09-24-2006, 03:44 PM
I've had reynauds for years and the attacks are usually triggered by cold or stress but today it happened while I was playing the piano, and lasted a lot longer than usual - my fingers are still purplish and hurt! I've read that vibration can trigger reynauds but I thought it was things like vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers - both of which I avoid with a passion. But a piano? What's next, typing? Has anybody had something similar, and what do you do? I can't take calcium channel blockers or vasodilators because my blood pressure stays too low. I wear gloves in the cold and to get stuff out of the freezer, but playing the piano in gloves is kind of impractical.

09-25-2006, 08:49 PM

I have been thinking about your query all day. I have Reynaud's and it's been awful lately. I thought it was because the air-conditioning at my job has been broken and it has been a constant 68 degrees at my work for the past three or four weeks. I spend 9 to 10 hours a day there, four days a week, and I am sure you can imagine what that does to my fingertips, as well as my joint pain and my pleurisy, even when wearing a sweater. I bought some silk glove liners to wear under my wrist/hand braces and I wear sweaters while working, but I find that by mid-day, my fingers are purple, and my nail beds are white and my fingers are so cold and stiff that it is ridiculous. I sit in front of a computer and type for hours on end. So after thinking about it all day, I think you might have something with thinking that Reynaud's might be worsened with that kind of activity. I am sure the air-conditioning situation isn't helping, and I am also pretty sure that the fact that my wrists are heavily involved in the joint pain/fatigue with the lupus probably is restricting some of the blood flow to my fingers, but I notice the Reynauds the most during the day, at work, while typing.

So, that was long-winded, but there you have it. I think you might be right, at least to a point. What does everyone else think?

09-26-2006, 06:53 AM
so I checked out some of the NIOSH/OSHA type websites and found out that Reynauds is a recognized feature of cumulative trauma/repetitive stress disorders (even in people without lupus) often experienced by people who use keyboards frequently, seamstresses and some factory workers, and people who use vibrating hand tools. It is recognized as a compensable work-related disorder when clearly linked to occupational exposure. So it sounds like your constant typing could definitely be exacerbating the problem. I don't have acceess to the law and medical libraries at the office from my home computer so I couldn't get as much information as I would like.

Will your office manager allow you to have a small heater in your office? I could not function without one; our offices are located right on the Ohio River - I have a fantastic view but my office stays clammy and damp. I stay cold constantly because of the blood-thinners, so just wearing long sleeves isn't enough.

I wear a thumb splint when I'm typing; I also use an ergonomic keyboard with wrist rests and a dampening pad under it. That's pretty much standard in our offices; I had an ergonomics specialist come to advise us on set-up when several of the legal secretaries started having problems with carpal tunnel syndrome. So far it seems to be helping; that may be why typing doesn't seem to trigger my reynauds, at least not yet. I'm hoping the piano-playing incident isn't the start of a trend.

I'm not that familiar with California w/c law - the laws have changed so much over the last few years, it's hard enough to keep up in your own state! I spent a little time in California, back in the days when Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman was still Pillsury, Madison & Sutro. It was interesting, but a little crazy! Sometimes I miss the litigation practice, but my health couldn't take the strain - too many long nights, too much travel.

I tried the voice recognition software for dictation, but never had much luck with it - I have a slight slur from a previous stroke, so it might work for someone who can speak more clearly. I'm not sure how well it would adapt to adminstrative forms, but might be work a try to cut down on your typing. I would definitely talk to someone about an ergonomic keyboard, and having your workstation evaluated to cut down on repetitive strain - just put it to your bosses as a way to cut down on work comp claims - that's the way I sold it to our managing partner!

09-26-2006, 08:01 AM
it just so happens that I am a workers' comp paralegal. my boss and I have discussed changing my work area on several occasions, especially since at this moment, I am not working at a proper desk, but at a table, where the keyboard is sitting at the same level as the monitor. I will push to get my new desk as soon as possible.

Thanks for the information!