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Fumble Fingers: Embarrassing Moments with Psoriatic Arthritis

One of the most challenging aspects of living with psoriatic arthritis and hand pain has been the embarrassment I've faced in public due to my fumble fingers. I never anticipated that something as seemingly mundane as picking up a bowl of watermelon or grabbing a glass container could lead to such awkward and embarrassing moments. The unpredictability of my hands has caused me to accidentally drop items, sending strawberries flying across the produce section or causing a mess with shattered glass. These incidents have left me feeling self-conscious and mortified, fearing that others may judge me for being clumsy or careless.

Why are my hand symptoms more embarrassing?

In my journey with psoriatic arthritis, I initially assumed that adapting to using mobility aids would be the most emotionally challenging hurdle. However, I've come to realize that the physical aids are far less embarrassing than the unintentional mishaps my hands can cause. Using a cane or walking with a limp might draw curious glances, but at least it's evident that I have a reason for it. However, when my hands fail me, and I drop things or lose my grip, it's much harder to explain to strangers or acquaintances who might not understand the invisible nature of arthritis.

How do I react when my hands fail me?

Over time, I've learned to handle these situations with a mix of humor and honesty. If I accidentally drop something in public, I'll often make a light-hearted joke about my "uncooperative hands" or my "fumble fingers" to diffuse any potential embarrassment. This not only helps ease my own discomfort but can also lighten the mood of those around me, turning an awkward moment into a shared laugh.

Despite the occasional embarrassment, I've also found that most people are understanding and compassionate. Many have shown kindness, offering to help pick up the items I've dropped or giving a reassuring smile that communicates their understanding. These small acts of kindness remind me that I'm not alone in my struggles and that there is no shame in living with psoriatic arthritis.

What has it taught me?

While it's been challenging to accept the limitations of my hands, I've also learned that being vulnerable and seeking assistance when needed is not a sign of weakness. If anything, it takes great strength to acknowledge my limitations and reach out for help when necessary. This journey has taught me the importance of self-compassion and the value of surrounding myself with a supportive community.

How have I adapted to these symptoms?

To further minimize embarrassing moments, I've incorporated practical strategies into my daily life. I now opt for lightweight, shatterproof containers whenever possible, reducing the risk of spills or accidents. I've also become more mindful of how I hold items and try to use both hands to support the weight whenever feasible. Additionally, I've made adjustments in my home, ensuring that I have a secure grip on essential objects to prevent mishaps.

What does life with psoriatic arthritis require?

In the end, I've come to understand that living with psoriatic arthritis requires not only physical adaptations but emotional resilience as well. While my fumble fingers may sometimes lead to embarrassing moments in public, I'm determined not to let them define me. I am more than my condition, and I refuse to let it hinder me from living my life fully. Through humor, self-compassion, and the support of those who understand, I'm learning to navigate the challenges of hand pain with grace and acceptance. Together, we can break the stigma surrounding invisible disabilities and celebrate the strength it takes to overcome the hurdles life throws our way.

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