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Old 12-09-2012, 01:19 PM   #31
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Keeping at the top for Dawn to read.

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Old 12-09-2012, 01:28 PM   #32
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Off to research cellulitis and MRSA!
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:45 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by KeirasMom View Post
Off to research cellulitis and MRSA!
On the off chance that it is MRSA, I read an article today that said one of the ingredients in Neosporin (or similar triple antibiotic ointment) is very effective against it.

Just a suggestion, but you might try applying it at least twice a day until you can be seen by an MD...but I would also cover the lesions with a bandage, just in case. If it is contagious, it will help reduce the risk of spreading to other fingers or to other people.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:29 PM   #34
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This brought back a lot of memories for me and I just kept thinking about you all day. I wrote earlier to say that it might be tophi. I didn't mention in all my rambling that my husband had places like that on his hands and toes (as well as his elbow) and the rheumatologist said they were tophi. He also had the kind of gout that caused kidney stones, and you said that yours was that type. If you google tophi or tophus (singular) you will find a lot of info as well as pictures. The pictures are of extreme cases of tophi but when they first develop they look like the ones on your hands. You very well may have cellulitis or something else but since you mentioned gout, RA, and psoriasis, I thought I should speak up. It took a while for us to get a diagnosis and that didn't happen until we were referred to a rheumatologist. The referral came after our family doctor thought he should lance/drain the swollen and inflamed knot on my husbands foot. When he cut into it, there was no pus. The inside of a tophus looks more like a wad of white or yellow, sticky glue. When he saw that it wasn't an infection, he referred us to a rheumatologist. Gout, RA, and psoriasis are all autoimmune disorders and a good rheumatologist will be able to help you get it under control if indeed they are tophi.
To be on the safe side, you should probably go back to the doctor and get checked for cellulitis and MRSA. If they rule that out, then you can pursue the rheumatologist appointment.
Anyway, while you are researching MRSA and cellulitis, I encourage you to also research tophi, or tophaceous gout.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:11 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeirasMom View Post
I'm coming to my JBs because you all are so darned smart and well-read! Have any of you had experience with rheumatoid arthritis, or any other types of systemic arthritis?

It's early yet, as I don't have a diagnosis, and it may be nothing at all, but I was referred on Friday to a Rheumatologist. I don't have my appointment yet.

Back story: A few weeks ago I had a minor papercut. It was fine for a few days, then I experienced swelling and redness. I gave it a week or so, treating for infection at home, but nothing helped. I went to my GP, and he said it looked infected too, but ran bloodwork for arthritis and gout as well (I do have the condition which causes gout, but mine presents with kidney stones). By the time I saw the doctor, I had a similar inflammation on my right pinky (see pictures), but had not cut myself there.

My GP prescribed antibiotics and I took the whole round with no improvement. On Thursday night, the other two fingers were worse than they were when I saw the doctor about a week and a half prior. Then, Friday morning, I also noticed the same thing happening to my right middle finger. So I went back to the doctor, he reviewed my bloodwork and told me everything was perfect. Now he's sending me to the specialist because he has no idea what's going on.

I'm fine, I feel great other than these silly fingers, but just thought you all might have suggestions or references for me to check out. Oh, one other thing; I have mild Psoriasis and I also was wondering about Psoriatic Arthritis, since it's not presenting in a symmetrical fashion.

TIA, best BUDDDs!

ETA: The pictures don't really do it justice. They are both hard and the ring finger is so swollen I can't bend my finger (it's also a weird mottled purplish color now). The new one, on my right middle finger is on the palm side and like a hard bubble, similar to a ganglion cyst.
Oh honey, welcome to my inflammatory world, I have both psoriasis and was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2005. I was put initially on big gun steroids because it presented with both knees swelling up literally overnight to the size of grapefruit and I couldn't walk. I am completely convinced it was directly related to my then crappy eating habits, as I'd consumed a whole box of donut holes that night, the worst possible combo of sugar and transfats. I've done buttloads of research because I did not want to stay on the drug prescribed by my rheumatologist---methotrexate (toxic to the liver and a chemo drug). After finding out the doc had neglected to monitor my liver bloodwork and was merrily refilling prescriptions without noticing at least one elevated test, I abruptly took myself off it.

