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Biomarker for Diffuse Scleroderma skin has been discovered!


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Finger Owie


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#1 barefut

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 02:52 PM

Okay,

I got a big owie on my finger. :(

It's the same finger that I have had the perma scab on. I haven't had a problem with this finger in almost 3 years and this came on rather suddenly this afternoon.

It hurts to move it or touch it.

I've seen the photos of people's finger ulcers and I am SO NOT looking forward to that!

I'm hoping this is not that but at the same time trying to brace myself.

I'm also wondering if this came on because I ran out of Cellcept and had to take the 2nd 1/2 of my morning dose this afternoon after I could get to the pharmacy.

Or could it be that, in conjunction with this cold I've caught and the flu shot I got last week?

Any opinions or advice? How do I care for my finger. Should I call rheumatologist?

Thanks,
Barefut

#2 whirlway

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 06:00 PM

Barefut, sorry I can't help you with your finger. One thing I do know, is that it isn't due to not taking your cellcept all at one time. So, no need to worry about that. Good luck with your finger, hope you are better soon.
~whirlway


#3 americanmike

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 07:06 PM

Hi barefut--

I've noticed my symptoms get worse when I have a cold or flu. From what I've read autoimmunity is usually triggered when a proper immune response to an infection gets transfered or confused to self.

Maybe your shots and infection have triggered an exacerbation of your condition... hence the finger ulcer.


anyhow I hope it heals up soon!

michael in florida **** for all you jealous northerners we too have the heat on tonite it's like 40 degrees

#4 LisaBulman

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 02:16 AM

Hi Barefut,
I am an experienced veteran with finger ulcers. You should have it looked at so your dr. will know what it is and what it looks like. If by any chance it gets worse they will know how it developed. Try to keep it covered and protected.

Mike,
I woke up to 20 degrees this morning! BBRRRR
Lisa Bulman
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#5 HazelTree

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 02:16 AM

Hi Barefut,

I suffer alot with my fingers and have had many ulcers and calcium deposits. If it feels like a nodule and you can move it, its normally a calcium deposit. I use a special bandage that I can only get from my Physiotherapist, you cut a length off, wrap it firmly around your finger (towards your heart) but not too tight to cut off the circulation and leave it on for 20mins to 2hrs at a time, but take it off if the pain worsens. This relieves the pain a bit and brings down the swelling. I will email you the name of this product as im not sure if I can post the name of it on the forum?

Not for the faint hearted
Sometimes they disappear but very rarely and sometimes they pierce through the skin where you can pull the bits out, its like small bits of bone, this happens to the calcinosis on my elbow. Its very strange that it never bleeds!
Normally I suffer agonizing pain with my fingers untill it starts to work its way out, in the past and recently when the pain gets so bad I bathe my hand in hot salty water and try to pull or squeeze it out. On one of my fingers at the mo I was able to squeeze some out, it had a soft consistency and did not hurt so much to get out and relieved the pain alot, there is still a hole in my finger (that doesn't bleed either) hopefully it will alleviate the pain of the next one (that is there) to come out. I have had some near the nails which I have bathed in hot salty water also, the calcinosis that I eventually got out was like shards of glass attached by a string. I had to kneel on the floor by the sink and just do it while nearly collapsing with the pain. It was worth it to get it out. I hope I haven't scared or disgusted you with this.

I sympathise with you and hope your finger gets better soon!

Advice
I used to wear a ring on my thumb and got a calcium deposit below it, I am sure that it was because of the ring, after I stopped wearing it, it went away!

HazelTree

#6 barefut

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 05:34 AM

Thanks everyone,

Hazeltree, Thank you for the graphic detail. I wanted to hear it. I cringed when I read the part of you on your bathroom floor. You poor thing!

Tell me, why is a salt water bath good for it? I got your PM and I will try that if/when it comes to that.

Today it is still tender and the skin is tight. I'm starting to remember how it was 3 years ago when this finger first acted up. My right hand was virtually useless. I had to beg my husband to do the dishes and bribe my kids to pick up the house.
Of course this couldn't be on my LEFT hand! :angry:

I remember it took forever to feel better and when it finally scabbed over, I was still picking what I later found out was calcium out of it forever. (I thought it was just REALLY hard skin from the scab) It did leave a hole with hard skin around it. I haven't been able to pick anything out of it for over a year.

I also remember my doctor sending me to a sports medicine surgeon who wanted to cut the tip of my finger off! They didn't even know WHAT was wrong!

Off the subject: I STILL get angry at my old doctor for not putting 2 and 2 together, with all the symptoms I kept going to him with - if he knew ANYTHING at all about Scleroderma, he should have sent me to a rheumatologist back in 2002! CUT THE TIP OF MY FINGER OFF! - for pete's sake :angry: NOT YET!

I'd better go before I go off about him again. That's a whole 'nother post.

Thanks again,
Barefut

#7 memeto2

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 01:26 PM

so sorry you have a sore finger,they hurt sooo bad.when I had a real bad ulcer last year the dr. gave me nitroglycerine ointment.you put the ointment around the ulcer(not on it)and leave it on 20 minutes and wash it off.i did this 3 times a day and it healed fairly quick.also I buy these splints atthe pharmacy they cover the finger and have a strip of metal around them so it won't hurt if you hit your finger.they are a must to have for people like us that get ulcers.i wear mine at work.i hope this info helps take care...memeto2

#8 bookworm

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 06:41 PM

Hi, Barefut!

I've had calcium deposits in my knee and on my forearm, but never on my fingers. I have, however, had a couple of the digital ulcers, one really, really bad one!!!!

All I can say is that you need to find out which it is that you have, because I'd say the treatment will be different.

After my last ulcer, my doctor put me on Viagra, and later Cialis, and I've never had another digital ulcer and my Raynauds is so much better and my hands look pink and healthy.

I suppose there may be reasons why all doctors don't put all CREST patients on Viagra or Cialis, but darned if I know what those reasons might be! I frankly suspect ignorance!

The purpose of Viagra and Cialis (and a couple of others) is to get blood to the appendages! In my case, being a female, those appendages are fingers, toes, etc. I just can't tell you how much difference this drug has made and I am sorry for all of you who aren't on it. Yes, they are expensive and you will probably have to fight to get your insurance company to get it to help pay for the drug, since its purpose isn't to help CREST patients. I believe the FDA has been asked to change this, but, as far as I know, it hasn't happened yet.

You have my sympathy if you have a digital ulcer! They are so painful. I, too, had several doctors who wanted to cut off the tip of my finger. Thank goodness I had one who said No Way. That ulcer took over a year to heal. After that, Viagra came along and I have not had another ulcer. I hope never to have another one, and really believe that may be possible, since they are caused by poor circulation and mine isn't so poor now that I am on Cialis!

Mary in Texas