Thursday, March 13, 2014

Painful Foot and Burning Hands

I feel a bit like a dog with a hurt hind leg these days.  You know how they will lift the painful foot up and only hop lightly with it, if necessary?  It's this darn pain in my right foot/ankle area again.

As much as I hate using the cane that I keep in my car, (and getting the old "what happened?" or the exaggerated sad and concerned face from well-meaning coworkers,) I broke down and started using it a couple days ago.  I took about 6 steps away from my car in the parking lot at work last Tuesday when I realized I should be using that cane.  Stubborn me, though, I didn't turn back to get it.  I soldiered on through the morning and grabbed it at lunchtime.

Tomorrow morning, I will see a podiatrist to see what the problem is.  I'm hoping to at least find out what I might have done to aggravate this condition, so I can at least stop doing that.  Thus far, I have noticed that the pain subsides with rest, and gets worse with stairs, (both up and down,) or walking for more than about a minute.  Today I noticed further that it's when I place the heel down that is painful, and I've caught myself kind of toe-stepping slowly on my right foot, and relying on the cane for support.

The cane also slows me down so I can step more carefully.  It also helps tell others that I won't be able to scurry up to catch that opened door, or run across a walk before that car comes.  The cane is growing on me, but I still hate having one hand occupied while I'm moving.  It's also a bit of a bother in the bathroom.  I have a new appreciation for anyone who needs to use walking aids full time.

Anyway, I hope to know more about this foot tomorrow.

On a side note, I've been noticing an odd new symptom has popped up in the past few weeks.  Every now and then, my hands turn really red and hot and start burning painfully.  The burning makes me look at them.  It looks ridiculous.  One time, just my thumbs and index fingers were red-hot, but the pinkies were cold.  My husband was around so I showed him.  It is bizarre.  I also notice coldness in my toes, inside my shoes/slippers when my fingers and hands get cool.

I'm one of those people who is usually cold, especially my hands and feet and especially around bedtime.  I get those "icicle feet".  Luckly, Don is usually too warm so he lets me warm up my tootsies on his warm feet and we find some kind of equilibrium.  As a child, I remember getting hands so cold I had to stop practicing piano.  My mom knows.  She would always say "cold hands, warm heart" to make me feel better.

My first thought about the temperature weirdness is Raynaud's, which is common among fibromites. Cold really does hurt my hands.  For example, peeling a cold cucumber requires breaks where I put down the cold cucumber and blow on my hands to warm them up again.  Again, ridiculous.  When I come in from a walk in cold weather, my thighs are numb and as I begin to warm back up inside, they twitch all over.  Does this happen to you?  The thing is, I've never recalled any real white or blue discoloration of my fingers, as with the classic Raynaud's.  I know it's not the same for every patient, but I just notice that.  I just get the red, hot hands.  I don't know if my feet get that way, though, other than when the pressure hives are raging on the bottoms of my feet.

Today I came across a rare condition with the burning red extremities.  I hate to speculate, but I cannot help but wonder about it.  It's called Erythromlalgia and here is the page with the interesting photos: http://www.erythromelalgia.org/WhatisEM.aspx

I will definitely need to note these new symptoms for my next rheumatologist appointment.  I just saw her last month, but if things get ridiculous, I may try to see her sooner than my next appointment in August.

Do you know anything about this?  Got any tips or links that might help me?