The Claw Hands

January 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm 2 comments

My RA symptoms first started back in July of 2007. I was having pain in both of my hands in several of my joints. I had a lot of problem with chronic tendonitis in my shoulders and elbows, so thought the finger pain was tendonitis. I also didn’t have any medical insurance at the time, so certainly wasn’t going to spend the money to diagnose something I thought I had already diagnosed.


The problem was the pain never went away. With the tendonitis, I could just not use the joint for a few days and I was all better. But the pain in my hands just kept getting worse. It got to the point, when I was having a bad day that I would hold my hands out in front of me, elbows bent at right angles, so I could control where my hands were. I was afraid of them hitting anything by accident. At this time, I still wasn’t having any swelling or stiffness, and I only had pain when the joint was touched. I didn’t even have pain during movement at this point. I know, I was lucky, huh?


When my husband saw me like this, he started calling them the “claw hands”. To this day when I’m having a bad day my husband will ask if I have ‘claw hands’ even though I no longer have to hold them out in front of me anymore. It’s our personal joke and a way for him to ask me in public without saying RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.


Does anyone else have any special names they use for their RA? Like a code word?


The invisible,






Entry filed under: invisible illness. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. a girl named clarence  |  January 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I was searching for an RA support group/blog for a client and saw your post. OMG I remember the claw hands!!! I have lupus, have had for almost 20 years. That was one of the first symptoms and I remember writing a poem about it and how much I hated and was embaressed by it with tears running down my face. It is an invisible illness but it is devistating to those who suffer. I’m in remission after several terrible years and changes my body will never recover from. Reading your post touched my heart.

  • 2. theinvisiblelife  |  January 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I’m sorry to hear about what you had to go through and happy to hear that you’re doing so well now. I’m also doing much better. Sometimes it’s even hard to remember what the pain really felt like, kind of like giving birth I guess. 🙂

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About S.

I’m a 30-year-old living with multiple invisible illnesses. Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism are just a few. I’m also studying to be a Medical Transcriptionist. If you get offended by anything I write, please remember I'm probably joking. I have a weird sense of humor. Leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

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