Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dodgy hands

Today I was given a suspected diagnosis of osteoarthritis. The good news is that blood tests show that the aching in my joints is not rheumatoid which apparently attacks your organs as well as joints. The bad news is that I suffer particularly in my thumb joints which of course does not bode well for quilting. And it goes without saying that at 36 I am way too young for this ... although as there is a family history on both sides not terribly surprised.

I have a fantastic GP who has provided the inevitable herbal remedy glucosamine on prescription to save me some cash. (The thought that I am actually getting somthing back for my tax pounds for once is a little bit of pain relief itself). I am also about to order some wheatgerm packs but nothing I do is ever simple and they all seem to be made for necks or backs. My worst joints are my elbows and the base of my thumbs so I'm going to have to tie these packs on with ribbon or somthing. Oh well at least there is haberdashery shopping involved!

If I can locate a source of buckwheat hulls I can even make my own with patchwork covers to match my outfits!

I did wonder though if any readers suffer similarly and have any helpful tips for quilting. I have already found that shear scissors rather than the normal dressmaking scissors help a great deal.

The GP (a very knowlegable Indian man who is also a surgeon) also told me about yoga. As a lapsed yogini ( for fear that I might be making my also dodgy knees worse) I was not suprised to hear that lapsing had not been a good idea and that I should get back on my mat and stretch those joints. However, I was really surprised when he told me that just the yogic breathing (pranayama) can cure arthritis. Now that really is amazing. I never really focused on the breathing before but I've checked out the western medical research in the online medical journals and it stacks up. The eastern wisdom is that certain methdos of breathing heat the body. Like internal wheat bags I suppose.

So I am off to stand on one leg and fire breath through one nostril in the hope that I can make a bag later withit having to hold the ruler down with my fist rather than my fingers!


Helen said...

Sorry to hear about the arthritis and yes you ARE way too young for this. I hope all the remedies help. Only sorry I can't offer any constructive help.

English Rose said...

Oh Helen, what an absolute bummer. you are way too young to have this diagnosed. Did your wonderful doctor also give you some dietary advice? If not, I may be able to offer some suggestions, as will several others out here in internet land I'm sure.

dnomder said...

I have had degenerative arthritus since I was twelve. I am still walking and sewing. Take a break when you can and use your machine. Cod liver oil capsules every day have also helped me. Good luck.

YankeeQuilter said...

Sorry to hear about your hand problems. I have MS and occasionally have numbness in my hands which makes quilting a challenge. Going with a lighter scissors is a good move. I also superglues a cabinet knob/door knob to my acrylic ruler to help me hold it down while I rotary cut. It is easier for me to grip and I can rest my elbow on the counter giving me better leverage. I also got a surgical scissors/snipper for cutting threads. Good luck