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Raynaud's questions and concerns


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#1 sally forth

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:47 PM

Hi there, I'm new to this game but you all seem so supportive that I was hoping I could ask for some advice. I was diagnosed with Raynaud's about five years ago and with scleroderma almost a year ago now. I've recently started taking Nexium and a calcium channel blocker for my symptoms. I'm a competitive archer and train 3-4 times a week but I'm starting to damage my hands. My rheumatologist strongly advised that I stop outdoor training when the temperature drops below 65 F. (I am in Australia and it's the middle of winter) The problem is that there really is no indoor training center close by. I'm wearing hunting mittens (they fold back) over golf gloves on both hands but am still getting swelling and skin breaks. I am going to try keeping hot packs in my pockets to help the blood flow but is there anything else you guys can think of? I'd love to keep training, but I've missed the past week due to stiffness. Any advice on archery or outdoor training esp. in cold weather?

Thanks very much in advance!

sally forth

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:14 AM

Good morning Sally Forth. I hope you get many replies on how to continue your sport without causing to much damage to the vessels in your hands. Winter and cold temperatures in general can be hard on our hands. I try to keep my hands conditioned with ointments and creams. Using a warm wax machine also helps stimulate and warm your hands prior to heading outdoors. By keeping a wax machine handy you also are conditioning your skin a few times each week. I play tennis and temperatures under 55 cause havoc with my Raynauds and severe dry skin issues. I also wear golf gloves on cool days to help maintain some heat in my fingers and palms.
Strength and Warmth,
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#3 sally forth

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 02:12 AM

Thanks for your reply! I have an appointment next week with a hand physio for a parrafin bath. Is this the same thing as the wax? I'll have to see if I can buy one in Australia.

sally forth

#4 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 02:43 AM

Hi Sally Forth,

Yes, paraffin is the same as the wax used in the 'hot wax baths' - just a different name. There's sometimes a little more mineral oil added to the paraffin by the manufacturer to lubricate dry skin.

I've noticed that if my hands are well 'greased' before putting on my gloves and going out, it helps.

Then there are gloves with little pockets sewn in them that take nifty little heat packs. A neoprene glove tends to be warmer than regular gloves and come in different weights. They are making them for cyclists now. You might also consider modifying a full glove by shortening only the fingers you need for the draw and leaving the rest of them intact. Hmmm, do you carry any kind of warmers in your pockets? Having an extra subsidiary source of heat would probably be good.

Hopefully others will read this and chime in. The name of the game, as far as I am concerned, is adaptation and work-around. If you can't buy it, invent it. Who knows, your solution just might earn you millions! ;)

Best wishes,
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#5 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:54 AM

Hello Sally

Welcome to the forum!

Although I have Raynaud's it's not as bad as yours is so I can't give any real help. I do hope you find a solution that enables you to continue with your pusuits.

Take care.
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#6 sally forth

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:11 PM

Thanks for the replies, ladies! I will look into the glove options. the heat pack insert sounds good. I'm already wearing arm warmers from our local cycling shop, looks like I'm about to become a frequent customer.
Thanks again,
sally forth

#7 janey

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 01:15 PM

Sally,
I'd like to join the others in welcoming you to the ISN forums! You've received some great advice on keeping those hands warm when outside in the cold. I sure do love my little glove hand warmer inserts when it's cold inside and out. I would also like to point out something called Vibration White finger. This is when Raynaud's is caused (and could be aggravated) by vibrations. There's some information about it in this Raynaud's summary from the Raynaud's and Scleroderma Association in the UK. You mentioned that you are an archer so there a possibility the vibrations from that might aggravate your Raynaud's as well as the cold. You should discuss this with your doctor. Of course, I only say this because I did "a little" archery as a young kid and the one thing I do remember is getting popped on the forearm from the string's vibration as well as my lousy shooting. :lol:

I hope you find a solution.

