ok.... so. ive diagnosed myself as having raynaud's phenomenon which started this past winter. thats just one new thing.
i have very thin fingers; im 5'6", 108lbs 26 year old woman, and no im not anorexic, i actually eat like a pig.
around october, i think, my right index finger lower joint felt stiff. then swelled. i thought maybe it was sprained. nothing helped the swelling it just got worse. then the whole finger swelled. i fianlly went to urgent care about 3 weeks after the initial symptom. the doctor actually looked very concerned which scared me. he said it was either an infection or gout. i had no abrasions, no splinters, and there was NO PAIN, which no one could believe. i couldn't bend my finger at all. nothing helped, ice, anti-biotics, sea salt soaks, elevation, nothing. 4 days later it did not improve, i went to the ER and the doctor dismissed it as herpetic whitlow (which it was not) and prescribed me 7.5 vicodin even though i told him several times there was no pain. he assumed herpetic whitlow because of some odd bumps on my knuckle, which actually were from old scars, the skin was so swollen that the scars on my hand ballooned out a little further. i have no health insurance because i was laid off in october and COBRA is way too expensive, so needless to say i was very upset that no one knew what was wrong with me and i had lots of bills i couldn't pay.
anyway, the swelling moved into my base knuckle and then moved slowly to my other fingers. it was even swelling like someone stuck a tube into my fingers and filled them with water right before the skin would burst. it went from my middle finger then to my ring finger. oh! i almost forget when all this began my finger nails stopped growing on the fingers that were affected. my index finger started to finally go down and the others followed in the order of which they started. i had stretch marks and eventually the top layer of skin peeled right off in large pieces like the dead skin you get from a sun burn. my fingers still looked odd, the knuckles looked larger, wider, and were hard, it wasn't fluid. so that all lasted for about 2 or 3 months.
oh! sometimes the skin was hot to the touch and it itched LIKE CRAZY, but it was not an infection.
around march my right ring finger swelled. at this point i wanted to cry. because when my hand was swollen i was pretty much useless (if you're right handed try brushing your teeth with your left, it's quite irritating.) this episode was shorter than the last and didn't get as bad. but this time the nail on my right middle finger actually RECEDED! ugh. what a nightmare. and the cuticle part of my right index finger receded, but not the nail, so more of my nail was showing, if that all makes sense. anyway the swelling went down about a month later and now finally my middle finger nail is almost at it's normal length again. i keep my nails very short.
and on top of all that i have developed some kind of breathing problem. it started a couple months ago. its as if i can't get enough air. like i can't get the perfect breath. and i yawn a lot but can never finish them. this has been on and off.
so... that's that. im afraid to spend more money seeing a doctor just to tell me the same stuff ive already heard. i did as much research as i could online. but nothing seems to fit. especially since the swelling is not accompanied by pain.
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