Update on my Swollen Hands

Last week was a bit scary for me. On the Friday before the Race the Runways Half Marathon, we had a big snowstorm. Huge, heavy flakes fell rapidly and accumulate to what I would guess to be about 5 inches on our driveway. I was working from home that day, so I pulled out the snow blower at lunch time and thought I’d get the snow removed before it turned to rain (and then froze at night) and made things so much worse.

Our snowblower could not handle the weight of the snow. It would only chuck the snow about 18 inches, and it was having trouble moving forward as well. I quickly realized that I was going to have to shovel. I don’t mind shoveling, I actually enjoy the workout so I didn’t think much of it.

The snow was heavy so I made sure to not put too much on my shovel at any one time. I was careful with the way I pivoted so as not to injure my back. I did, after all, have to run 13.1 miles in the morning. When I finished I was tired, but not exhausted and my back felt good.

When I woke up on Saturday, my hands and wrists were blown up like a balloon. They looked ridiculous. I wished I had gotten a picture but I was a bit freaked out. It hurt to make a fist. My knees also weren’t feeling great. It didn’t hurt to walk but it did hurt to go up/down stairs and to squat down. I wasn’t sure what the hell I was going to do. I decided to not make a decision.

We went about our morning as planned, dropping our kids off at their cousin’s house as planned. I brought ice with and iced my knees in the car on the way to the race. We were in the car for an hour total, and I had the ice packs on most of the time. My right knee was worse, so I focused my attention on that one. I didn’t worry about my hands, I didn’t need them for anything during the race.

I kept delaying my decision. I had a GU and some Gatorade in the parking lot. I figured I had to try to run and see what it felt like once I warmed up. I was late, so I had to jog the quarter-mile from the hanger to the starting line. During that jog, I thought “maybe“.

The gun went off and after 2 miles I knew I’d make it.

After the race, I was not great. I was able to walk around for 30 minutes in the hanger before we had to get in the car. We had somewhere to be, and spent several hours in the car that afternoon. My knee was extremely uncomfortable all day. I didn’t think about my hands too much.

As the week progressed my knees got better, but my hands did not. Every morning I would wake up with puffy, balloon hands. I was getting some pressure from loved ones to go get them checked out because by Thursday it seemed like it had been too many days for it to be just a shoveling injury. I agreed and went to the doctor.

The doctor told me outright that although an injury was the most likely reason, it was still an awfully long time for my hands to be this swollen. It could also be something wrong with my kidneys or liver. Great.

So I let them run a bunch of tests and waited two days to be told, that they were all negative and it was most likely just an injury. By Saturday (8 days after shoveling) they were looking a lot better, although it still hurt to bend my fingers and I couldn’t even think about cracking my knuckles. By today, 15 days after shoveling, they are 95% better.

I haven’t run since the race. Today I’m setting out in an attempt to run a hilly 12 miles in an attempt to train for the hilly Gettysburg Half Marathon that is coming up in two weeks. I hope I’m not too rusty.

p.s. I think you can see how swollen my hands were in this picture. It looks like I’m wearing the Hamburger Helper as a glove.

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  1. ashley says:

    you poor thing! that sounds like a miserable week!

  2. Laura says:

    Thanks Ashley. I was feeling pretty down, so much so that I didn’t want to write anything. But I’m fine now, and back to running as well which feels good!

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