Speedy Reset

Well, when our GP said “time to hit the reset button and neutralize the gremlins” we did not expect quite that speedy a reset! After our first round of appointments with specialists, things are moving fast!

Dealing with the gremlins

The rheumatologist has just about ruled out Rheumatoid Arthritis for Chris! This is a big one, and she has declared the hands and back problems are unrelated. What a relief, but so much anxiety for nothing when the Queensland GP led us down the RA rabbit hole.

Of course a readjustment of diagnosis does not take away the chronic pain which plays havoc with your life, your sleep, your moods and makes you question whether your choice of lifestyle is sustainable. But as someone said to us “don’t curse the darkness, light a candle.” And for us the candle is getting advice from specialists who know what they are doing! We feel that at last we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Chris’s problem with her hands is due to stenosing tenosynovitis (also known as trigger finger), an inflammation and constriction of the sheath through which the flexor tendons of the fingers and thumbs run. Sometimes a small nodule can also form, making the constriction even worse.

The condition limits your ability to move, straighten, and use your fingers for even the simplest of daily tasks. It is apparently common with diabetic patients. This is affecting both Chris’s thumbs which is quite debilitating as well as painful.

Since weeks of splinting and anti inflammatory drugs had no effect and both thumbs were totally stuck, it was felt the only sure fix is tendon release surgery as steroid injections are not an effective option for diabetics. We have seen the hands surgeon who will perform the operation on both thumbs next week. Chris is incredibly lucky to be treated as a priority case.

The lower back issue is still being investigated but with an MRI coming up we will know more soon. It is likely to be degenerative changes… AKA old age!

So we are at Yarra’s Edge for a while longer, as we thought would happen, but the prognosis is much brighter. We have been impressed with how quickly the medicos have taken action and are working together, especially in these Covid times.

For Wade, things are all okay and he continues to be under 3 monthly checks two years after his own health challenges.

While in Melbourne…

While in Melbourne, a few things were on our to do list and we have ticked them off in the last two days.

When Chris’s Dad died, she inherited some heirloom family pieces which were shipped to Australia and were in storage for a year while we could not travel. We have now managed to collect them and take them to our garage down the coast, with the rest of our gear! Thanks Murray for the helping hand lifting the precious items.

The packing crate ready to be opened

After the demise of our old drone, we have purchased a new one from the D1 Store in Brunswick, the DJI Headquarters in Australia. It is a DJI Mavic 2S with smart controller. With an improved flight time, large sensor, better camera and a controller allowing a much clearer view in full sun than the standard controller connected to a smart phone, we can’t wait to give the new beast a go… once Chris’s hand are operational!

And finally, the Canon camera got a professional sensor clean and service at the Camera Clinic. Our Canon 7dii has a tough life being constantly in a marine environment so we get that done when we can. Here are some of our latest images.

  • Anui at Yarra's Edge
  • Webb Bridge reflections
  • Webb Bridge at night, Melbourne
  • Webb Bridge entrance at night, Melbourne
  • Seafarers Bridge
  • Princes Bridge, Melbourne

We have another big week ahead. We can’t wait to put the medical challenges behind us and start reconnecting with our friends. Talk to you next Friday with another update!

27 thoughts on “Speedy Reset

  1. Chris, So Glad that you now have a correct diagnosis for the hands and things are happening so fast to fix. Too bad about getting older thought! Sounds like you are really ticking off the jobs list.

    • Hi Graham, hopefully I won’t be off the ropes for too long. We are both itching to get going again. No jobs left on Anui… the ocean is calling!

  2. Relative good news about the health issues ….. long may it continue (the good news that is).
    Here’s hoping for years and years of cruising adventures for you guys!
    We’re still getting the odd blast of snow off the north pole …. can’t wait for summer …

  3. I hope that Chris’ surgery goes well and will have fully functional thumbs soon! Ouch. The new drone looks and sounds like a great drone, looking forward to your aerial photos! Have a great week, guys! 😎🇦🇺

    • Thanks John for your good wishes. Can’t wait to be able to use the new drone… it will mean we have left the city and resumed our sea wanderers’ life!

