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Down and out with arthritis


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I have been sidelined by some osteoarthritis in my right thumb. It was bothering me a month ago and I kept quilting-- didn't seem to bother me that much. Vacuuming was way worse!! LOL

Then my granddaughter came to town and all that picking up 22 lbs of pure joy and cooking for a crowd did my thumb in.

I haven't quilted since then.

I have had an x-ray to confirm "moderate" osteoarthritis in my thumb joints, and have been seeing a hand therapist, and am now on Celebrex short term, and I am so depressed!! The swelling is going down, but I am wondering what is going to happen to my quilting obsession....

Fortunately the only people I quilt for besides myself are a couple of good friends. We already have an agreement that if they give me a quilt, I may not finish it for a while.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Will I get to the point where I can quilt again, without continuing to take the meds?

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Hi Cathy,

 

I'm sorry you're in pain, but there IS a way to use the machine without using your thumbs. Once you've pushed the right buttons with an index finger, cup the handles on the SIDES, just gently cupping your palms around them. You may find your freehand quilting is even more accurate this way. LOVE our ergonomic handles!

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Cathy,

 

I have it in both of my thumbs, my right being the worst.  Is the hand therapist going to make you splints?  I wear these during the day http://www.handlab.com/patient/index.asp.  The hand therapist made me some splints that I wear at night that immobilize my thumbs.  I don't know why wearing them at night makes such a huge difference but it does.  I understand that it is more common in women than men for some reason.  I haven't tried Celebrex, I hope that it will help you.

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Sue, thanks for the link. My therapist has not suggested these, but i am going to show this to her. I am using the comfort cool soft thumb restrictor right now and also another one with splints. They both immobilize my thumb but are fingerless glove style and hard to wear when I am quilting, they get in the way. I like the smallness of the one you have suggested.

I am on Celebrex only for the short term to reduce the swelling since I had a major flare up of the right thumb. I don't want to stay on it.

I went through this with my left hand about a year ago but it was much less severe. I just needed some therapy and splint at night. it really does help-- I think I sleep on my hands with them curled up when I don't have it on.

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I also have arthritis in both hands, mainly the thumbs.  The dominant thumb, the right one, is also going thru deterioration and I have

bone grating on bone in both joints closest to the wrist.   The thumbs are floating free of joining by about 1/4" so the tendons, muscles

have to do the whole job for me.

 

So far that has worked, though I'm now down to constant pain, no swelling.    I've had so many years of severe pain, that just the thumb

pain isn't too much of a hindrence, until I use them too long at one time, and then they go into spasms.

 

It depends on the weather, as to swelling.. hasn't happened lately, so I'm very thankful for that.

 

I only use ice packs,  heat packs,  and maybe Aleeve for pain.. otherwise I try to ignore it and just mumble a bunch, a BIG bunch now and then.

 

Since I'm on the extended treatment with steroids, they don't want to do anything at all, until I've been off it for a couple weeks, which is about the 3rd week in Oct. 

 

They said the steroids and antibiotics both affect the diagnosis and treatment of bone issues.. makes sense to me.

 

 

 

May all of you with such pain, swelling and disfigurement find easy and complete relief for yours.. mine will come in time.

 

Rita

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Thank you all for your input.

Rita, it sounds like you have had a lot of pain and have learned to live with it--something I aspire to, since I don't think this is going away, just part of aging.

Sylvia and Annie, it hasn't occurred to me to change my diet, thanks for the suggestions. I don't eat a lot of sugar, well unless you count wine LOL, but I am a meat eater and have peanut butter toast every morning. I am cutting out the wine for the time being while on medication, and will definitely cut out the peanuts, eat more fish and chicken.

Joan, thanks for the sympathy. I haven't had much pain in my life, I do feel so bad for all of you who have.

It sounds like you all have dealt with sore thumbs/hands at some point or on a continuing basis, thanks for letting me know there is hope!

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I forgot to mention this gel that I use.  It works better than anything else topical I have tried and a little goes a long way.  

 

http://www.lesantenutrition.com/category-s/1824.htm

 

http://www.gelout.com/categories

 

I think that they are both the same product but the Gel-out has blue sparkly things in it.  I use only the topical version and not the oral flakes.

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My Rheumatoid Arthritis has sidelined me for several months now and I have had to completely stop taking customer quilts. I have just started sewing again, but I have a friend cut for me most of the time. If I go slow and take lots of breaks over several days, I can get something done. I also use all the helps I can find for daily living....like special knives for cooking, and a blow dryer stand so I don't have to hold my blow dryer...stuff like that. All these things help give me more mobility. Also, a while back, Zeke made some handles for my longarm that are vertical and very comfortable for hurting fingers and wrists. Without these handles I would not be sewing at all.

