You know, for dorks.

Pruny fingers are another reason to love the internet

I noticed last night that my fingers are a bit pruny again. It was during dinner, about 10 hours after my last shower, so it didn't have anything to do with bathing; I chalked it up to dehydration. This happens every now and again and doesn't actually bother me or hurt. Mostly it makes me think, "Hmm. My fingers are pruny again. How odd." This morning, a google search sounded like a good idea. That led me to this blog post which has comments on the subject going back to 2004.

Reading through about half of these comments, I came to the conclusion that my pruny fingers are probably the result of stress combined with a weird nervous system disorder* I have that is related to my (very minor) heart condition.

Pruny fingers don't have an appreciable effect on one's quality of life, except for the people who described actual pain. A lot of the people who posted had consulted doctors who were baffled by the causes. Now maybe these just weren't good doctors, but it does seem that pruny fingers aren't really the stuff of medical journals. This is just a guess, but I'd wager that most doctors don't spend a lot of time thinking about pruny fingers unless they use the existence of pruny fingers to perhaps diagnose something else that's going on in the body. That's where the internet really struts its stuff. Some guy posts a humorous anecdote on his blog about buying hand lotion and eventually there's all this data in one place that can potentially help people discover the cause of their pruny fingers! It's just wonderful!

* I feel it's important to point out that many doctors, including mine, do not believe that there is any link between Mitral Valve Prolapse and the nervous system. I told my doctor that the symptoms described in a book I read perfectly described what had been going on with my body. Also, following the advice in the book to eliminate caffeine and sugar where possible and to exercise regularly and eat well makes the symptoms go away. For instance, I don't have as many heart palpitations, and I no longer develop embarrassing muscle tics when I walk into a room full of people I don't know. He's an amicable fellow and we came to an agreement: he still doesn't believe me about the cause, but admits that healthy choices that make me feel better are a good thing.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Some time back when I told a buddy (also in the medical profession) that I thought I had some condition because the description fit and the prescription for regular exercise seemed to work, he laughed at my ass. I was a bit miffed until he mentioned that regular exercise is almost always a good thing and almost all treatments include it. Oh, yeah.

But whether or not the two are related, whatever makes you feel better is a Good Thing TM.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Yeah, that's basically the conclusion I came to. I feel somewhat confident in my self-diagnosis give that the Mitral Valve Prolapse and regurgitation are both more or less fact at this point -- my doctor doesn't dispute that at all. Also, there has been a reasonable amount of study on the link between MVP and the autonomic nervous system. Of the 25 or so symptoms described in the book I mentioned, I think I had 22 of them.

Still, I firmly believe that medicine is one of the least exact sciences known to man and that I don't have the foggiest clue as to whether or not they're related.
My doctor might be right, or he might not be up on the latest research. It might all be in my head, or I might have another weird disease altogether. I just try to stick with what works.