quite freely. We’re not talking Hedwig (Potter, not the Angry Inch) here, but you know, I was beginning to approximate being human again.
It is not entirely gone, but it is liveable with.
During the time all this was happening I noticed that my fingers were going numb, or that I was getting pins and needles. It was sporadic at first, and then it was something I started noticing as soon as I woke up. Last week I was aware of it all day, every day. It was not painful, but it was uncomfortable and it was beginning to bug me.
On Monday it was no better, and I made the fatal, fatal mistake of Googling the symptom: ‘pins and needles in hands.’
Dear Lord Above. The horror. The horror.
Up until that point I had been blithely dismissing the feelings, and had put the whole thing down to the fact that I probably still wasn’t quite free of the neck issue, and there was undoubtedly a pinched nerve that connected my neck bone to my hand bone etc.
Hear De Word of De Lawd.
By the time I had finished Googling I was in a state of blind panic and toggling between:
Diabetes (the running mantra: NO MORE CAKE! NO MORE CAKE! featuring in a ticker tape spool through my brain here)
Peripheral Neuropathy in a startling array of colours
Carpal tunnel syndrome
and a whole host of other suspects. The only one I could really rule out was alcoholism, due to the fact that I no longer have the time to get steaming drunk and fit in a four day hangover.
I decided I would probably be dead before the summer was out, and had started planning the details of my sad demise and the utter brilliance of my funeral. I got quite choked up before I was able to get a grip and call the Dr for an appointment.
Luckily, for my own sanity, he was able to see me that evening, rather than letting me stew in my own juices for a week, so that I could be mental as well as terminally ill.
Turns out it is almost certainly a residual symptom from my stiff neck. He prescribed new pillows, and massage.
I left the surgery weak with relief, and had a small cry in the car park.
Never let me Google symptoms again. NEVER.