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To ulcer or not to ulcer that is the question


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#1 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 02:18 PM

Hello All

I know you can't make a diagnosis, will get rheumatologist to end of Nov, I am just seeking opinions meantime.

My right thumb near the tip has been unwell for 2 months :angry: . At first I though I had cut the nail too short as right on the outside corner where the nail grows up the problem lies. It was as if I had an ingrowing nail which I cut/filed but nevertheless the site is always red, inflamed, sore and every few days...pus and very painful...yuck. There is definately no nail ingrowing and yet the symptoms continue.

I've never had an ulcer and know lots of you have, sorry, so could you give me your considered opinion as to whether this sounds ulcerish or maybe just infected. :blink:

Thank you in advance. :rolleyes: :)

Amanda
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#2 PrincessB

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 09:50 PM

Unfortunately it sounds very much like one to me, in fact, it sounds like an infected ulcer, so both things. I would advise you to go to your general practitioner to let them have a look, even if they don't know anything about scleroderma, they should recognise an infection and be able to give you antibiotics, which you'll need before the end of Nov, the infection will be causing a lot of the pain. One of the ones I had looked like a crack at the top of the finger, where it met the nail, and I also thought I had cut the nail too short.

Hope your general practitioner can help you out, B x
Diagnosed diffuse systemic scleroderma December 2005 (on my 30th birthday, as if turning 30 wasn't enough?!)

#3 lizzie

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 11:05 PM

Hi Amanda, if there is pus , there is infection and I think that you should see someone about it - whether it is actually an ulcer or not. My rheumatologist is absolutely insistent that you contact the rheumatology team at the first sign of any sores on the hands. The hospital I attend has a rheumatology hotline where you can ring and leave a message about such problems and one of the team then ring you back to discuss. Don't know whether you have access to something like this? If it were me I wouldn't leave it until the end of November- especially now the weather is getting colder and likely to cause more problems with circulation to fingers.


Lizzie

#4 razz

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 02:42 AM

Amanda,

Ouch! That does sound painful. :blink: Red, swollen and oozing pus, yes it does sound like an infected ulcer. PrinB and Lizzie both gave good recommendations. Call your rheumatologist's office and describe what you have so they could call in a prescription to your pharmacist, or they might even ask to see you right away. Whenever my fingers get that way I know it's an infection. It usually clears up after taking antibiotics.

Speaking of sores, I have one right above my right index finger. I didn't realize that I had been using this finger to push open my garbage pail and then one day viola, a painful sore!

I hope you heal quickly and the ulcer goes away soon!

Hugs, Razz
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#5 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 12:05 PM

Hello All

Thank you for the replies they are as I suspected. ;) Today I have realised the same issue is happening for the left thumb in exactly the same place...twin peaks you might say.

Razz I will ring my rheumatologist nurse tomorrow and sorry about your new arrival.

Lizzie the hospital offers this service I am just not good at using it! I will ring tomorrow and no doubt be told off for doing nothing for 2 months.

PrinB how weird ours are so similar.

Well I lasted a year without any so that's good going. My dread now is that hospital will want me in for a week for Iloprost infusion to improve circulation, I still say never again!!

It's funny because in the beginning I became fixated with dread at the thought of certain symptoms of which ulcers were one but like the other symptoms that appeared despite the dread...ulcers...oh well. :lol:

Thanks again and I'll let you know what the nurse says!
Amanda Thorpe
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#6 lizzie

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 08:42 AM

Hi Amanda, think you are right about them wanting you to go in for Iloprost - everytime I ring they make me go in! I dread the boredom rather than the Iloprost though. I think I may have mentioned to you before that the first time, I had Iloprost over 6 hours and felt so bad that death would have almost been welcome. Since then I have it as a continuous infusion over 24 hours a day for 5 days (they do actually let you have a break off it for 1 hour a day to have a shower etc.) - I really feel fine having it like that, the most problem I experience is mild headache. I would refuse to go in if I had to have the 6 hours a day regime. Does your unit offer you the choice? If so would definitely recommend the continuous regime (I have it every 8 -12 weeks between September and April).

Lizzie

#7 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:56 PM

Hello Lizzie

Ah yes Iloprost or die.....hmmmm. I had it 6 hours a day over 5 days and at the time they said they were going to try 24 hours a day over 5 days in the future. I would not go in again for it unless it was over 24 hours as it was horrendous before! I say that now with potentially 3 ulcers as 2 more are declaring themselves, one today one for a few days but I had been ignoring it.

They tell me that some people have no effects from the Iloprost but I say the plastic and or blow up patients don't count.

Amanda
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#8 canon

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:05 PM

Amanda,

Sorry you are going through some painful things like ulcers. Can't add anything to what has been said but take care.

With gentle thoughts.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.