[RA & Humor] 10 Times a Woman Doesn’t Want Hand Spasms
A little bit of Rheumatoid Arthritis humor by Niki Wyre
While most patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis already know about hand / finger stiffness and pain, most are not aware about the high incidence of hand spasms. These uncontrolled muscle spasms often cause us to drop items on accident, tip things over and even toss items without the desire to do so. Most often than not the spasms are caused by cramping of the muscles caused by inflammation in joints and surrounding tissues.
While thinking about my less than fun “escapades” with hand spasms over the past few years I decided to write this blog. You may laugh, cringe or wince, shake your head in acknowledgment or run for the hills in mortification. The items on this list of not-so-great-times hand spasms occur are a combination of my personal experiences, friends’ experiences and stories shared by our members.
Read on for these all-too-true, and incredibly familiar, moments that such hand spasms have touched more than the lives of women, like us, dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
1. Applying eye makeup:
Mascara and eyeliner versus eye from hand spasm? It’s not pretty nor is a giant black or dark smudge across your face. After years of trying to learn how to make a smoky eye look which ended up making me look like a raccoon, I gave up on that idea. One day and one hand spasm later, voila smoky eye! Too bad I was heading to the doctor. I’m sure they wondered why I was sporting the evening makeup look to my afternoon appointment.
A few of our members have reported hand spasms causing injury to eye and also offer an important tip: avoid water proof mascara! Your hand spasms and you get it on your cheek only to not be able to wash it off unless you get out the industrial face cleaners that remove all your makeup not just a spot.
With eyeliner, especially if you have hands that shake a bit like mine, I find that if I try to do a thin line which often ends up more like a scribble I can use end of a sponge or applicator to blend it in without going for the whole smoky look.
2. Applying lipstick:
Nothing says “I look like a hot mess” than like lipstick smeared across your face during application. Prefer red or dark lipstick? Hello Courtney Love!
A member tip? Don’t get the long lasting lipstick or you will have an even harder time getting rid of smudges.
Another helpful idea is to use lip gloss instead of lipstick. With lip gloss you can apply the gloss to the center of your lips (closest to your teeth, not the edges of your lips) and then rub lips together to spread the gloss. One advantage to this method is you can wear whatever color you desire because the likelihood of it reaching your face is slim.
One of my friend’s absolute favorite methods is lip-liner as a base (the pencil kind, not the creamy kind). She doesn’t use lip-liner to just edge her lips – she uses it over the entirety of her lips. Basically, she’s replacing lipstick with lip-liner. If her hand slips the liner won’t mark her face because it’s a pencil. You can then add lip gloss for shine.
3. Spraying hair products:
Hand spasms with this can have three results:
a. Dropping the product which almost always lands on your foot
b. Spraying the wall or room behind you
c. Spraying product directly in your eyes, mouth or up your nose.
My body normally opts for latter, of course.
This makes me think of the overly enthusiastic Annelle (Daryl Hannah) spraying Truvy’s (Dolly Parton) hair in “Steel Magnolias.” Fortunately, the face shield Truvy used is not a movie-only prop. They can be purchased from beauty supply stores for around five dollars.
4. Applying hair dye or chemicals:
Blue hair dye, hand spasm, what could possibly go wrong? *facepalm* By the end of that adventure, I’m pretty sure my tile and sink got more than my hair did. I have now since changed brands to a hair color that cleans up easily since I now have some very permanent stains from the old brand.
Tip: Most users that spill permanent hair dye on their sinks state that they have good luck with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or Clorox Bleach Pens. Of course, I’m lucky I didn’t paint my face or got it in my eye or something worse. One of my friends ended up in the emergency room after splashing home perm chemicals in her eye. *wince*
5. Spray on or watery topical treatments:
Hand spasm while spraying or dripping these on? Mine almost always goes for my eyes, mouth or, ahem, less desirable areas. Biofreeze is one of my addictions but here are some additional tips for using spray on or other watery or runny topical treatments from experience:
a. Make sure any parts of you that you don’t want product on are fully covered. I can guarantee underwear is not enough a protectant as I learned one day with spray on Biofreeze. This is not an experience I recommend for any one. If you have a topical one you apply that drips, the same coverage rules apply. You do not want it going there. Trust me on that one.
b. Apply with fan turned off or facing away from fan. This sounds like a no brainer but I’ve gotten it in my face too many times to count from not thinking and just spraying.
c. Wash hands very, very, very well. No hand spasm needed for this oopsie. Where your hand goes so does whatever remains on your hand. Got an itch? Something in your eye? Hair caught in your mouth? Hope you washed your hands thoroughly.