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#8 jefa

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:37 PM

Hi, Sally Forth -- what a cool and witty name. :D

It is heart warming to read of so many of you working hard to stay active and finding such great solutions. I can't add anything to the wonderful advice given, but I look forward to getting to know you better.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#9 jillatk

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 06:57 AM

Sally,
welcome to the forums. My doctor told me something to the same effect - stay out of high elevations and don't do things when it is cold. I flatly rejected that idea since I live at 2,000 metres and go as high as I can as often as I can, and the average temp where I live is 7 Degrees Celcius. I have invested a young fortune on various gloves, warmers etc. One thing I find is that gloves make me sweat, which then triggers an attack. So I always carry multiple sets of gloves and change them out. I usually use a synthetic glove if I am skiing, hiking or some other activity that will cause me to sweat. For less sweaty activities I use a fleece glove that has a leather palm. And again, I change them out pretty frequently. I pay particular attention to having gloves that fit well, but are not too tight. I get an attack if the gloves are too tight and restrict circulation. The warmers in the gloves are also helpful.

Keeping your hands moist is critical, especially in the winter. I try and avoid getting my hands wet (which is hard because I am a freak about germs on my hands) and I am adamant about applying goop to keep my hands moist about once an hour. If I get a break on the skin, which is a constant battle all winter long, then I immediately slap some antibiotic goop on it and cover with a water proof bandaid and leave it alone for as long as I can stand to have it on. My doctor said that strategy sounds about as good as anything he could tell me to do.

It also seems to me that I am more vulnerable for attacks when I am fatigued or stressed. I know exercise is a good reliever for stress, but then I try and find something to do inside. I invested in one of those incline trainers, which I hate because it is boring, but it works when I just can't get outside.

Keep on trying different things. Don't give up on the things that you love as these are the things that will keep you going and keep you engaged in life.

Jill

#10 sally forth

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:05 PM

Thanks jefa, yours name commands respect!

Janey, I checked out the link and will ask my coach if he thinks this could be a factor. That was really helpful and something else to keep in the back of my mind if I'm stumped.

Jill, thank you. I have found that too tight gloves can be a problem but I hadn't thought about using fleece. I just got some today with fold-back fingertips and will try them out. I had just been using vaseline for skin breaks but I will try to find some of your antibiotic goop.

Thanks again.
sally forth

#11 CraigR

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:08 AM

I'd like to add, that in my experience, Raynaud's tends to get worse with muscular stress to the hands. I engaged in a hobby that put a lot of stress on hands, and when I gave it up, things improved. So be sure your hands get plenty of rest.

Craig

#12 sally forth

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:19 PM

Hi everyone. Thanks for all the responses. This is an update. I competed this weekend and used combinations of gloves and moisturisers and heat and stretching and the whole weekend went pretty well! I did have some trouble this morning because I let my hands get cold during warmup (ha ha) but after warming them up the day got better. I only lost a little bit of skin on my index finger from not wearing gloves during warm up. So, I'll be keeping the gloves on and those heat pads at the ready from now on. Thanks again everyone. Oh, and I scored a personal best and am pretty happy about that.sally forth

#13 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 04:01 PM

Congratulations! I bet you were really chuffed.

Warm hugs,
Jeannie McClelland
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#14 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 03:16 AM

Sally, that's wonderful! Kudos for you for figuring out how to work around some things and still manage to keep doing what you love.
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#15 Perky Patsy

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:07 AM

Hello there Sally!
I am new at this too, but I have Raynaud's and have had it for quite sometime. My general practictioner never did anything about it. Finally after going to a rhematologist I was diagnosed with Scleroderma with Crest and I have Sjorgren's also. My hands turn very blue in the cold or even in air conditioning. My doctor gave me Norvasc to dilalate the blood vessels. The problem with it along with my blood pressure med. it makes my blood pressure too low. Gloves in the wintertime really don't help that much---my hands still get cold. My feet got that way too, and then blistered. It is a difficult thing to deal with, but be careful because after looking at the pictures of the results of Raynaud's on Sclero.org it really made me realize how serious it can be.

I saw on Tv that to get circulation to the fingers swing your arms from the shoulders in circles and that helps open the blood vessels to the fingers. You might talk to your doctor about that.

Hope that you can continue with your sport.

Perky Patsy