I am one of those people who tries to maintain an optimistic composure even and especially when it comes to having rheumatoid arthritis. However, lately my RA has a mind of its own, and for whatever reason, it has taken attack to my hands. This is frustrating and has left me a bit depressed.
First of all, I am a legal assistant and what I do for a living is type, and with the problems I have been having with my hands, I am not sure how long I will be able to continue working in my current position. Second, my husband is in management so he works all the time, and he is usually not home when I am preparing meals and doing other household chores in the evening. Basically, I have no one to ask for help when it comes to things that require hand precision. I ask my ten year old for help, but there are things I would prefer not asking him for help in, i.e., using a knife.
Some mornings, like this morning, I wake up with my hands curled up. I literally have to pry them apart to get them apart and it is very difficult to keep from dropping things when my hands are acting like this. This morning, I could barely hold my toothbrush. It is worse in the morning, but I still have problems doing the day. For example, the other day, I tried to tighten some screws in the hinges of a closet door. Needless to say, I did not have any luck. I became so frustrated with my hands that I started to cry.
The next time I see my rheumatologist I will be discussing the issues that I have been having with my hands. Despite my current treatment regime, I am still having pain and swelling in my hands more than in any of my other joints. Second, I have pain when bending or straightening my fingers. I have also have numbness, tingling and cramping. It is like my hands have a mind of their own, like they are possessed or something. Sometimes, they are stiff or they lock up.
I am looking at arthritis gloves and hoping that by using them, maybe it will slow down the degeneration in my hands. Even though my rheumy insists that my typing for a living is not damaging my joints, a part of me wonders if she is wrong. The one thing that I have forced myself to believe is that RA cannot stop me from living my life, but at some point, I will be wrong, and I wish it wasn’t my hands that were paying the price.