One of the things about scleroderma is that it comes in a neatly wrapped package with Raynaud's Syndrome.The latter is a syndrome kicked in by cold or stress. If you check the second link and look at the picture, that's generally what my hands can look like up to several times a day. Sometimes it's worse. When it comes to the precipitating factors ... well, I live in Chicago, which spends a great deal of time being noticeably cold. Y'all know how much stress I deal with. Connecting the dots should be easy.
Raynaud's is a pain in several ways. Firstly, when my fingers are numb, even a little numb, I can't type worth a tinker's damn. Since I have to type for a living (I even take my notes by typing these days because I also have arthritis, and writing out notes the way I used to is very difficult), feeling like I have 10 large, nerveless sausages instead of responsive digits is a definite negative. Secondly, when the vasoconstriction gets bad, it goes beyond numb, goes beyond painfully cold, straight to painful. And the more I'm in pain, the more I stress about it and the more I stress about it - lather, rinse, repeat. It only ends when I calm down or get warm, and getting warm often means getting into a shower (that's really necessary if my feet and toes start getting cold; I really hate it when the Raynaud's hits my feet), or at the very least holding my hands under hot running water for a long time.
On the other hand, Raynaud's has become an excellent emotional DEW line for me. I know when my stress levels are getting bad enough that I need to sit down and handle them when my fingers start turning purple and white.
I guess everything comes with a silver lining, although tonight I could have done without the physical reminder that I always stress out before negotiation sessions. Heh.
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