There's a lot of evidence to support what's called the "leaky gut syndrome" as causal in inflammatory arthritis/psoriasis and other auto immune disorders. If you google leaky gut and arthritis there's lots of info out there. I can tell you that I've seen no difference in my discomfort since stopping the scary drug, so far no flare-ups, but as always, YMMV, so do your research and decide which way you want to go. The docs heavily push the DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatoid drugs, I think) for the most part, and next biggest gun is the biologic drugs, which scare the hell out of me. So I'm managing thus far with gut-healing supplements like probiotics and digestive enzymes. I wouldn't be surprised if giving the gut a break to heal with intermittent fasting helps as well, but that's just a guess. And I may jump right back on the scary drug if I wake up another morning unable to walk again. But it's definitely good to educate yourself before you see the doc because their toolbag is kinda limited. I wish you quick remission and the very best of luck, my dear!
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:24 PM   #36
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Lots of great replies here, very knowledgeable JBs

I can only add this one thing-- we have thyroid disease in my family, my first cousin on my dad's side got Graves' disease in her late teens/twenties, and is on Syntrhoid. Then she presented with what is now RA, and her doctor said that autoimmune diseases come in 2's or 3's. She thought she just had the 2, but when she tried to get pregnant, her 3rd popped up (long story, but she eventually was able to carry a gorgeous girl to term so happy ending there).

Anyway-- I havent' a clue what you have going on there-- but wanted to share my limited personal info on autoimmune stuff with you.

that you find out soon and get some relief!

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Old 12-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #37
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Wondering now this evening about whether the red areas of inflammation are larger and spreading, whether any other new spots of this have popped up, or whether the infection/whatever it is, is going away on its own now, which is what I'm hoping for. Let us know how you're doing.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #38
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Sorry I can't really help Dawn. DH has very swollen joints on his fingers and a few weeks ago had a swelling a little like one of those in your photos. It was extra painful but he didn't see the GP...... and it has virtually disappeared.

You have had so much great input here, just hope you can get it sorted soon.

An those nails are to die for!
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:10 PM   #39
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You all are the best! It was worse this afternoon, and I ended up going to the urgent care just to be on the safe side re: cellulitis/MRSA. They did x-rays and said there's no sign of infection, and it didn't look like cellulitis to the dr. The x-rays did reveal some inflammation on the bone, only on the worst of the three fingers, and some minor deformity (it's curving now toward the middle finger). He can't say if it's the severe swelling pushing it that way, or the beginnings of RA or another type of joint disease.

He prescribed Meloxicam which I'm afraid to take, but at this point, I need to at least for a while and see what happens. I can barely use my hands, and my job is very keyboard-intensive.

I still suspect gout. Thank you Nell for that information. My uric acid levels are normal, but that doesn't mean crystals haven't been building up over time and just decided to present recently.

I'm also not ruling out some type of arthritis. I took more pictures today and will try to upload them in a little bit.

So the prognosis at this point is unchanged. I have to wait to see the Rheum., but at least I've reassured myself about the cellulitis/MRSA.

Thank you all for your input and suggestions. I appreciate it more than you know.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:26 PM   #40
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Today's installation of gross finger pictures.

The color doesn't show up very well, but they're bright red and mottled.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 018.jpg (20.1 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg 017.jpg (15.9 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg 020.jpg (12.8 KB, 22 views)
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:31 PM   #41
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just a thought ,could you have been bitten by something?
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:51 PM   #42
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Like a brown recluse?

Really, don't wait too long. Unless this begins to resolve....today.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:54 PM   #43
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No bites. I thought of that, too, as I'm deathly afraid of brown recluse.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:55 PM   #44
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Oh bless your sweet heart!!! They look so painful!!!

I'm so glad you went! My mom passed from MSSA as a result of a fall - she had lung cancer, fell, was in the hospital, got stuck and developed MSSA from the needle stick. So it just scares me when I see swelling like that!!

Have you eaten anything new or different in the last 3 days? What was your menu? Maybe it's a food allergy?
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:00 PM   #45
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So glad it wasnt cellulitis!!! Sorry its worse though....the pics look painful. Hopefully the meds help and it was a freak thing and doesnt come back!

If the swelling keeps up though, still go to your GP. I beleive in the GP more so than the urgent care docs. Only because your GP knows you much much better! Hugs to you sweetheart!!!

Ps...sorry if we scare ya about the cellulitis thing...but it really isnt something most people know about and its such a horrible thing to deal with! That wasnt our intentions!!!!

