Monday, March 21, 2011


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.

Today is:

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

Birthdays Today:

James T. Kirk, 2233
Ronaldinho, 1980
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


  1. I've heard of chilblains...but have never looked it up to see exactly what it was...I remember the "old timers" in the family talking about chilblains every now and then. I'm beginning to wonder if my sweetie has some form of this...starting with a nail fungus...

    I'm not sure whether to say, "Gee, I'm so glad that's all it was..." or not, because it's there, and you still have to contend with the situation! But, I'm definitely glad to hear that it's not an infection, or lupus.

    Enjoyed yesterday's shelter update post. Sounds as if all is harmonious and stable at this time! Hope the adoptions continue, too.

  2. It sounds quite unpleasant but I'm so glad it's nothing sinister. Try searching online for some natural remedies. I'll bet you can find something safe and helpful which doesn't fall under traditional medical advice.

  3. PonyGirl, we thought mine was fungal for the longest time, so he might look into it. AS for me, i'm relieved it's nothing worse. Also yes, the shelter is just popping along, bursting at the seams as usual.

    Hilary, there really are no natural remedies i've been able to find. Everything just points to staying warm, which even in this mild spring weather my hands are like ice early in the day. For me, easier said than done.