Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm annoyed

Seriously annoyed.   Pissed off even.

At my fingers.
Toes too, but I don't need those to type or make coffee....

I have arthritis in several hand joints, all three knuckles of both thumbs, the end knuckle of my middle finger, (right hand) and the big knuckle where the pointer fingers join the hands.
Most of the time they don't bother me, apart from a twinge to let me know I should be careful how I use them.
Today, I woke up with swelling and hot pain in the middle finger joint. The end one right down by the fingernail, the one that gets bent the most when doing things like typing, gripping a jar to open a lid, stirring a cup of coffee......things you don't even notice when the pain isn't there.

Put the kybosh on all of today's plans that's for sure.
I did my Tai Chi class and the damn finger hurt every time I moved my hand.
The middle two toes on my right foot said please go home and lie down. I ignored them.

But I'd also planned on chopping vegetables and making soup for dinner. Maybe I'd even mix up that cake mix I'd found in the pantry.
Well, that's not happening.  Dinner will be a frozen pizza baked without all the extra toppings because I can't chop them today. The soup will get made next weekend. Cake? Meh, who needs cake?

What has caused this flare up?
Not sure about the toes, but I strongly suspect the hand washing I did is the cause of the finger pain.
I soaked and scrubbed a couple of t-shirts that had deodorant stains under the arms and cooking oil splatters on the fronts. They're old shirts and I could probably toss them in the rag bag, but they're comfortable and favourites. And I prefer them clean.


  1. getting old sucks.

    Why can't we be young forever?

  2. Ouch. And how true it is we only realise how much we use something when it hurts.
    I hope it eases off quickly. Very quickly.

  3. I can well imagine hand washing caused the flare up.

  4. Kelley; I don't mind the getting old part, it's the pain involved that bugs the heck out of me.

    Elephant's Child; I hope to wake up pain free tomorrow far it is still as painful as when I woke up today.

    Andrew; there's one thing I'll have to give up. It's the best method for removing stains; I don't like all those chemical soak powders or sprays, more so because the smell often ends up on all your other clothes after going through the machine.

  5. I seriously empathise River, I've got "it" in two joints on the right hand and bad enough in the middle toe on each foot to turn the toe (yuk) and the pain is debilitating and extremely annoying when you want to get on with projects. My flare-ups seem to be random, I can't find a pattern.

  6. I hate that for you. No one has ever said I have arthritis, and I can freely use all fingers with ease and have no swelling. HOWEVER, I have days of pain in one joint. It hurts so that I really feel for anyone who has more pain. I also only have one toe that hurts so that I cannot imagine having more toes hurting when I need to walk.

    In 1981, my right hand was almost ripped from my arm--doctor's opinion. In 1991, my left hand was crushed in a bank driveup window when a stupid teller said she thought I could move quickly and I did not. Those two injuries left me with many problems, but neither hurts, just don't work right. I am sure the arthritis will set in someday, and I dread it. At 67, getting older is scary in terms of possible pain.

    Assistive devices would help you be productive more. Plus, using assistive devices would help you not have so much pain. Hope you feel better soon.

  7. I emphathise and sympathise with you River. My right hand is actually out of shape now and I get nasty twinges throughout the day and night and, perhaps there's something in the air, cause last night two fingers on my left hand began to ache and I've noticed it again today. I seldom use the pointer finger on my right hand now except for typing and sometimes feel I would be better without the darned thing. I have those osteo nodes on several fingers so my once quite pretty hands are now just ugly. Ah, the joy of old age but then I think of the alternative and I try and put up with the pain and you, my friend, will do the same. Not funny but you will find a way to do things perhaps using your hands differently.
    My thoughts are with you.

  8. Oh River, I am so sorry to hear you are in pain. It's not just the pain, but the frustration of thwarted plans that gets to you as well.

    I think I've told you before that I have stage 3 Kienböck's disease in my right wrist. Fortunately I'm left handed so that it's not as debilitating as it could have been, but still there are a lot of things that require both hands or fine motor control and that's where I get into trouble. Just simple things like doing up a bra, putting on tights, opening a jar, holding a loaf of bread while I slice it etc become a painful and long winded affair.

    I also have osteoarthritis in my left knee, so I am familiar with the swelling, stiffness, burning pain and sleeplessness it causes. Chronic pain is so wearing and those flare-ups are just more salt in the wound. The combination of my left knee and right wrist being buggered is interesting when driving the car - if the clutch doesn't kill me, the gear change will (remember we drive on the other side). I guess I should buy an automatic or get a chauffeur :-)

    I do hope that you find a combination of treatments that brings you some relief while you wait out the current assault. Perhaps chocolate will help...