Last edited by krow134; 12-09-2012 at 06:02 PM..
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:01 PM   #46
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I was on maloxicam for about 3 yrs before my surgery and about 6 months after. It helped a lot and I really had no side effects other than a few instances of a burning feeling in my stomach- after months or years of use with no break- it resolved with like a week off. I would try to take it with food in the beginning
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #47
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Did your doctor say that it definitely is joint related and NOT infection related?
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:03 PM   #48
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I'm not easily scared by medication- you should only know what I have been on/ am on, but try not to be scared of it- I think it's like super strong asprin- I should remind you I'm not a doctor and don't play one on TV
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:07 PM   #49
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I think we will all sleep better knowing u saw and ergent care doctor today.
2 doctors heads are be tater than one.
Ur on our minds constantly.
We've all probably gotten close to our phones to call and check on u.
Then it's like dah, no phone number.
Thanks for keeping us posted. We're all standing by.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:11 PM   #50
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Surely your doctor(s) would know if it were something serious. Relax, I think. I know you must be worried sick. Have you tried Benedryl? Seems silly, but sometimes inflamation will go down almost immediately after a dose. Do what your doctor says. All of us are speculating and may cause you to worry more!
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:15 PM   #51
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My DH gets gout flair ups and has lower than normal uric acid levels. It is unusual but the specialist that he sees still says it is gout. I think it is great that you were able to have it looked at again today.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:53 PM   #52
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I can't think of anything new I've eaten, so I don't think it's that. I also take Benadryl regularly (to sleep). Infection seems to have been pretty well ruled out by both doctors--No fever, not warm, no oozing, sed rate was good, etc. I'm happy for ALL suggestions, and welcome any input, even if I do freak out. I'd much rather not overlook something just because it never occurred to me, and you all have such wonderful and varied experiences.

Barb, that's interesting about your DH's uric acid levels. What helps to resolve his flare ups? I cannot take Allopurinol (landed me in the hospital with near organ failure) and I've been afraid to try Uloric because of the Allopurinol incident. I could reduce my wine consumption, but the rest of my diet is pretty low purine.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:15 PM   #53
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I'll have to ask him the name of the medicine he takes and get back to you. From my perspective his gout is almost seasonal (which gout isn't supposed to be). The fall up until Christmas seem to be the most symptomatic for him. Also times of stress at work and dehydration put him at a higher risk of having flare ups. Beer and wine don't seem to be an issue but stronger alcohols like rye, vodka etc. are often followed by joint inflammation. Maybe the dehydration becomes a factor? He has never had any issues in the spring or summer.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:48 PM   #54
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Ditch the wine.

I'm betting it's gout and wine caused the flare.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:21 PM   #55
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Oh gee. One of life's remaining luxuries. I may need to mourn. Whatever clears this up! Too late for tonight, but I will forego the vino until I have a diagnosis.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:24 PM   #56
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He takes Allopurinol, so no help there. Also it is spring and fall that bothers him the most, not winter. No idea why. Giving up wine is probably the best plan but DH finds no real issues with his beer and I know things would have to look pretty grim before I would part with my wine. I have read a little bit in the past that seems to indicate that different things affect different people more. I hope it is something that just clears up for you. You must be doing such incredibly good things for your health with the consistent slow losses that you manage. I am constantly impressed by your dedication and consistency. Better health must be a beneficial factor as well. Hope everything works out for the best. Keep us posted.

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Old 12-09-2012, 11:29 PM   #57
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Cherry juice if you think Gout, can't do you any harm, other than the calories, which are rather secondary when in pain.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:38 AM   #58
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Dawn, we want to know how you are doing this morning!!!!!!

As Kettle says, cherries.

A long time ago a very young man in my office was hospitalized with what was eventually diagnosed as gout. When he returned to work I mentioned I had read cherries, especially sour cherries, were helpful. Fast forward a couple of years, I am helping him on a project. He lifts his hands from his keyboard, shakes them, and mutters "Oops, got to pick up some cherries on the way home tonight." I said, "Really?" He said, "Yup. I've found if I start pushing cherries at the first sign of a flare up, I can avoid prescription drugs."

Unless you are allergic/intolerant or cherries and your meds don't go together, noshing them could not hurt.

Run internet searches on 'cherries gout' and on 'cherries inflammation'.

Temporary threadjack

BirdieNell, it sounds like your DH is gone now. I am so sorry you two had to go through so much!

EI, I am really sorry you are back because life got so out of hand. But I sure enjoy 'hearing' your enthusiastic voice around here!

End threadjack
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I did not "lose" weight. I evicted it. It is gone and it ain't coming back!

JUDDD cares about calories. JUDDD does not care what you eat. Your body probably does.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:14 AM   #59
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I hope you are feeling better today.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #60
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I took the meds last night. No improvement this morning. I know it's too soon, but there was a part of me that hoped to be cured today.

My nephrologist told me about cherries a few years ago because of my kidney stones. I love cherries but they have such a short season. I hadn't thought of cherry juice and will try it.
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