View Full Version : just a stupid finger...

04-23-2010, 07:19 AM
My index finger is very sore. It sounds stupid because it is just my finger, but it has been a year now and though in the begining it would let up it now it no longer does. Feels bruised and swollen though it doesn't look swollen, I cannot use it to hold a pen, coffee cup, tear a packet of tea. the end is numb, finely numb if that makes sense.

I have raynauds but this is more constent and less colorful than those attacks. It gets worse in the sun. It gets worse just before everything else gets worse.

Is it neuropathy? That's what the dr's PA speculated once but I didn't press it because other things were more bothersome at the time. the onter fingers on that hand (only my right hand) also get some numbness in the tips but not as severe or as frequent, and they are not painful like this one.

thank you for letting me ask this stupid question - it is more of an annoyance than a real issue, but then again it's starting to affect my life, so.

04-23-2010, 08:23 AM
Hi Karenboss,

There seems to be alot of people here lately with problems like this. At first glance, much of it sounds like peripheral neuropathy. I get sensations like this quite often, but in my case it's not always clear which of my autoimmune disorders (MS or SLE) is causing the neuropathy. Much of the numbness I get is also accompanied by a vaque deep down pain in the affected area. Nerve related problems can cause all sorts of sensations from numbness, to pain that is not caused by some acute cause like banging your thumb with a hammer. Do you take vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) by any chance? I've read about B6 toxicity causing neuropathy in people wth SLE.

The only thing I can think to do right now would be to see a neurologist about this. If it is neuropathy, there are meds that can help.


04-23-2010, 09:29 AM
thanks Rob -
I have some other CNS symptoms (dizzy, disorinted, stupid) but am so tired of paying for all these tests. What is a nurologist going to do to get a dx? Cat scan? That's got to be spendy.

If this disease dosn't kill me the cost of it will!!

04-23-2010, 09:47 AM
You could tell A Neurologist your symptoms, and see if he/she agrees that they sound neurological in nature. If so, tell him/her you cannot afford a bunch of expensive tests at this time, but you do need some relief from the symptoms. Ask if there is a med that could be prescribed to try, to see if any relief can be had. Back before my MS diagnosis, my neuro didn't want to send me off for a bunch of expensive tests right away, and he started me on Neurontin to see if it had any positive effect on my symptoms, which it did.

It's an idea anyway.


04-29-2010, 01:08 AM
Hi Karenboss,

I have the same problem, not with one finger, but with all 10 of them. I think it is neuropathy. Doctors don't say anything. All neurological tests were fine. Doctors said, maybe it is my Raynaud's. But I still think it is a neuropathy, because
I discovered that numbness and pain gets much better when I put my fingers in cold water.
That is actually how my condition improved. I was just placing my hands in cold water whenever I could. Try it, to see if it works for you too.

04-30-2010, 07:21 AM
So I saw my rhumatologist yesterday, I have a lot of symptoms that worry him and sorta point to CNS lupus. Besides this finger being painful and numb the other day I had a reaction to the sun and my two middle fingers became non responsive - for about an hour - I may have alos lost a little peripheral vision during this episode though I didn't mention it to the dr becaseu my memory is so clouded of the event. i was disoriented. Other stuff too, speach problems, floaty feelings, rapid eye movement, non-chill triggered shivers, I just sound like a freak listing them all.

Anyway he convienced me to go through the expensive tests. He's running another ANA panel, I think he wants to see how active Lupus is, becuase the plaquinel (wich I have only been on for six months) is working well to control joint pain, mouth sores and eye sicca. So if seriolgically the lupus is mild or non evident then my CNS stuff is somehting else. I think that's what he might be thinking. He is also looking for antiphospholipid antibody - clotting problem.

He refered me to a neurologist and said he'll probably want to run a cat scan (cha ching) but I will discuss costs and test with him when I see him and hopefully he can minimize the costs and still get a good understanding on what is going on. I think he would be looking for white spots in a cat scan and from what I hear that can be caused by lupus or by MS so what would a cat scan conclusivly tell?

Even though DR wants to do all this he says he would guess it is lupus causing the problems and plaquinell not covering all the issues. In that case he will move me to Imuran or Cellcept (or one other but I don't remember what he said) not MTX since that dosn't work for CNS problems.

Rob I hope you read this - If I remember right you got your MS Dx before the Lupus Dx, but what symptoms are unique to MS that can't be explained by Lupus? I personally don't have any muscle problems. Maybe I've have (VERY RARE) uncontrolled limb movment.

(SIGH) I am so tired of meeting new doctors and spending all this money on this stuff.

04-30-2010, 09:08 AM
Hi Karen,

I recieved my SLE diagnosis in 2004, and the MS diagnosis about a year and a half ago. It's sometimes hard for me to be able to tell what symptoms are MS, which ones are SLE, and which ones are a combination of both. I don't know if it's 100% correct to say that there are definite symptoms that occur with MS that never occur with Lupus. That being said, there are symptoms that are far more prevalent in people with MS than they are in people with Lupus.

The big difference between the two diseases is that Lupus can cause damage to just about any system or organ, where MS generally causes only CNS damage. But, since Lupus can also cause CNS damage in some people, it becomes hard to differentiate between the two.

The symptoms I have that my Neuro believes are only from MS are-

-A dragging left foot

-Loss of all sensation in my right leg

-Loss of all muscle control in the right leg

-Optic Neuritis in the right eye

-Nystagmus (rapid uncontrolled eye movement) in both eyes

-Intention Tremor and weakness in my right hand

-Trigeminal Neuralgia

-False sensations, such as the feeling of stepping in a puddle of cold water when there is none,
ice-pic or bee-sting sensations, and electric shock sensations

There are others, but those are the main ones. As far as getting a CAT Scan, or MRI, they will be looking for white matter lesions. If they are found, depending on how many there are, they may want to draw spinal fluid. They will run specific tests on the fluid, and from that they can usually tell if the CNS problems are from MS, or from CNS effects of SLE. There are other tests that can also help differentiate between the two diseases such as an Evoked Potentials/Nerve Conduction test battery.

If all of this sounds rather ambiguous, and inexact, it's because it is. Both diseases are autoimmune disorders, and both share a wide variety of symptoms. The big difference between the two is that Lupus mainly involves inflammation and MS mainly involves De-Myelination of nerves. Myelin is the insulation sheath covering nerves, and when it breaks down, it's like two uninsulated wires touching each other and shorting out.

I hope this all makes sense, as my memory and writing skills are not very good right now.


04-30-2010, 11:46 AM
it makes perfect sense. I can't thank you enough for putting it succently and in laymen's language. thank you thank you thank you.

Rhumy did say the spinal fluid test might be in order too, so it sounds like he is trying to rule out MS.

I guess the another big difference between the two is treatment, and hopefully that is the goal of diagnosis - to get appropriate treatment.

And I'm very sorry to learn that you have that trouble with your leg and foot. Dang it. That sounds rather inconvienant to say the least.

It seems to me that your writing and memory is in pretty good shape (but then maybe I'm not the best judge right now :) )