  9. I'm with you girl. I have osteo arthritis in my lower back, left hip and knee.....some days are worse than others..all days suck. Hope your flare up dies down quickly and you can get back to doing the things you enjoy.

  10. So sorry about the arthritic pain, River. I hope it backs off very soon for you.

    I'm beginning to get arthritis in a couple of fingers. Not bad, but enough to let me know it's there.
    I've always been a fan of natural remedies, and have been very interested in the good reports from people using stinging nettle (the actual plants) to help alleviate pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
    I'm planning on keeping a few plants in pots and trying the method out.

  11. Someone remarked this morning, "You're walking better," to which I snarled "Not like I'm 25, though." For which I immediately apologized; it's no one's fault but our own we get older every day. I'm so sorry about your hands (and toes), and hope the flareup subsides.

  12. Arthritis has been messing with my body for about twenty-five years. Sometimes, it's miserable, and other times, not so bad, but some of the medications to treat it are worse than the pain. So sorry your hands and feet are hurting. Let's hope the pain is short-lived.

  13. I’m sorry. Arthritic fingers are a pain.
    I keep mine in check most of the time, except when I do repetitive gardening and using a hand trowel with a firm grip.

    Stiff fingers are the result for days on end. Bother.

  14. I sure do hope that things improve for you soon. It is terrible having your hands out of commission.

  15. No more cleaning out the pantry for you, River!

    I have arthritis in the hip...and I know when I've over-done doesn't shy off from letting me know!

    So I empathise...take care.

  16. Rose~from OZ; my flare ups used to be random, but I'm beginning to notice a pattern, like hand-washing affecting the fingers, while colder weather seems to affect the carpal tunnels more...I may start a diary on it to learn what I need to avoid.

    Linda; almost ripped from your arm?? Ouch! and that bank teller should have been reported! I don't think I need assistive devices just yet, the finger is much better today, about 75% normal. And the toes are completely fine.

    Mimsie; my hands are not out of shape yet and if I have this level of pain before that happens, then anyone who has arthritis that bad has my sympathy 150%. Years ago, I'd heard arthritis is painful but until I had it, I really had no idea just how much pain there can be. You have my greatest admiration for typing and keeping up your blog.
    Perhaps your fingers are feeling the weather change, rain may be on its way to you at last. I sometimes know when the temperature is going to drop because my left hip joint aches, although it is not yet reliable.

    Marie; I looked up Kienböck's disease when you told me you had it and while I've forgotten most of the information I remember it is painful. I have the arthritis at the base of my neck where it joins the shoulders and in the lumbar section of my back so it's probably a good thing I don't drive. Other joints are also treatment of choice is painkillers and hot water bottles plus rest. Seems to be enough for now.

    Delores; "some days are worse than others" for sure and when you just have pain but don't look sick many people don't believe you aren't well. I still have many, many days when I am completely fine, then out of the blue I'll have a day where even holding myself upright is very achy.

    Vicki; it is backing off now, I can do almost everything as long as I don't put pressure on the joint. So no typing for that finger! I like the idea of natural remedies, but for me a natural remedy would be avoiding the activity that causes the pain. So no more hand washing for me and no running for a bus either. I'll catch the next one.

    Joanne; I know that feeling. Moving better but still not as easily as in our youth and it's so easy to grumble about it. Today my toes are behaving as if they've never been painful in my life, completely normal. My middle finger is much improved but the joint is swollen still.

    Susan; I've had arthritis in my neck and lower back for about fifteen years, the rest of the affected joints are more recent. Most of the time it isn't so bad, the lower back is eased a lot by sitting with a hot water bottle against it, for everything else I'm managing with over the counter pain relief and lying down.

    Friko; aha! I'd forgotten about the gardening. I was out there last week trimming some shrubs, just a bit and that just before doing some hand washing would be the aggravation to kick of the pain and swelling. I'd thought it was just the hand washing...

    Robin; hands are so necessary aren't they? I had a terrible time trying to fasten the waistband hooks on my pants, eventually just pulled my pyjamas back on and stayed home. Luckily I didn't have any urgent appointments.

    Lee; the pantry isn't a problem, nothing in there is heavy and I took my time shifting it all. I did feel it later in my neck though because of leaning down and in to clean at the back of the shelves. Next time I'll use a long handled damp duster instead. I have trouble with my left hip and right knee if I've sprinted to get "that bus which is right there and if I run I'll make it".....there'll be no more of that. I'll sit and wait for the next bus.

  17. I think one of the reasons our joints may ache when a weather change is imminent is because the fluid in the joints are affected by barometric pressure changes. I may be wrong but it makes sense to me as well as even the phases of the moon. If the moon can affects the tides in the oceans and seas then what's not to say it can affect us as well. Bit of deep thinking there e? :)