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.