You might remember I wrote a while back about the giant knuckle on my little finger. I did finally ask the doctor about it, feeling very sheepish about my trivial concern, slotted as I was, no doubt, between a patient with a brain tumour and one in a wheelchair. He took one look, kind of scoffed and said "It's arthritis." Apparently it's also in my right thumb. He grudgingly ordered an x-ray, which confirmed his suspicions. The knuckle in the little finger has a deteriorated joint. He suggested Voltaren to relieve the pain and inflammation, which sort of helps, but it's basically downhill from here.
Which is not welcome news. I need my hands. I have already given up weaving because of my back, and haven't spun in a year because I don't want to tempt fate, but there is something about holding a needle that seems to really bother my right thumb if I do it for too long. And a recent flurry of machine quilting left my hands mysteriously sore and achy. So I checked around the internet and did find a couple of posts with good information especially for stitchers.
Quilter Jeni Baker has lots of good tips in her article Safe Sewing: Crafting with Arthritis. And Nordic Needle has a good piece on Hand Health. I also found lots of sites that gave warm up exercises for the hands, but doing them in a sinkful of hot water seems like it would be much more effective. Pacing and taking lots of breaks is just common sense, but I really need to DO IT, not just think about it.
I'm wondering about the upcoming gardening season, since that can be very hard on the hands. Some kind of extra-supportive glove is probably the answer. Any other good ideas out there?