Belated update-iness!

Report on the new gloves: Mixed. They ARE warm. But I am struggling with cold hands, and when I wear the gloves, my exposed fingertips for some reason turn into little chunks of ice. No restriction of circulation -- everything seems to fit beautifully. But man, after a while I have to take them off and put on the REAL gloves, which have full fingers. (The "real" gloves are impossible to do anything with while wearing -- they are LL Bean's fur-lined leather gloves, bane of PETA and utterly, fabulously warm. They are not, however, conductive to typing. Or anything that requires fine motor skills. Um, or really anything that requires anything more than just sitting there with warm hands. Well, maybe gripping a steering wheel.)

These gloves also, for some reason, appear to cause some pain in my hands. Not fingers, but the tops of my hands begin to ache, quite sharply. I have no idea why this happens, but this even more than the cold fingertips tends to lead to me stripping them off hastily.

So no great joy with this pair. I'm a knitter/crocheter, so I may make up some fingertip-less glove/gauntlets for work.

General wellness update: Doing pretty well, for relative values of "well." My hands overall are not too terrible. What they are, is alternating very, very cold and very, very, very hot. I do tend to very hot hands, which I am beginning to suspect is partly due to inflammation. But the cold is pretty new, and it's extremely uncomfortable. Not liking it. So -- onward with the Great Glove Quest.

What sucks the most is again, the toes. I just don't really know what I'm going to do about the toes. They hurt constantly, esp. the great toes, and it's sort of worrying me. Will check with the rheumy next month.

What else, what else. No huge changes. Still have hot-cha-cha knees after walking. Today has been a bad hip day -- we had a lot of rain yesterday and very cold and windy today, freezing fog tonight, and evidently my hips are seeeeeeeriously not impressed with THAT action. I am so stiff when I get up -- although I remember hearing that it's worse first thing in the morning, and that's not the case with me. I am crackly-poppy in the mornings, but the real stiffness and pain comes during the days and evenings, when I stand up. Then I'm kinda bent over for a few steps while the joints go, "Whoaaaaa, wait a minute, you want upright? Okay, lemme just -- okay, there, just a little -- OW, okay, all right! Fine, just WALK, see if we care!"

So. I have made a tiny lifestyle adjustment that seems to help. Um, I just sleep a lot. I have always been a night owl, but the tiredness that appears to go along with this arthritis has turned me into an early-to-bed type. And it helps, I think. Get as much rest as I can, pay attention to when I'm feeling extra-crappy and go lie down, if possible. If not, then at least don't take on anything extra. That seems to get me by pretty well.

Anyone who might read this, I wish you the happiest of whichever flavor of holiday you may observe, as well as the same happiness to anyone who observes nothing but the fact that it's either too cold (this hemisphere) or too damn hot (the other one) this time of year. I am baking gingerbread and pumpkin tea cakes tomorrow, and sticking a roast in to marinate for Sauerbraten for the Christmas meal.

This is a special Christmas season for my folks and myself, as my dad will be turning 90 years old on Dec. 28th. He very much fancies German cuisine I'm playing Hausfrau with the German dishes -- both Christmas and Geburtstag (birthday). We're having sausages and hot potato salad and sauerkraut for the 28th's meal, Sauerbraten, potato pancakes, and red cabbage with bacon for the holiday feast. I ordered a big box of Lebkuchen from Germany which I HOPE will make it by the 24th, and baking Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars) as well.

Yeah. I'll be sleeping as much as possible next week. Gonna be tired. But worth it, to celebrate two different and very special natal days.

Holler at y'all later. Have a good one.

Thanks for the glove update! I'm not 100% happy with any glove solution. I have a pair of knit gauntlet type fingerless mitts that a friend made, those help when my hands are cold. IMAK gloves work for swelling. I haven't had luck with anything neoprene like. I have some nice fur lined gloves from Costco I use when it's really cold (doesn't happen much here in the Seattle area). Have you tried some of the knit stretchy gloves that have conductive tips for using a smart-phone or tablet? That might work for you.

Your meal sounds delicious. I grew up in a very German community and my mom learned to cook all those things for my dad when they married. My son with turn down other foods for my red cabbage :)

My hands were so bad last year, but not so much this year. I don't really know what if anything has changed. I am guessing that the drugs are working a little better? I am still having the circulation issues, where my fingertips turn into non-functioning lumps of ice, but its better that it was. Thinking of things I have changed that might have made a difference, I can find these two as big factors: switching to a speech to text software for typing, and less writing by hand. Last year, I could barely grip a pen, and my work required tons of writing. The new software has really been a life-saver.