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Anybody dealing with Reynaud's?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Amber J on January 16, 2006 10:28 AM
I have Reynaud's Syndrome (for those who may not realize they have it, this explains well: http://groups.msn.com/TheRSDNook/rsdsymptoms.msnw
Just wondering if anyone has it, and if so - how they deal with it while gardening? If often have to go inside and run my fingers and toes under hot water, then go back out and start again.
by beebiz on January 17, 2006 04:15 PM
Hi Ameber J,

I don't have RSD, but I do have diabetic neuropathy. It is a disease of the nerve endings. And from what I just read about RSD, they share some similar traits.... from the pain standpoint, that is.

As for my neuropathy, prescription pain killers and an antidepressant called Neuronton (sp?) makes mine bearable. I try to stay away from the PKs as much as possible though... they make me sleep too much.

My best wishes to you. And after what I just read, my hat is off to you for even trying to continue gardening with RSD.

Robert

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by Triss on January 23, 2006 01:56 AM
Amber, My goodness that just has to be so difficult to deal with. It sounds like cold is the issue you are having with gardening or is it things touching you and the hot water helps with the pain?

If it is the cold, then if you can wear double layers of socks with a baggie between them, that will help to insulate your feet. Same with the hands, but laytex thin gloves under regular or slightly thicker garden gloves.

Both of these will keep the wet away from your fingers and toes and maybe keep them warmer longer.

If the feel of things is the bother, then long sleeved shirts along with gloves and tuck or tie pants so that nothing can get under the cuff to irritate your skin.

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by Amber J on February 01, 2006 09:46 AM
The socks is a GREAT idea - I will try that. As for the gloves, I can never seem to manage them! I get too frustrated and them whip em off.

Quite painful, this disease!
by Triss on February 01, 2006 10:00 AM
I cannot even imagine Amber.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Patty S on February 04, 2006 03:59 PM
I also have Neuropathy... leftover nerve damage from a severe case of Shingles (followed by 2+ years of Polymialgia Rhuematica, which miraculously went away, but may return without notice at any given moment... or not at all - Nobody knows!)

I'm fortunate, cuz I'm off meds more than on... I'd rather put up with the neuralgia-type symptoms, than the side-effects from the meds. (I think that understanding what's happening to cause the symptoms, also helps to tolerate them, but sometimes the meds still have to come into play, when things flair up.)

The skin sensitivity is enough to drive a person up a wall, & I particularly hate the cold sensation that stiffens me up... when my skin IS NOT COLD!  - (GRRR!) I don't have any secret "cures", & I understand that the Medical Community doesn't either. I just keep plugging away, & use heat pads for relief (I microwave little bags I've made & filled with Pearl Barley), although sometimes I don't think it actually helps... Guess I just want to feel like I'm doing something about it! (If that makes any sense!) [dunno]

I think that my stubbornness & determination to enjoy gardening overrides my body's trying to tell me that I "can't" do it! (Especially now, since I've discovered there are things besides veggies!)

Amber, I hope that the negative aspects that you experience as you garden with CRPS will be overpowered by the pleasure you derive from the fruits of your labor. Robert, I also wish you the best, as you deal with the daily challenges your Neuropathy presents... & wish you both HAPPY GARDENING! [thumb] Hang in there, my friends!

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by JV on February 05, 2006 11:36 PM
Patty ,Amber,Robert my Billie had neuropathy in both legs and hands. I have pulled her hand out of hot greeze and she didn't know she had her hand in it while placeing chicken in a pan to fry. I tried my best to find something she could use her hands had no feeling and her feet and legs always freezing to her. Hope they do find a solution soon as she had this last 4 years of her life. It was brought on by her diabetis. God bless you all that suffer with it.
Jimmy

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by Amber J on February 06, 2006 10:15 AM
Actually I don't think Reynaud's is classified as neuropathy - it happens when the extremities are exposed to cold, and the blood vessels constrict. It can be painful, but it's mostly a capillary thing.

Right now, I was just gardening and it was a little cold out (sometimes all it takes to trigger it is a cold drink), and I took a picture of my fingers to show what it's like. It turns your fingers white, then they get a little blue when the blood finally comes back. I can't even feel 3 of my fingertips right now - makes it a little hard to type.

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PS - Please pay no attention to the dirty nails!! [Roll Eyes]
by Triss on February 06, 2006 12:05 PM
Oh Amber, it looks like your hands are frozen, kinda like when kids come out of the cold and have had their hands in the snow.

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by beebiz on February 11, 2006 12:51 PM
quote:
Actually I don't think Reynaud's is classified as neuropathy - it happens when the extremities are exposed to cold, and the blood vessels constrict. It can be painful, but it's mostly a capillary thing.

I am not a doctor, but Amber I'm sure you're right about Reynaud's not being a form of Neuropathy. As you said, Reynaud's affects the capillaries and the Neuropathy affects the nerves. The way that my DR explained Neuropathy to me is that it is when there is a gap in the nerves. The gap can either cause a numb sensation, a false pain sensation, or a combination of the two.