  4. Encouraging about your hands and I hope the operation will solve the problem for you. Now to get resolution on your back. I hope your Dad,s furniture arrived uninjured. Your drone looks impressive. Take care

    • Hi Sue, the shipment from France was very well packed with each piece wrapped in cardboard sleeves and bubble wrap. We haven’t opened anything, just moved it to Jan Juc.
      The drone is a bit of a nightmare to set up but getting there. I won’t use it until my hands are sorted and we are out of the city.

  5. Some views I haven’t seen for a while. I hope the surgery goes well for you. Not being able to use your hands properly is a pain, I’ve experienced it a little, but thankfully, for me, I’ve been able to overcome it. Good luck with it Chris.

  6. It can be maddening to deal with medical issues, especially when the medical folks can’t diagnose the problem with any high degree of certainty. It sounds promising, Chris, that surgery may help with some of the hand issues and I hope and pray that all goes well when you have the surgery. As for issues related to getting older, I definitely understand that, though I am fortunate at the moment to have no major problems. Congratulations on the new drone purchase. You got some amazing shots with the old one, especially as you gained experience and the courage to take it up higher and higher. I love your bridge shots, especially those of Webb Bridge, which has a really cool, futuristic vibe.

    • Thanks Mike, hopefully I’ll be back on the ‘tools’ soon … camera, drone and sails on Anui! The Webb Bridge is magic – so many unusual angles to show… more next week maybe!

  7. Great to read the next chapter . . . with my medical background I was talking to Mr Google’s associates soonest and received pretty positive comments back! Over a 90% success rate for a very logical procedure sounds fair . . . ‘they’ say about 6 weeks to final outcome: fair enough methinks ! Bestest anyways !!! As far as backs are concerned mine ‘went’ some 30 years back . . . morning swearing usually leads to an acceptable day – bestest with that also ! Love where you are ‘staying’ – the Webb Bridge is just gorgeous to look at . . . enjoy . . . you will be on the ocean blue soon enough . . . .

    • Thanks for the good wishes, Eha. Big week next week but downhill all the way after that. We hope will be back in the big blue at the end of the month.

  8. Hi Chris,
    The stenosing tenosynovitis sounds a little reminiscent of Dupuytren’s contracture “DC” – commonly associated with Viking DNA, a much more acceptable and less painful problem for sailors!!!
    Hope the surgery goes well and that you recover quickly. As for my bent little finger “DC”and “DC”, at least it makes it easier to play the guitar!
    Glad to hear the good news re Wade.
    All the best

    • Thanks Tom, we will hopefully be over the hump after next week. Piano playing is still a little time away and pulling on ropes also, but we won’t hang around very long after the follow ups are done. See you sometimes in March

  9. Good News Chris
    Always a relief to get to the bottom of medical problems.
    Hope the op goes well.
    When it’s all done test those hands with a vice like grip around a Johnnie Walker Black Label.
    Will help the suffering also!!!!

  10. I’m sorry to hear that you have problems with stenosis. I had my fist day of therapy for my lumbar stenosis. All went fine but the next day I was with pain in my waist, The MD says that he may try the epidural injections again or simply go for surgery! I’m considering this because I need my life back! I wish you the best, my friend. 🙂

    • Hi HJ – I totally relate to you wanting your life back… that is why we are here in Melbourne getting everything sorted! Hopefully we both get fixed!

  11. Great news Chris & Wade . Good to hear you will be able to keep up your lifestyle that you guys have become accustomed too.

  12. Good luck Chris. Hope the tendon sheath surgery to free finger & thumb tendons is successful and hope that you manage to find relief with your lower back pain. Glad all is well for Wade. Best wishes and hope that you both are back happily sailing again very soon. Lindy & Phil.

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