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Clumsy with trouble gripping things...

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Hey there,


Anyone else experience clumsiness and a problem straightening the fingers? I can still straighten them but they hurt and feel like tendons are pulling also my grip automatically goes to the last three fingers bent. I've not been diagnosed with sclero yet. I just got diagnosed with Sjogren's. But this hand thing is freaking me out. I hadn't noticed how much I was my hands with bent fingers. Has anyone else had this? My hands are swollen and when I make a fist I can see my tendons quite clearly and the skin is shiny on and between the knuckles. Am I nuts to be thinking this might be sclero? Also my lungs show diffusion problems. So I'm confused. Sorry to be so long winded. I'd appreciate hearing about other people's experiences. Thanks.


Dawn :unsure:

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Hi Dawn,


I'm sorry you have Sjogren's and send my best wishes to you. Please keep in mind I have no medical training at all (not even a current First Aid certificate) and verify everything with a reliable medical source.


As I understand it, several different things can cause swollen, clumsy hands, not only scleroderma.


Have you seen your doctor about this new symptom yet? I know this is a million times easier said than done, but try not to worry until you have it evaluated, preferably by your rheumatologist. It might be just a medication side effect (which is quite common) or edema (swelling) from another cause.


Here is a Mayo Clinic article on Edema. You'll see they mention sitting too long, eating too much salt, or taking vasodilators, calcium channel blockers, NSAIDs, some diabetes medications, or estrogens as common culprits plus a wide variety of illnesses.


Generally speaking (but there are always exceptions to the rule), Raynaud's precedes the swelling or skin hardening that occurs with scleroderma. So if you don't have Raynaud's, that's all the better for now, in regard to scleroderma. But whether or not you do, this is a symptom that definitely requires medical evaluation. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


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

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Hello Dawnies


Welcome to the forum. :)


I don't have Sjogrens and can't say I'd want it, it sounds very uncomfortable to live with and manage.


As Shelley has already said get a doctor to evaluate your hands as it could be anything.


I do understand that having one autoimmune disease you would wonder if there is in fact another one lurking and whether the Sjogrens is actually primary or secondary.


As far as my hands go they're pretty much gone! :lol: I have diffuse SSc and have the curled fingers thing and no movement in the wrists. This was not my first symptom and although I now have raynauds this did not come on first either. My sclero journey started with my legs and feet then the upper body joined in the fun.


You've no doubt read that everyone's sclero journey is different and you may never have one, I hope.


Take care



Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

ISN Video Presentations Manager

ISN Blogger

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Email Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I have a finger that is extremely painful to bend and isn't very flexible. To make matters worse I jammed it into the asphalt when I slipped on the ice in December. Yeah now it really hurts! I have trouble with dropping things and have for years though never thought that it was Sclero related. I also have a brain injury from long ago so just blamed clumsiness on that or possible other neurological condition. :unsure: I have developed tremors in past year so was referred to a neuro movement disorder specialist but there is a 5 month wait on an appointment with the closest neurologist who is still seeing new patients. B) So I don't know the answer, but am having somewhat similar problems.

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Hi Dawnies,


I'm SO glad to see you posting!


As you will see, there are so many awesome members here. If they are unable to share an experience of like symptoms, they are wonderful with support and caring posts.


I am happy you have found us and was very pleased to see you in the Chat Room, Sunday night. It was good to chat with you!

Special Hugs,


Susie Kraft

ISN Support Specialist

ISN Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I was just thinking about 10 years before I was tested for ANA I used to wake up with swollen hands every morning. At the time I worked as a packer in a factory so I assumed the swelling was from overuse but who knows.


Dawnies you didn't mention having a ANA test so I think you need to have that done if you have concern over skin symptoms. I have the shiny hands below knuckles and the skin is slick, textureless, no wrinkles on hand and also very slick and shiny on skin above fingernails. I used to have a slick forehead but I started getting wrinkles on my forehead which made me very happy. Yeah isn't it crazy what makes some of us happy!


As far as the lungs go I would get it checked out by a autoimmunity knowledgeable pulmonologist.

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