6. Tweezing unwanted eyebrow hairs:
Need I say more? Opt for rounded tip tweezers if you are brave enough to attempt tweezing when you get hand spasms. Otherwise you will have a fun to explain trip to the emergency room like one of my friends. Ouch.
Helpful tip: a friend of mine uses a small, electric-razor to edge between her brows and around the edges.
7. Feminine hygiene:
No one else is going to say it, so, of course, I will. Hand spasms while inserting a tampon… ouch. Not to mention if you have birth control devices you insert or medication. I remember laughing with a friend that needed to squeeze a small amount of medication for feminine issues and with one hand spasm squirted out over half the tube. There really is no good way for a hand spasm to end well when you are inserting anything down below.
Tip: If you’re prone to hand-spasms, wear a pad. Today’s pads are thinner, lighter and more absorbent than the ones of yesteryear making you feel less like you’re wearing a diaper.
8. Shaving around delicate bits and sensitive areas:
Can you say ouch? There really is no good ending for this one.
I will let your imagination fill this one in…
9. Applying hot wax to bikini line:
Just close your eyes and picture it for a moment… yeah not so great. One of our members reported going to the emergency room for burns to her intimate bits after one spectacularly ill-timed hand spasm.
Tip: If you have regular hand spasms, but still really want your bikini line and delicate bits nicely groomed, this might be something you want to consider splurging on this service at a spa.
10. During intimacy with your partner:
Let’s just say that you do not want hand spasms while handling certain bits on your partner, whether male or female. This will not end well. We laugh about it now, but a friend had a really bad experience with this. Her husband got the worse end of the deal, as you can imagine. She was absolutely mortified and felt bad for her partner but now it’s more a joke in their relationship since some time has passed.
Of course I could probably think up another dozen or so more, as could you, but I think this covers the funniest, most common and most cringe-worthy occasions for hand spasms to strike. Have any of those happened to you?
Want to send Niki a message? Drop her a line here:
3 comments… add one
Niki, this article was great! I never knew my hand spasms were because of my RA. I can’t even tell you how many mascara wands I have taken to the eye, LOL! Or wine glasses I have dropped, which is met with, “Oh you’re cut off!” Even worse, when I was a phlebotmist, a few times my hand would jerk as I’d be drawing blood and I would bruise my patients terribly… whoops! :/
Thanks Niki, good to know it is my RA and I’m not a klutz!
Wow thanks for this!
I never realised this was part off my RA either I really thought it was just me and I was some kind off Miss Clumsy!
I’m not allowed to hold the first cup of tea or coffee off the day as there’s so many times it’s been all over me or the bed / chair etc , not good when it’s still extremely hot!
I’ve done it when crafting making jewellrey etc got to an almost finished adding hundreds of beads to a piece of wire or string and bam all over the floor :/
I totally relate to the mascara and lipstick ones, I’ve bought one off the face sheilds for spraying hair products as I’ve the same problem it was less than £3 on good old eBay, I leave my hair dye to my hairdresser and will never think of just trimming my fringe again after having a spasm while mid cut and ended with a big slanted fringe :/ not a good look lol , I use my bio freeze type products in the ointment gel form , but ouch I’ve been there so many times with the eye rub :/ I also now leave tweezing my eyebrows and get them waxed at our local salon , I’ve tried the electric trimmers and had a spasm and almost half an eyebrow off , luckily the salon corrected it best they could , I don’t need tampons etc anymore thanks to the RA drugs sending me into early menopause , I avoid shaving and waxing and use the hair removal creams which if you slip can be washed off quickly before any damage is done and the last one made me wince but luckily touch wood I’ve not had that problem ( yet)
I could think like you of hundreds of things from trying to add a sppon of coffee to a cup and throwing it in the persons face next to me to helping my young niece paint / colour in and ending up really upsetting her as instead off looking like an 8 year old painted it it looks like a one year old did :/
Thanks for the giggle and knowing it’s not just me that’s got crazy hands
OMG I never realised this was RA associated.This article is great, Ive been throwing things involuntarily for years. Ive lost count of the number of drinks ,mobile phones,books etc that have launched across the room Everyones always laughed at me and said im clumsy but now I can tell them there is good reason for it lol