Jump to content


Do you want up to date information about Scleroderma? Check out our Medical pages at www.sclero.org for all your Scleroderma questions!


Photo

Stupid Question


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 MaryFanPhilly

MaryFanPhilly

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 120 posts
  • Location:Central California

Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:21 PM

Hi Folks,
Ok, here's my stupid question... how does everyone handle shaking hands??? I feel awkward not doing it and people seem to get SO insulted. Usually I just say I have severe arthritis. Sometimes I think they don't believe me or that I'm a germ freak. I'm interested in everyone else's stories. Have a warm day!
Love, Mary
Diffuse sclero; diabetes; hypertension; GERD with Barrett's

#2 Sheryl

Sheryl

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, Michigan

Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:15 PM

Mary, I usually grab their hand with both of my hands so that I can control the length of holding time and the amount of pressure that can be applied to my hand. Sometimes, I reach past their hand and part of my hand is in their palm and my fingers are around their wrist. It they say anything, I respond as you do, or say something to the effect that my fingers are in pain tonight and I can't have any added pressure added to them. Usually, I find the person appoligising for even possibly hurting me. That can be a problem. Another thing I do is put my left hand on the persons shoulder and my right hand slightly below the persons elbow then their hand clamps around my forarm automatically. If they sorta stare at me I explain once again that my fingers are in pain this evening. Usually, nothing is said. It works for me. Sometimes my husband runs interference for me. While he is shaking a friends hand or meeting someone as he shakes that persons hand he continues shaking it while introducing me. That way I can make small talk or nod my head in acknowledgement. Then no shaking of hands is needed. You could do like my Aunt does. She carries a linen hankie in her hand and runs it between her hand while chatting with people. They don't know if it is clean or not. So they don't offer to shake hands. That one really works. I am laughing as I write this. Because, I just thought of it. And she said that is exactly why she carries a hankie. She doesn't like anyone hurting her hands. Too much pain. MY dollars worth of information. Sheryl
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

Sheryl Doom
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#3 LisaBulman

LisaBulman

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,135 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 02:29 AM

Mi Mary,
Not a stupid question at all! If it is in a social setting like a function of some sort, I try to fill my hands with stuff, like food. :) I will usually hold a small plate with both hands and then just give the smile and nod and say "hello". Obviously there are sometimes I need to just grin and bear it and shake although I tyr my hardest to steer clear.

Hugs,
Lisa
Lisa Bulman
(Retired) ISN/SCTC List Coordinator
(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager
(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide
(Retired) ISN Fundraiser
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#4 debonair susie

debonair susie

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,638 posts
  • Location:(United States)

Posted 29 February 2008 - 06:44 AM

Mary, No question is a stupid question. as a matter of fact, this was a very GOOD one!
For those who suffer from digital ulcers, I can't even imagine what they go through.
As for me, I really like what Sheryl says she does... Good idea!

I do have pain in my hands most of the time, so.... depending on how they feel, I'll offer my fingers to their palms and have found that they are always gentle and nothing needs to be said. Other times, I'll put my hand on their forearm or elbow and that works as a welcoming Hi.

Hugs,
Susie
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
ISN Support Specialist
ISN Chat Host
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 annkd

annkd

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 172 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, Ca.

Posted 29 February 2008 - 07:37 AM

I think this is a great question and one that is on my mind alot. Not only is the raynauds a "pain" but I've had surgery on my right hand (specifically my right hand middle finger for giant cell tumor of the bone) and it is not healing well or quickly. The healing time is going to be a long one and the pain may last forever (nerve damage, etc). So with an upcoming wedding to attend....what shall I do? I've thought about wrapping it in something. Got any ideas?? Thanks. Ann

#6 jefa

jefa

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,325 posts
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 29 February 2008 - 07:47 AM

Hi, Ann. You might try fashioning an attractive sling out of a scarf which will match your outfit, or just get a nicely functional one to wear. It will not only keep your hand out of site, but will allow you to forget about it and keep it protected.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

Carrie Maddoux
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums UK Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#7 annkd

annkd

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 172 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, Ca.

Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:53 AM

Jefa - now that is not a bad idea - one I hadn't thought of. I'll see what I have to use. Now the only other thing will be the constant questions "So what happened to your arm"? Well, it's better than a hand squeeze! Thanks. -Ann

#8 Sweet

Sweet

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,890 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:24 AM

Wow,
In reading this, it made me realize how even a simple task in life needs to be thought out. So many things that people take for granted. Mu heart goes out to those of you with digital ulcers.
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#9 MaryFanPhilly

MaryFanPhilly

    Silver Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 120 posts
  • Location:Central California

Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:38 PM

Oh my! Seems like it wasn't so stupid after all, of course we all have the same issue.... Sheryl your answer was a hoot! but good advice. I think I like the fingers in the palm or the forearm, I never thought of either of those but excellent ideas. I've trained my family when they're helping me up, to grab my wrist instead of my hand and support me that way, but it works as well for a handshake substitute. This might be your answer Ann. Thanks everyone!

We can always fall back on auntie's linen hankie.... maybe make it a dingy gray one to REALLY resolve the question.

Oh, and something else.... sometimes getting change is difficult when you have trouble getting your palms face up, so I always ask that they put the change in the bag. It beats having the change fall all over when you can't cup your hand. Yes, these little things can drive you crazier than the big stuff sometimes.

Stay warm and have a happy weekend!
Love, Mary
Diffuse sclero; diabetes; hypertension; GERD with Barrett's

#10 Fictionite

Fictionite

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Location:New Mexico

Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:43 PM

Hi. I don't have much to add for the social situations (I no longer have a social life - ha), but I know that the shaking, weak hands are frustrating at home, too. However, I did a few things that helped speed me up in public because you know how irritated people can be when they have to stand in line behind a "slow" person.

I went to the bank and changed my signature so that it's only my initials instead of having to sign my full name on a check or credit slip. I also carry a big purse with a compartment that I use to drop change and receipts into -- I wait until I get into the car or back home to organize everything, so that I can take my time. The more I try to hurry, the more I drop everything.

For home, I bought a few large-handled utensils so that I don't need a bib, a toothbrush with a big handle and a few "fat" pens. I also ordered a pair of tweezers with a circular grip. Still dangerous, but at least I don't drop them as often.

Hope this helps. Take care. ~Fictionite

#11 beverly

beverly

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Location:Washington

Posted 02 March 2008 - 05:17 PM

Wow, I feel so much better. I can't tell you how many times I feel like a child when I take forever to get my change out of my wallet( I am cracking up) I guess it's my duty in life to teach everyone patience! I love it. Thanks for the idea of just dropping my stuff in my purse I bother to much organizing.

Take care
Beverly