I hope this is only temporary for you.

Jess

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Jess, I am sorry to hear about your RA. I have been reading all about arthritis and RA sounds much more painful than what I have.

I am glad you can get back to quilting! I tried working on a pieced back today and the cutting was definitely the hardest part.

Sue thanks for the links, I will look into the gels. Are these only available online?

Anne, thanks for the suggestion. I was tested for wheat sensitivity and I am not, but I know that may not mean much. I have cut out dairy and will cut out peanut butter but I will hold off on other things until I can see if these make a difference. A friend of mine who is a nurse practitioner told me I should only cut out one thing at a time so I can tell what is really making a difference.

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Sue thanks for the links, I will look into the gels. Are these only available online?

Cathy,

 

I have bought the Gel Out at a Rusty Barn type show and they have also been at the Long Beach Quilt Festival.  I bought Bend Again at an arts and crafts street fair in Bend, OR last year.  The salesman told me that they do some quilt shows.  Unfortunately neither company has any show information on their site.

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Hi all,

Sorry to hear that a lot of you ladies are suffering pain.  May I refer you to a lady named Elaine Hollingsworth.  You can google her, or go to her website called "Doctors are Dangerous".  You will be amazed, startled, and very, very, angry, when you read what she has to say. 

She has a book which tells of her findings.  You can order it from her website.  Everyone should read this book!!

Also if any of you have skin cancers, look up Black Salve on You Tube.

 

Marley

 

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Lupus, RA, OA, and Asma have slowed anything I have done lately, Hospital twice in the last 6 months. Quilting and piecing a quilt just plain take me out of the pain and into another place with  my thoughts. Reduces the depression and gets my creative juices going just wonderful. Try not to let the pain get to you. Live the life using your God given talent and your days will be filled with something other than pain./

 

Ginny

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Cathy one of my doctors recommended topercin.  I found it on Amazon and it can also be found in Health food stores.  It really helps with inflammation pain.  Here is the link.  They do have smaller bottles.  http://www.amazon.com/Topricin-TOPICAL277558-Pain-Cream/dp/B00172HEAY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1379377618&sr=8-2&keywords=topercin

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Cathy H.. I've been in near constant pain since back in the 1980's.. so severe at times, it was all I could do

to get up from a chair or the bed, and walk 8 feet to the bathroom, when living in the RV for so long.

 

Mostly low back and hip, then neck, shoulders, and hands..   I either took heavy drugs, which I didn't, don't and won't, or

filled my body with aspirin since alternatives didn't touch the pain.   Aspirin and my tummy just don't mix well,

so was having ulcer like and ulcer pain and problems. 

 

My old body was and is wearing out and my situation causes pain.. tolerate, treat and cause other problems, or

take drugs, hard prescribed drugs.. and be a zombie and that didn't help the pain.   For me the choice was simple. 

Heat packs, ice packs, medicated patches cuts the worst of it.  The rest, well it's still there.     So am I. 

 

Quilting helps me concentrate on other things, and helps me ignore the pain.  It also gives me time to whisper

prayers, even when with others, such as with guild..  and chatting at guild meetings also helps a lot.

 

A person learns how to sit, lean, prop, stand, reach in ways that cause the least pain.. it becomes natural once learned.

 

Just one day, one hour, even one minute free of pain makes for a wonderful patch of time.. Thankfully,  since

the neurostimulator has been removed from my spine, I'm finding minutes  of pain free time.. wonderful stuff that is.

 

God bless those who are in pain, may it be His will that your pain be relieved in some way, a wonderful way He

has given to us, be it meds, ice/heat packs, medicated patches, or surgery.  They all come from Him, and work so

well if we don't abuse it, such as in taking heavy drugs for extended periods of time. 

 

Geesh, sliced finger and all, I do go on and on.  

 

Rita

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Cathyh, you've received really wonderful suggestions here and I have very little to add to them, except that I know you can do it.  It's going to take some adaptation of how you use your hands, absolutely, but I found that if my thumb even has just a bandaid on it while I use Millie, it reminds me to let it rest and adapt to using my other fingers instead.  Yes, it's really awkward at first and takes a little practise, but it works, you can do it too!  I'm sending you positive thoughts and lots of ((((Hugs)))).  QUILT ON!   :)

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