What can I do about hands seizing up?

I'm 16. I was diagnosed with Raynaud's last year – my symptoms are cold, numb fingers and toes, purple, yellow, black or red hues in extremities, occasional swollen fingers, and extremely dry skin. My high school timetable this year puts Latin directly after double sport, which is almost always outdoors, and, as I live in the north of Scotland, almost always viciously cold. My hands completely seize up. I can barely move them and usually must resort to asking a sympathetic friend to help me put my uniform back on because I don't have movable enough fingers to fasten buttons – rather awkward, to say the least. My Latin teacher is very particular about handwriting. What can I do?

6 Replies

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  • I think you need to see your GP and ask for a medical letter to show to your teachers about your condition. You should not be expected to do activities in the cold if you have raynauds. Also ask for some blood tests to rule out any underlying conditions. You should ask for an autoimmune blood profile, also TSH blood test to rule out thyroid problems. Good luck

  • Alas, there's another girl with Raynaud's in my sports class, and she's very involved in sports, so they'd consider it simple excuse-making. (She, however, has practical drama after sports, not a written class, so she doesn't have my problem.) Now that I think of it, however, she always wears gloves on the playing field, so I'll look into that.

    I had a blood test at the time, while I was being diagnosed - but it missed the anaemia I was later diagnosed with, so I might want to ask to go for another one. NHS blood tests don't seem too accurate.

  • They are but the doctor must know what he/ she is looking for, not just any old test. You may need to see a rheumatologist. You may need medication to dilate your blood vessels, like nifidipine and/ or Iloprost. Anyway, you are right. It is best to wear gloves outside and perhaps a vest under your top.

  • Certainly you should at least be able to wear plenty of gloves if you have to go outside. When hands are numb though, you must get them warmed up as quickly as possible, plunge them in to a basin of hot water (not scalding obviously) it will hurt a lot as the blood starts rushing back, but it's the quickest way. As a secondary preventative I find ensuring the wrists are kept warm(so longer snug fitting gloves) and rubbing the wrists furiously can help to relieve symtoms.x

  • Gloves are a must, also maybe some hand warmers (you know the ones with the metal plate in that you snap for after pe to try to re warm your hands gradually.

    also as you hae seen on here everybody (even though we have the same or simular condition) is different. so it maybe that you find outdoor sports hard and she finds something else difficult so you are not simply excuse making.

    Maybe see if you can go in about 15 mins early from pe to a) give you a head start in trying to get dressed (an impossible task with raynauds hand)s b) to give you more time to warm up before your lesson.

  • Under the D.D.A. the school must take in to consideration your "disability", which in your case would be reasonable to assume gloves, track suit trousers et cetera. And even not doing or stopping sports that induce a worsening of your condition or the off set of it. regards Ian

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