Curious about my possessed knuckle
December 19, 2013 5:19 PM   Subscribe

I woke in the middle of the night last night with a pain in my finger, only to find that my pinky knuckle--and only my pinky knuckle--was red, sore, and a little swollen. I put some antibiotic ointment on it (because that is my solution for everything) and went back to sleep. When I woke up this morning, it was completely back to normal. I know you're not a doctor, but what is this? Did I cut off circulation? Was it an illusion created by my anxiety-prone mind? Am I going to die? If it helps, I live in a cold climate and I've never broken any fingers.
posted by sandwiches to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Spider bite!

i am not a doctor or entomologist.
posted by elizardbits at 5:25 PM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by embrangled at 5:28 PM on December 19, 2013

Leaning on it awkwardly for too long?
posted by cecic at 5:32 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

No marks of any kind or residual stiffness? No pains anywhere else? I vote for imaginary.
posted by jquinby at 5:37 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

If it reoccurs, especially after eating heavy foods, you might ask your doctor to check you out for gout.
posted by benk at 5:51 PM on December 19, 2013

You possibly slept on it wrong. Since it looks and feels normal, I wouldn't worry about it. I am going to go out on a limb here and say this will not cause immediate death. I am also not a doctor.
posted by JujuB at 5:53 PM on December 19, 2013

Thanks for your answers, everyone! WebMD also told me I have gout, but I am 99.9% sure that this is untrue. I will let you know if my finger falls off.
posted by sandwiches at 6:00 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I have stressful dreams, I sometimes flex or clench -- my jaw, my hands, whatever. I've clenched my hands hard enough for my fingernails to leave little half-moon impressions in my palm. If I woke up with a sore pinky, I'd think it was that. Are you having a stressful time, bad dreams, trouble sleeping, or problems with your TMJ and things like that?
posted by Houstonian at 6:14 PM on December 19, 2013

A very mild allergic reaction will sometimes make just a couple of my knuckles start to go red and swell a bit. Usually it comes paired with another symptom, like a rash or wheezing, but not always. If I'm extremely lucky, it can disappear after several hours. Just another possibility.
posted by notquitemaryann at 7:07 PM on December 19, 2013

I was just reading a memoir by a gal who had something like this and it turned out to be some sort of weird arthritis that basically pops up in different random parts of the body one after another. One day it's the knuckle, another day it's the foot etc. Hope this isn't what you have.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:29 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

If it's dry where you are, it can be really easy to give yourself a little sheet burn rubbing a pointy bit on the covers while rolling over or doing some Olympic rowing in your dreams. Any hearty immune system is going to get that resolved very quickly, especially if you salved it with antibiotic cream.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:32 PM on December 19, 2013

My guess would have to be that you struck the wall or headboard or etc. while asleep. I know I injure myself this way, but then you may be a less thrashy sleeper than me.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:20 PM on December 19, 2013

You may have held that finger in an odd position that strained the joint or cut off circulation for awhile. Or it could have been an ant/spider bite you got sometime in the night; sorry if that suggestion gives you creepy-crawlies when you're trying to get to sleep tonight!
posted by variella at 9:11 PM on December 19, 2013

Webmd will tell you every other symptom you have is cancer or an std. Don't go hunting for diseases you might have on there.
posted by empath at 1:09 AM on December 20, 2013

Doesn't sound much like gout to me - over too fast, usually attacks the lower extremities first, etc. FWIW gout does respond to NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, it wouldn't hurt to take a couple if it recurs.
posted by mr vino at 5:40 AM on December 20, 2013

I will let you know if my finger falls off.

If your finger falls off, it's going to be really difficult to type. OMG it's been 27 hours since OP posted in this thread ....(cue music) dum da dum dummmmm.
posted by CathyG at 7:30 PM on December 20, 2013

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