The way it acts is really weird!! Here's an example. As I was preparing to take a shower yesterday, I let the hot water run until all of the cold was gone and only hot remained. I then turned enough cold water on to have a warm shower. I was in a hurry, and before I thought about what I was doing I stepped (with both feet) into the tub. It still contained a tremendous amount of hot water. But, I didn't feel any pain or anything else. When I finished my shower and stepped out, my feet looked like two boiled lobsters!! The hot water had blistered them.

Now here's the weird part. I didn't feel the pain from the hot water burning my feet, right? Yet, when I get in bed at night time I am able to tolerate NO covers on my feet. The slightest touch of a sheet and it feels as though several hundred honeybees stung that spot at once! Like I said, Neuropathy acts very weird!!

The similarities that I noted between the two diseases are the intense pain, and the fact that there seems to be nothing that you can do (shy of meds) to alleviate it! Because of that, I can sympathize with you and your plight.

Like Patty, I think my stubbornness and determination to enjoy gardening help me. But, I have to admit that there are days when the Neuropathy wins out. On those days, I just try to remind myself that there is always tomorrow!

Though I know that the pain makes gardening (an probably other things too) difficult, please try to keep a positive attitude and never, NEVER give up!!! [thumb]

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My New Web Site If you take a look, please sign my guest book so I'll know you've been there! Also, check out the new African Violet addition to my site! Thanks
by comfrey on February 11, 2006 02:43 PM
I hurt my back and surgery had to be postponed for several months because of bronchitis, during that time I had alot of pain...most of it being nerve pain, which nerves were damage from the long postponement of the surgery, I still have some of that nerve pain as a result, and no amount of meds help, other to knock yourself out to get some relief and rest, which is not an option I choose. I do as Robert says...Never give up and always remember tomorrow is another day.

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by MistyF on February 19, 2006 09:00 AM
I have Reynaud's. Drives me nuts. I never know what's gonna trigger it. Sometimes it can be 90 degrees out and I drink a slurpy, and my fingers look like they belong on corpse. Digging in the spring soil does the same thing. My fingers go numb, it hurts. But, I still go right back out there, and go at it again, cause I love my garden.
by Amber J on February 21, 2006 09:48 AM
Oh God, it's so great to hear someone who knows! I go right back out there too, I just love it too much. Sometimes I get worried though that I'm doing damage. Do you ever just run your hands and feet under hot water?
by MistyF on February 22, 2006 09:18 AM
Yes, I run them under hot water. But, only after I have stayed out so long that I can hardly use my fingers, cause I don't want to come in. I am afraid I'll lose one someday in the dirt, you know maybe fall off. Just kidding.
by Amber J on February 22, 2006 12:08 PM
I really do fear that! Sometimes when I look at my fingers, I think of what I've read about doctors having to amputate the extreme cases ...
by eClaire on May 08, 2006 08:49 AM
I know this post was form a while ago - but just wanted to let you know that I have reynauds as well, and have major issues when the ground is cold. I run warm water over my fingers and toes when it flares up, and then return to gardening.
They actually sell hand warmers at outdoor sporting type stores, I have thought of getting some for my gardening gloves, it may be worth a shot.

I also have POTS, which is a form of dysautonomia, which means I have to plop myself on the ground and work on one area at a time to lessen to bending/movement that can cause fainting or tachycardia, its very annoying when the reynauds acts up and I have to get up and go inside to warm up - so I feel your pain!

Good luck - thank goodness its warming up!

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Claire
by chenno on May 17, 2006 04:04 AM
Amber

I do not have reynauds, however I have RSD=reflex symathectic dsytropy,which effect circulation,causes burning loss of movement and tempeture effects greatly.
I use a thin waterproof glove snowboarders use to keep hands at stable temp.
thoughts to you,Angie

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Plutarch
by NCMtnSoap on June 07, 2006 02:29 AM
I also have Raynauds. I find that using emu oil helps as it is 1.)anti-inflammitory and 2.) it makes the skin more tolerant to the cold.
I also use the emu for the joint, muscle, and nerve pain from the lupus, rheumatoid and fibromyalgia that I also have.
I also love using an electric blanket so that I won't wake up at night with "dead" fingers and toes.
HTH
Hugs
Angela

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Angela
Carolina Mountain Soap Co.
Horse Shoe, NC
by mom54 on July 26, 2006 07:24 AM
I also have Reynaud's. Didn't even know what it was called until I had to have minoe surgery done and they couldn't get a reading from me.. I thought it was just nerves, but a Nurse told me.. I only have it in my fingers, and it can get painful. Warm water helps and so does sitting on your hands!!!! [muggs]

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by LBoyce on November 18, 2006 06:37 AM
Not sure if I'm a little late on this subject but I also have RSD. Was on a course of Trental but didn't help. Just out of curiosity...any of you with this - do you smoke? I'm not preaching anything but that is a big trigger to this. My toes will actually turned black during the Winter and are so painful. I have run hot water over my hands but only helps for a few minutes. I also have RA and have 3 herniated discs in my lower back. You should see some of the contorted positions I get in trying to plant. I don't know what I would do without gardening..keeps my mind off the pain!

Linda

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