My Fingers Are Stuck

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We’re still in the middle of the Polar Vortex, translation: it’s still really freakin cold here. Like ridiculously cold. Surprisingly I’m not doing too bad, with the exception of two of my fingers. My pointer and ring ringer on my right hand just won’t straighten out. I know it could be much worse and I hate to complain about two fingers, but holy crap they hurt!

This week has been a bit of a challenge. My car broke down on my way to teach a class Tuesday morning. It’s only be a mere $3,000 to fix it. Yep, you read that correctly. I’m trying not to let the money stiff get me down. I have a lot to be thankful for…and I know that. At times I feel myself justifying the fact that I’m in pain…that I know it could be worse. Do you do that?

I want to say how I feel. I want to explain how much pain I’m in, but I get that there are people out there fighting for their lives with cancer. At times I feel guilty crabbing over my pain, but what I’m trying to tell myself is that this is my battle and it’s my journey. There are no written rules. I’m in pain and I want to talk about it. Actually, at times I need to talk about it.

It’s just hard to describe. What hurts? Well, yes, my fingers are stuck and they hurt like hell, but the rest of me isn’t so great either. I’m not giving up or throwing in the towel, but I am doing a lot of research on medications. The only med I’ve tried for RA is Plaquenil. After about three months I did feel some relief, but when I got a second opinion, the new rheumatologist is leaning more toward a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. He did say that with a positive ANA, I clearly have an autoimmune issue. It’s possible that I have early RA or Lupus, but just how does one go about treating that?

I hate to be on medicine daily. Right now I do take a muscle relaxer at night that helps with the knots in my neck and general pain, but nothing seems to touch the joint pain, especially in the cold. I’d love to hear from other people with Fibromyalgia or other autoimmune diseases. What are you taking? Does anything really help with the pain?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lupus Adventurer
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 04:41:14

    AM, What did the doctor say about how your bones look in your x-rays? My rheumy told me that although my lupus arthritis and RA can look a lot alike on the outside – swollen joints, etc. – the real indicator is the bones. RA’s bone erosion is supposed to show in x-rays of your hands. That’s how he told me I had lupus, the first the good news “you don’t have RA” and then the bad (better) news, “you have lupus.” If he took x-rays and didn’t tell you about them, I would ask. If he didn’t take x-rays, again, I would ASK. LA

    Reply

  2. Lisa Z
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 06:48:27

    Hi! I know your quandary well. My rheumy isn’t quite sure what’s going on with me, either. I do have the fibromyalgia diagnosis, and I have positive ANA and thyroid antibodies which leads him to believe I have Hashimoto’s, but his colleague endocrinologist won’t treat me for thyroid issues b/c my thyroid hormones aren’t low “enough” yet. I have obvious inflammation markers in my bloodwork, but no other RA factors, and my ANA is high but not typical lupus high. I have typical Sjogren’s symptoms, too, but no antibodies in blood for that & have refused a lip biopsy b/c local anesthetics don’t work on me and I don’t relish the idea of a no anesthetic biopsy!
    I take 2 muscle relaxers, topomax, and Celebrex. Occasionally I take tramadol, which is the closest I have come to tolerating a pain med. But I have only had about 4 doses of it since November, so I don’t know if I have really tried it enough. I reacted to Lyrica (heart palpitations & shortness of breath) and Cymbalta. I also couldn’t take just about every other fibro med that drs use, to the point that my pain management doc was even willing to try narcotic pain medication until I told him how I had reacted in the past & he did a trial of a small dose in his office. He now suspects I have a pharmacogenetic mutation that makes me what they call a slow metabolizer & is why I’ve had so many off reactions. Now that I have changed insurance, I am going to have the genetic testing for it done. Pain without alleviation is a monster! Oh! But, when I had bronchitis a couple of weeks ago & my GP gave me prednisone to help my lungs heal, it was the most amazing 10 pain free days! That makes me wonder how much of my pain is fibro, and how much is autoimmune/inflammation related…since the party line on fibro is that it ISNT inflammation related. More research required on this point, for sure.

    Reply

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