After numerous consultations with 7 doctors over the space of several months, dozens of blood tests, biopsies, and several prescriptions it turned out i didn't need, the verdict on my hands is finally in.
Pernio, also known as chilblains, is a minor condition caused by cold. When my hands get cold, which happens from morning until night, fall to spring, and i try to warm them back up, blood rushing back into the fingers causes the capillaries to burst. The skin over these areas becomes inflamed, sometimes resulting in open sores. The joints hurt, and the fingers become very tender.
Sometimes this condition is secondary to discoid or chronic subcutaneous lupus. In my case, it is primary pernio, no underlying immunological cause.
Every blood test came back normal or negative. The biopsies showed no infection of any type, bacterial, viral, or fungal. In all likelihood, the first time we thought i had a fingernail fungus, it was actually my first bout of pernio, more than a year ago.
The only treatment the rheumatologist can think might even remotely help would be blood pressure medication, and with my blood pressure usually being around 100/60, that doesn't seem to me to be a good option. It would not help to trade chilblains for passing out due to low blood pressure.
Other than that, all i will be able to do is try to keep my perpetually icy cold hands warm during the winter.
So all of the concern over this past winter has boiled down to a minor, untreatable, nuisance condition. It is mildly painful, not at all contagious, and very ugly to look at.
It could have turned out to be a lot worse, so no complaints. Just keep the gloves handy.
Birth of Benito Juarez, a Fiestas Patrias -- Mexico
Children's Poetry Day
Harmony Day -- Australia
Human Rights Day -- South Africa
Independence Day -- Namibia
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Memory Day -- internet based, to examine the use of memory aids throughout history
Mother's Day -- most Arab nations
National Common Courtesy Day
National French Bread Day
Spring Fairy Fun Day -- Fairy Calendar
St. Enda's Day
World Down Syndrome Day
World Poetry Day
Youth Day -- Tunisia
James T. Kirk, 2233
Kevin Federline, 1978
Matthew Broderick, 1962
Rosie O'Donnell, 1962
Ayrton Senna da Silva, 1960
Gary Oldman, 1958
Eddie Money, 1949
Timothy Dalton, 1944
John D Rockefeller III, 1906
Florenz Ziegfeld, 1867
Modest Mussorgsky, 1839
Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685
Today in History:
The Byzantine emperor Heraclius restores the "True Cross" to Jerusalem, 630
Accession to the throne of Japan by emperor Antoku, 1188
3,000 Jews are killed in the Black Death riots in Efurt, Germany, 1349
n Oxford, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer is burned at the stake, 1556
Czar Peter the Great begins his tour through West, 1697
Fire destroys 856 buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1788
With the church leadership driven out of Rome during an armed conflict, Pius VII is crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché, 1800
Code Napoléon is adopted as French civil law, 1804
The Bahá'í calendar begins, 1844
An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan kills over 100,000, 1857
The Zoological Society of Philadelphia, the first in the US, is incorporated, 1859
Journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone, 1871
Loretta Walsh becomes the first female US Navy Petty Officer, 1917
Charles Lindbergh is presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight, 1928
Shah Reza Pahlavi formally asks the international community to call Persia by its native name, Iran, which means 'Land of the Aryans,' 1935
Alan Freed presents the Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, in Cleveland, Ohio, 1952
Martin Luther King Jr. leads 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, 1965
The first Earth Day proclamation is issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto, 1970
Canadian paraplegic athlete and humanitarian Rick Hansen begins his circumnavigation of the globe in a wheelchair in the name of spinal cord injury medical research, 1985
Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones become the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon, 1999