Friday, January 27, 2012
Take My Hand
TOS is full of surprises, such as the one in the picture. Last night, while I'm sitting on the couch, watching a movie with my daughter, I look down at my hands and see this: the left hand is sickly white; the right hand is swollen and red. The reason I looked at my hands is because my left hand was freezing, and that's what usually happens with TOS - very cold, sickly white fingers on one hand (or both), maybe just one finger (or five, you never know), occasionally juxtaposed against the other hand, with fingers that might be red and swollen (as above), or simply blue and scary, because blue body parts are a sign of poor circulation, lack of oxygen, and possible danger. This happens frequently enough that I no longer panic when it does, but it sure shocks other people who catch sight of it. And no, it's not Raynaud's Phenomenon, which can occur with TOS. I saw an Independent Medical Examiner for Worker's Comp several times who insisted I had Raynaud's. I finally had a full rheumatological workup and the finding was TOS, not Raynaud's, was the cause of my discolored fingers. So, the colored fingers can show up at any time, during any activity, but often when I'm resting, and even more often when I'm working on a computer (like now, and the right hand is freezing), because the thoracic outlet is constricted by the position of my arms. Changing position or activity will usually make it go away, which is why this post ends here.