National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

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Hi everyone

I had a steroid injection about 6 weeks ago and this has helped the inflammation go down on my feet, the flare ups have also become less, only having 3 during this time in wrist, and both hands. I was prescribed Hydroxy but was told last week to stop taking it as i was feeling really nauseus and terrible headache all the time. I am also on Arcoxia. Although the inflammation has reduced i am still experiencing pain in my hands and wrists. The joints on most of my fingers are very painful and this is more apparent when I am doing daily things, ie using my lap top in work, and especially at home when i am trying to do simple things like open bottles, cooking a meal. Lots of pain when i am peeling vegetables and slicing potatoes. Such a simple task but not any more. Do you think my meds are still not quite right.

I am also still very fatigued and don't see much past 9.30 each night. One of the most difficult things is not being able to hold my 8 month old grandson for long. The pain in my hands just escalates and shoots up my arms. Is this normal.



Also the weakness in my hands is very frustrating, there does not seem to be any strength in them at all. I am also having pains in my ankles and but the strange thing is that when i am having pain, my veins seem to really stand out, on my hands too. Does this happen to anyone else.

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5 replies

    RA-Fibro
    RA-Fibro

    Hi Debbie,

    Sorry to hear you are feeling so unwell.

    i have weakness in my hands everyday they get better as the day goes on but they still hurt, Ive never noticed my veins sticking out though.

    Fatigue is a big killer for me too, as for your meds Im no expert but I too havent got to a stage were I have any pain free days or any real ease in sypmtons so I cant really answer you on that one, but I am still hopefull that when I do get the right medication that life will get better than it is at the moment.

    Take care

    Julie x

    mand
    mand

    Hi Debbie, it may be that you have some joint damage to your wrist from the RA, especially as you say the steroid injection appears to have helped elsewhere.
    Hands and fingers seem to be a common problem with RA and nearly everyone is affected in their hands, resulting is pain and inflammation which eventually leads to weakness and some joint deformity.
    The weakness is part of the RA I'm afraid. Do you have any hand splints to help support your wrists, these will help when doing things.
    If no ask for a referral from your consultant to an OT (Occupational Therapist)
    Get back in touch with your nurse/consultant and explain the difficulty you are having with your hands and the problems it's causing you.
    I understands the frustration of not being able to hold your grandchildren, when I was diagnosed I had a new born baby and found it very difficult to bond with him due to the inability to hold him properly. When they are a little older it will get better you can explain to them and get them to hang onto you when picking them up to make it easier, try not using all your hands I used to put my
    arms through his so my elbows were underneath his armpits so my elbows took most of the weight. Sounds strange, but I had to find ways.
    Fatigue is also another part of RA, better some days than others.
    Don't suffer, get back in touch with your nurse/consultant and get them to help.

    Take care
    mand xx

    LavendarLady
    LavendarLady

    Hi Debbie, I don't get trouble with the veins but the tendons in my hands will stand out during a flare affecting my hands. Also the tendon running from the wrist into the palm of the hand swells up as well and is really quite painful.

    You don't say if you are on methotrexate or anti tnf?

    The problems with hands can be helped by the Occupational Therapist attached to most rheumy depts. It may be you may need splints.

    All of us who have RA do suffer the most debilitating fatigue from time to time - it goes with the territory and also being unable to open bottles and cans or pick up a child without pain. My grandchildren love being picked up for a cuddle but I just can't manage it any more.

    You can get gadgets to help open bottles and cans rather than putting your poor wrists and hands under further stress. I have an electric and a battery can opener and a hand held bottle opener which is brilliant. You can also get specially designed potato peelers to help. They have a much large handle for grip and are very comfortable. Most cook shops or department stores which have a cookery section will stock them.

    So far as meds are concerned, you must speak to your GP if you can't get to see the consultant/nurse for a while. There are pain killers and anti inflammatories your GP can prescribe but try to get an earlier appt with your consultant.

    Good luck and hope you feel better soon. LavendarLady x

    cherry2
    cherry2

    Hi, poor you its so frustrating isn't it! As the other have said get an OT assessment- they are brill at suggesting/ supplying gadgets and splints. They will also show you exercises to help strengthen your wrists when the time is right. I was stubborn in the beginning and tried to not use gadgets or accept help- what a fool, i v'e since learn't to use anything that protects your joints and saves some valuable energy - get that appointment.
    Fatigue is such a problem- have you read the 'spoon theory'- some else suggested it and I did find it helpful in at least understand the tiredness symptoms more. just tap it into google and you should find it, take care.

    blue1950
    blue1950

    veins stick out in hands and feet especially when i get hot pains and in a flare .....use anything that helps pain relief when opening bottle and tins i use electric can opener such a blessing and have a bottle opener which is brill.....i used to suffer loads opening stuff but not now....if you feel pain ur not supposed to go through it but not cause it easier said than done but less damage........am in a flare at mo with my feet the skin is driving me mad on them feel so sensitised...even the duvet on them causes pain and when i stand its all hell let loose feels like the going to break..............

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