are you a doctor?

If so, I have a challenge for you. Can you diagnose my hands?

I’ve had a lot of trouble over the years trying to figure out what’s wrong. I’ve received many different diagnosis, none of which really fit. But now I’m taking the problem seriously and really trying to figure it out. Hopefully then, knowing what it really is, I can take steps to heal it. At least until prosthetic technology advances or neuralink develops.

I’ll share everything I know here in this posts, updating it occasionally during the next weeks with more lab results.

The problem is pain in the joints of the fingers. It gets worse when I type. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can’t type anymore.

Here’s all that’s wrong:

  • Pain in all joints in fingers, from the knuckle to before the fingernail
  • Worst in the knuckle on the index fingers
  • Least pain in the pinky fingers
  • The pain is worse when I’m cold
  • The pain is significantly worse when my feet are bare.
  • It feels best in the morning, worst in the evening.
  • Cold weather deactivates my hands, the threshold seems to be about zero degrees (or 32f). Not because it’s numb like normal people, but the joints lock up in pain. It wasn’t like this when I was a kid. I can’t even force myself to use the touchscreen on the iphone nor can I twist the keys in the lock of my apartment when this happens. Again there’s no numbness nor redness, just cold and joint pain.

Here’s my lab results

  • Xray of both hands, fingers slightly curled ( normal / ultra HD )
    • OK
  • Xray of both hands, fingers straight ( normal / ultra HD )
    • OK
  • Xray of left elbow ( Result )
    • OK
  • Ultrasound of left elbow ( Result )
    • Moderate left epicondylitis aka golfer’s elbow
  • Electromyogram ( Result )
    • OK

If you need any more tests, send me a message and I’ll get it done ASAP and upload it here.

Here information that might be useful

  • It started when I was around 22 years old and steadily, very slowly gets worse over time.
  • I’m 29 now. But when I was a teenager I lived in an abusive household and often ran away, spending entire nights outside in the snow underdressed. My fingers froze a lot during this time, I would ride a bicycle and couldn’t feel my fingers nor pull the brakes naturally. Throughout my life, I’ve often exposed myself to cold, including living in Sweden and Poland.
  • I was in several motorcycle crashes, one of them I landed on my left side, ruining the flesh on my left elbow and left wrist.
  • I have to use soft laptop keyboards. Big desktop keyboards (with deeper keypresses) cause me too much pain, especially when they have a lot of resistance or a sudden “click”. I can’t play piano.
  • I rarely crack my knuckles. However when I do, the pain feels worse for about an hour afterward.
  • If I stop using computers (or driving, heavy lifting, etc) for a week, the pain almost completely disappears. However just sitting at a computer (or piano, steering wheel, etc) for a few minutes will rapidly bring it back.
  • Driving in cars is very difficult because I have to hold the steering wheel. I have to give my hands breaks on road trips.
  • Swimming is very painful in my fingers. I have to swim with closed fists, and that only reduces the pain to ignorable levels.
  • Wearing socks and gloves helps — especially socks
  • I don’t feel tingling nor numbness.
  • My fingers do shake when I hold them out. Just a little.
  • I also have lower back pain, elbow pain, ankle pain, and discomfort where my skull connects to the neck. All of which is ignorable.

That’s all I can think of. If you have any questions again just message me or leave a comment here. I’ll update this post often until it’s solved.