Some might describe my 11-month old son as a “big boy” for his age, some call him “solid”, and others might say he could be a nose tackle for the NY Jets. He is the most amazing kid, but he is heavy – his physique currently weighs in at approximately 23 pounds. Where are my going with this?
As most stay at home parents know, we lift up our children countless times during the day, change a bunch of diapers, and carry the kids around from place to place. I guess this job of parenting takes it’s toll on your body. I know several stay at home dads who have been experiencing back pain or other ailments as a result of lifting (parenting?) their children.
Personally, I have been experiencing wrist pain for about a month & finally had the chance to see an orthopedist to get it checked out. I was diagnosed with a type of wrist tendonitis called DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis. About. com states that “this is inflammation of the tendon at the base of the thumb. Often seen in new mothers, DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis is diagnosed by a specific test called ‘Finkelstein’s test‘ where the patient makes a fist and the wrist is pulled away from the thumb. Pain from this maneuver is diagnostic of this type of wrist tendonitis.” Medicine.net describes “typical causes include stresses such as lifting young children into car seats, lifting heavy grocery bags by the loops, and lifting gardening pots up and into place.”
When I met with the orthopedist, he was reading my paperwork, and chuckled when he read that I was a stay at home dad. He explained that my ailment was extremely common with new moms, but he said it made sense that it would happen to me as well. With an increase in stay at home dads…it would make sense that we are probably experiencing some injuries previously associated with moms. Consequently, the definition in About.com & conversation with the orthopedist display that there is much room in society to make the change in their stereotype of the “shifting” American Family.
There are many treatments for wrist tendonitis including Immobilization (Placing the wrist in a splint or a cast which is usually the first treatment step. In the interim, I am wearing a hand splint. However, it is pretty difficult to change diapers, dress your child, and do many other daily tasks with the splint. I also received a Cortisone Injection and I am hoping that this will do the trick! Sure, most people that I run into see my wrist in a splint, and ask what happened? Sports injury? Did you fall? Gym injury? I reply, “no, it is a type of wrist tendonitis common in NEW PARENTS.”
I never had an on the job injury before. I never realized that being a stay at home dad would lead to my first job-related injury. Can some other dads share their parenting “on the job” ailments?