Well, I seem to have survived my visit with the doctor yesterday. For some reason, I let him talk me into putting the cortisone shot into my right wrist; his reasoning was that it it has by far the worst symptoms and we'd be better off to find out if the cortisone works on the bad paw, so to speak. The problem is I am RIGHT handed, and the shot has pretty much taken my right hand out of commission. My fumbling attempts to cope using my left hand would probably be funny if it was happening to somebody else.
He was fairly clear that the best I can expect improvement is two days after the shot, and it can take up to two weeks to take effect. That's a long time to think positive. :D
I also asked for a referral to the hand specialist; they appear to be rarer than unicorns, as I was unable to get in before the middle of August. The person scheduling the appointment said she would notify us if anybody canceled, but I'm sure she says that to all the folks just keep them from coming over the counter at her when they find out how long they have to wait for an appointment. So, given the lag time between appointments, I'm probably not going to get surgery, if I need it, until some time in the fall. I'm sure we will all be tired of my whining by that point in time. :)
(edited for word-o. still mastering the voice dictation software...)