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My finger is going dead

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#1 Eos


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Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:45 AM

I have had severe Raynaud's for about five years. For the past week, my right index finger has been excruciatingly painful and cold and extra-blue. Now it just feels like somebody placed a really tight rubber band around the finger and I cannot take it off. SO PAINFUL to even use a fork or let alone open my cat's canned food. Went to Rheumatologist,... and the NP I saw there got a serious look on her face and asked the doctor so come take a look and he took another doctor with him... so all 3 came in the room. EEEEEEKK! So to make a long story short, they upped my procardia by 10 mg (which does not do anything... I think it is getting worse actually) :angry: and told me to come back in 10 days. I am so AFRAID to get dry gangrene from this and loose the finger.
My girlfriend consoled me on this, she said it does not matter if I lose this finger... as long as I still have my middle finger so I can make appropriate gestures (I do that quite often when I get comments on why I need to wear a hoodie at 75 F outside and whats with those gloves... in summer. do you blame me??) , I am good... :lol: I love how she puts things into perspective!!

Anyhow, does/did anybody experience this before? What did you do and how was the outcome?? My rheumatologist suggested a hot tub, but unless he gives me a check to purchase one this is not happening.

#2 Kathy D

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:06 AM

I am so sorry to hear about your finger.

I heard there was topical cream that contains an ingredient to dialate blood vessels, might be worth a call to the doctor.

I am sorry I dont remember the name of the cream but I think it has nitroglycerin in it.

I would rather be preventive than wait 10 days like they asked you, its not their finger that hurts!

Good Luck

Diffuse Scleroderma Diagnosed March 2009

#3 janey


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Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:08 AM

So sorry to read about your painful finger. If the Procardia isn't working for you (which is obvious) you should suggest another treatment. KD mentioned the nitroclycerine cream which has proven to be effective. There other other medications for Raynaud's. Click on the link I provide and take a look. It wouldn't hurt to print some of these out and take them into your doctor. Doctors can tend to get stuck in ruts because they don't have time to research the latest and greatest, so some doctors don't mind new information.

I sure hope you find something that works for you. I can only mildly relate to what you are going through, but never for such a long period of time. Please keep us informed on how you are doing.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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#4 betty32506


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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:33 AM

There is an over the counter cream capsaicin that is basically chili peppers. I have seen several remarks by users that they are helped by it. It comes in 2 strengths. My son in law was given it for shingles. Even the strongest didn't help. I have not used it and would be very careful to not get it near your eyes. :wub: I met someone who had. Be aware that if you use it washing does not remove it. Hence the eye warning.
Of course you know I am no doctor.

#5 JBG


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Posted 31 July 2009 - 04:08 PM


I have severe Raynauds and CREST/Limited SD. I too have had the 'rubber band/finger tip blue' symptom as you described. For me, it occurred for four different fingers at four different times - two fingers on one hand, another two fingers on the other hand. Each time I experienced the problem, my rheumatologist/hand surgeon admitted me into the hospital. In my case, I was put on Heparin (IV blood thinner) for one week. The Heparin never helped, so it was advised that I have a sympathecomy for the finger that was giving me the trouble. I listened and I'm grateful I did - even though it's said that a sympathecomy is a short-term solution. My fingers were saved. I have had a total of five sympathecomies - four for the fingers I described above (performed in 1998 - 1999) and one for all the fingers on my right hand (performed in 2004). Unfortunately, because the vessels are so damaged from the SD/Raynauds, the last surgery was unsuccessful and I was told that I had to move to a warmer climate. By unsuccessful, I mean, the surgeon couldn't do anything to increase the circulation. I have to make sure I don't get cold or have any stress.

Remember every SD/Raynauds case is different. I would suggest that you don't go too long with the symptoms you described and contact your doctor again.

If you or anyone reading this post would like to PM me, I'll be more than happy to answer any questions.

Hope you feel better very soon. I know how painful your finger is.


#6 bookworm


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Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:43 PM

Hi Eos, I would not wait 10 days. I'd call back right now. Maybe they don't realize it, but this is an emergency! I have severe Raynauds, too, and have lost the tip of one finger to gangrene. What saved me and stopped these awful ulcers is Cialis. Please ask your doctor about this drug or Viagra or Revatio. It's expensive but it's been a miracle for me! And, by the way, Procardia, Nitroglycerin and a whole bunch of other drugs did NOTHING to help me. Meanwhile, my finger got worse and worse and worse! The good news is that after I started Cialis, I've never had another bad one.Mary in Texas

#7 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:43 AM

Hello JBG

I see this is your first post so welcome to the forum! You are in the right place for support and accurate information.

I'm sorry you have so much trouble with raynauds, as you say each case is different and I've never experienced the problems you and others have.

I look forward to hearing more from you and take care.

Hello Eos

If you think a 10 day wait is too long go back to the doctor sooner. Better to have an unnecessary appointment than to regret not having gone back earlier.

Take care
Amanda Thorpe
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#8 bowbec


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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:45 AM

I take 60 mg Procardia XL each day plus a low dose aspirin. Also take 10 mg prednisone.

Every Scleroderma/Raynauds case is different. I would strongly suggest contacting your doctor again. ASAP!!!

Warm wishes,
Diagnosed with Diffuse Systemic Scleroderma May 2005
Raynaud's, GI, esophagus, skin and lung involvement.

#9 Sam


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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:56 AM

I was wondering how your doing, I haven't had that happen to me in years, sorry to hear your going through that now. My feet would do that in the winter time stay blue for days but I kept massaging them and putting them in warm water. They did give me some adelat but I can only take one pill of that or procardia since it gives me really bad headaches but it usually enough to knock it out. Good luck to you.. Take care

#10 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:37 AM

Hi Eos,

If it were me, I'd go to the emergency room with this. Right now.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#11 KarenL


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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:11 AM

Unfortunately the emergency room won't know a thing. I had this and did lose part of a finger with gangrene. I've tried all the above mentioned remedies, and the only one that works is Revatio, a Viagara type drug taken 3 times a day 20 mg each time. It is so good, that I stupidly stopped taking it in the summer thinking to save some pills. (without insurance, a one month supply is over 3000 dollars!) thank goodness I have ins....anyway, when I stopped taking it my finger started having the blues and the fingernail started separating from the finger, all my symptoms of impending gangrene....I started taking it (Revatio) again post haste and the destruction turned right around. The nail stopped threatining to fall off and my finger only turns blue when I am super cold, like in restaurant AC.

Revatio is getting easier to get approved, but it sometimes takes awhile. I'd research a get to your doctor tomorrow and beg for it. Otherwise you will get gangrene. It is not easy, it takes almost a year to lose a finger tip and you will be on multi --heavy duty opioids to alleviate the horrific pain. Get going NOW!!

#12 Eos


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Posted 15 August 2009 - 11:47 AM

Hi all,
thank you for the kind words and advice. They put me on Norvasc because 30 mg Procardia gave me low low blood pressure and headaches. Still pain, still blue in ac and stress. YIKES!