Monday, April 13, 2009

Can I have some mustard with that sausage?

Psoriatic arthritis will never be a pretty disease. But could we at least give prettier names to the the ugly things that happen to us?

It appears I am having a new symptom - dactylitis - a.k.a "sausage digit". Dactylitis is the painful swelling of a finger or a toe, and this symptom is somewhat common in those of us with psoriatic arthritis. There is not much known about dactylitis, although in the last 25 years more has been learned - here's a nice review article. Sadly for me, dactylitis seems to be a sign of potentially more severe disease - it is linked to a greater degree of joint damage.

Here's what it looks like - my big toe on my right foot is extremely painful, getting swollen (especially at the end of the day), slightly discolored, and has a limited range of motion. The pain has been getting progressively worse over the last few months, and this week it's just awful. My rheumatologist and I are going to talk about treatment options on Friday.

But back to my earlier comment - why do we have to call it "sausage digit?" Come on now. It's hard enough getting a puffed up painful joint, but do we have to be taunted with these terrible words?

My husband and I are trying to come up with some new labels which put a positive spin on puffiness. Here are some selections:

phat phalanges (if you wanna be hip)
yorkshire pudding feet (yum)
balloon animals
pillows of pain
slipper busters (or mitten busters, in the hands)
Incredible Hulk hands

Please submit your ideas below. As you can see, I need some help here!

Oh, and by the way, the internet isn't helping us. Here's a definition of dactylitis from
n.[NL., fr. Gr. da`ktylos finger + -itis.]
(Med.) An inflammatory affection of the fingers. Gross.
Um. Gross?

1 comment:

  1. I like the hulk hands. I am going to use that from now on.