The next day I went to see a local sports somatic practitioner - known for his quick, to-the-point, and often extremely painful treatments (I also saw him a while back for some hip issues). His diagnosis was a compressed nerve (ulnar nerve I think?), probably from an improper bike fit. He had some fancy term for it, but all that stood out to me was the word "palsy". He went to work on my forearm, literally making me swear out loud several times, and then we were done. My pinky was a little closer, but still drifting a bit. Later that day I discovered that my arm was bruised where he worked on it, and my pinky was once again off on it's own.
it looks like a weird Star Trek sign!
I decided to make an appointment with my sports chiro (who I'd been seeing for my hips during AR 50 training). So this morning I went in and got a similar but slightly different diagnosis: crushed nerves in my left arm/hand, probably from both improper bike fit and my hand placement while riding. I usually have my hands on the hoods with my thumb on one side and my fingers on the other side. Apparently this is compressing/crushing some nerves which is causing me to lose functionality in my poor little pinky : / He worked on my hand, forearm, and upper arm, gave me instructions on how to tweak my grip on the bike, and told me to come back in next week. Apparently nerves take longer than muscles and tendons to heal, so he told me to be patient. After all this though, as of tonight it's honestly no better than it was last week. My entire arm, on the other hand, feels like I got punched and is slightly bruised : ( While I'm glad it's not a debilitating injury or even a painful one, I'm slightly discouraged and don't really know what to do next. Certain things, like tying shoes at work, washing my face, and swimming are a bit harder. And while it's minor now, I don't want it to turn into something serious.
I'm definitely planning on getting refit for my bike by a professional, possibly getting some new handlebars (mine may be too wide for me), and there's also a good chance I'll be adding some clip on aero bars soon, too. This is all just unfamiliar territory for me, so thankfully Pat and some of my coworkers have been helping me out. My next bike ride is tomorrow and I plan to try switching up my grip a bit to see if it helps (or at least doesn't make things worse). Cross your fingers (ha!) for my little one!