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Why don’t my hands work?

I have come to dread the summer and since I live in Texas my summer goes from April-October. It’s a never ending pain-fest for me. I know a lot of people have problems with cold, I have no idea if I’m one of them though because it’s never really cold here. Instead I react to heat and humidity, and since I live close to the ocean humidity is not in short supply.

Every year it starts in March or April, usually with the arrival of the humidity accompanied by the spring rains. My hands start to swell up. As first it’s not too bad, I can still wear my wedding ring but I’m a little uncomfortable. I start wearing arthritis gloves when I’m cleaning to give my hands some extra support. By April the temperatures are over 80 degrees and I’ve lost the ability to even make a fist much less wear my wedding ring. Using my hands to do anything becomes extraordinary painful. I can no longer tie my kids shoes or button their shirts. My hands are so swollen and painful I remain in a permanent arthritic curl. I struggle to cook, clean, and even get dressed. You don’t realize how much you use your hands until you can’t use them anymore.

It’s incredibly frustrating to explain this phenomenon to other people. If I could do something in December, why can’t I do it now?  The problem is I don’t even have an answer for them. I’ve asked every doctor I’ve ever seen and no one has been able to come up with an adequate explanation. A few doctors have said I have the pre-arthritis markers. Some articles I’ve read have said it’s Fibromyalgia making my joints feel like they are damaged because of the swelling of the muscle tissue. The problem is while I do have swelling of the muscle tissue, I also have some joint damage. Another possible explanation is that Lyme Disease caused the damage to my joints, and now Fibromyalgia is creating other problems with the tissue in my hands. It’s a mess and nobody seems to be able to help me with it.  It’s only April and I’m incredibly frustrated.

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6 thoughts on “Why don’t my hands work?

  1. I have this same issue. It's not been a major thing before this year. I'd get numbness and tingling but not so much the swelling. This year it's been on-going since December or so. I finally asked to get tested for Small Fiber Polyneuropathy and I'm waiting on those results. If you research it you'll find that it has been found in a large % of those of us with Fibro, and in addition to the numbness and tingling it can cause the swelling and all sorts of other (internal) problems like IBS, urinary, and sexual issues. Granted knowing you have it doesn't help as the treatments are the same as what they do for Fibro (gabapentin and lyrica basically), but at least you'd know.

    1. Oddly enough I think I was tested for that a while ago but I didn't have it. I wonder if I've developed it since then though. I had no idea it could cause other problems though, that could really explain a lot!

  2. I just love having debilitating issues that even the doctors are mystified by. And then so many people expect me to explain it and know what to do about it when even the trained medical people can't. And since the docs can't have I considered it might be all in my head? But mostly they are just sick of it going on and on and there never being an answer and solution. LIKE I AM NOT! I LIVE WITH IT 24/7!

    1. I know! People are mystified as to why my hands don't work correctly when I don't have Rheumitoid Arthritis. I know it could be partly caused by small fiber neuropathy or also by Lyme arthritis, but no one knows what to do about it and most people do not understand that explanation at all.

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