“Mysterious” experiences like these can be common with rheumatoid disease and I hope you’ll share some of yours in the comments. Now, on to my rheumatoid arthritis thumb…
Several months ago I reached out with my right hand to grasp the handle of a rolling suitcase, and my thumb did not grip. I was met with pain as I often am. The IP joint and the MP joint (see joint abbreviations below) turned red. KB and I took pictures over the next few hours as we watched my thumb joints blow up like balloons right before our eyes.
By the way in his post Joints of the Thumb – Language of Hand and Arm Surgery Series, Dr. C. Noel Henley explains the names of the thumb joints clearly. I use these abbreviations when I journal joint symptoms:
The next day I went to an orthopedist walk-in clinic.
It always seems good to let a doctor see when something is very swollen because there are so many times when swelling is subtle and inflammation would only be detected on ultrasound. The orthopedist put a cast on my rheumatoid arthritis thumb to immobilize it until it calmed down.. That’s right – a cast. He said I must have sprained my thumb somehow for it to swell like that. It looked TOO SWOLLEN to be just the rheumatoid disease. He felt there must have been an injury.
Rheumatoid arthritis thumb: Don’t be confused!
(Ok, but can we still be mystified?)
I didn’t “injure” my thumb that day. But, I’ve said before that we ought to think of rheumatoid disease in joints as “injury” – injury without an incident that we can see. We can’t see what triggers tissues to inflame as if they are injured – but something does.
That’s why Rheumatoid Disease is a mystery in the first place.
No one was hitting our hands with a hammer during the night – but it often seems so in the morning. Yet SOMETHING WAS happening. Beneath a veil of secrecy. That immunology has yet to uncover.
In the rheumatoid zone…
More RA Warrior
- Happy Halloween: RA makes every day weird
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain in the Twilight Zone
- Textbook Rheumatoid Arthritis: Patient Input Will Replace It