Erika and others,
Thank you all. As far as my hands go, unfortunately they have worsened. Even though I have had YEARS of occupational therapy my fingers curl and I have difficulty holding things. Without the therapy I am sure they would be claws. On top of all of that my carpal/metacarpal joint (the one that connects the thumb to the hand) has deteriorated. I have to wear a neoprene splint now, am in a lot of pain, and will be consulting with a hand surgeon. I have permission from my scleroderma specialist and nephrologist to do this. It will mean, most likely, a cortisone shot or two to begin with and surgery down the road. It is one that requires a long recovery and I am not looking forward to it. I will go and have a baseline done and proceed from there. Has anyone else had this surgery?
Right now I am under doctor orders to rest. I have been trying to do too much. Due to a conflict between my pharmacy and my doctor I have been without my anti-anxiety medication for a couple of days and it is really showing. I hate to admit I am dependent on it but after 40 years of use I am. You really don't want to be around me now.