As we grow older we migrate towards routine and sameness. But rheumatoid arthritis taught me that life is dynamic rather than static. There’s never a dull moment. Just when things settle in and you think that things are “normal” something happens to knock down that line thinking (by the way…the new normal is not the old normal when it comes to RA).
The past few weeks I woke up with a tingling/numbness sensation in my fingers. No big deal I thought…I probably slept on my arm wrong and it will go away as I move it around. However, the pattern repeated itself numerous times and now the sensation lasts all day. Wondering if there was a link to RA, a quick online search revealed that tingling and numbness in the extremities are common symptoms of RA.[i] The technical term for this symptom is parathesia.[ii] The tingling sensation can result from nerves being irritated from the inflammation caused by RA. There may be other causes for this, but RA appears to be the likely culprit in my case.
Back in March I experienced cold and discolored fingers. I learned that I had Raynaud’s phenomenon which is lack of blood flow to extremities.[iii] This is also associated with RA. Raynaud’s and parathesia are not what I would characterize as mainstream symptoms of RA. They tend to be low or even absent on lists of RA symptoms. None the less, they serve as another reminder that RA is always there.
Granted, this newly noticed symptom isn’t knocking me down and keeping me from any activities at the time…it’s not keeping me on “pins and needles” (pun intended). I’ll mention to my rheumatologist next time I see him. But it is enough of an annoyance to constantly remind me of the disease. There’s never a dull moment with RA!
Postscript…got a call into my rheumy as this may be a side effect of Humira. Stay tuned!
Photo credit: by D Sharon Pruitt http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet