For about seven years I was not able to fully rotate my right/dominant hand, and had steady pain in my right wrist and arm. I saw several doctors and was treated for a wrist injury, but nothing addressed the pain, which worsened over time along with a sense of agitation that made me feel overwhelmed. I managed the pain with ibuprofen and an ice pack and by using my left hand for chores and the computer mouse. I stopped using my right hand to play piano or knit as the pain and fear of further injury took away the joy.
When I first met Dr. Lana Kang at Hospital for Special Surgery in May 2021, she listened to what I had to say. She took time to assess both my hand and my arm. She ordered the first forearm MRI I ever had, which revealed a new diagnosis: a schwannoma, or nerve sheath tumor, located between the ulna and radius of my forearm. In June, Dr. Kang performed a complex surgery to remove the tumor.
It is now August. The pain and agitation from the tumor are gone. Everything is so much better — typing, handwriting, cleaning, going to sleep. I have started a knitting project. And since I can’t find the words to express my gratitude, I am sharing here a video of me playing piano with both hands — something I can now enjoy again for the first time in seven years. A heartfelt thanks from me and my family to Dr. Kang and all the staff at HSS!