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I Don’t Want Baby Hands

One of the many adorable things that my daughter did as an infant was to keep her pudgy little hands balled in tight little fists. I remember having to pry them open during bath time. I also remember putting my finger in her hand and feeling her little fingers tightened around mine. I thought it so incredibly cute and endearing. As she got older, her hands stayed open more and more until that particular baby feature was no more.

Thirteen years later, my ‘now’ perception of tightly curled hands – which I refer to as ‘baby hands’ – is that I don’t see them as adorable, endearing or cute. Prying ‘baby hands ’ open now is to hold on to something, pick something up, exercise and stretch the hand or to relieve the achiness created from being closed so tightly. ‘Baby hands’ to me now signifies progression.. Multiple sclerosis progression.

I recall several years ago when I first noticed some intermittent issues with the dexterity in my hands, specifically, the left. Over time, there was a marked difference. A test to rule out Carpal Tunnel was conducted first and found negative.. Then an MRI of the spine – and the ‘big P’ was discovered. Progression. And my hands were affected.

Try picking up something with a closed fist. Try to get dressed by manually opening your hand to pull on an article of clothing with a closed fist. Try to write with little to no dexterity. Can you see my concern with having ‘baby hands’? I don’t want them.

Putting the bright side away for a moment, let me say this:

Ugh! Really?! Now what am I supposed to do with hardly no hands?! MS makes me SO incredibly sick! Always reminding me that it’s ’here’, taking my independence, causing me pain..Stop progressing! I hate MS!

Rant over.

Bringing the bright side back, I’ll say this: Considering so much suffering in the world, things could be so much worse. Count your blessings.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • rolly
    2 years ago

    thanks for sharing your thoughts on ‘baby hands’, dianne. i must admit it’s the first time i’ve heard them called like this. sounds almost too cute, considering how much harder this condition makes our lives. when i’m in a good mood, i usually call them my ‘paws’ (equally cute, i admit). on bad days i cannot think of a suitable word for them.
    my left hand started with weakness and loss of dexterity, and then it started to curl up. i used physical therapy and splints, but it either didn’t halt the progressive curling or caused me pain.
    now, a few years later, i can no longer lift or move it. it’s permanently curled up and lying in my lap, lifeless and useless. prying it open requires considerable force by my carer.
    that leaves me with one functioning hand. barely, because it seems that it’s headed in the same direction. it’s become a lot weaker and the fingers are increasingly curling up one by one.
    losing the complete use of my hands is my worst fear, up there alongside losing my faculties.
    but as you said, things could always be worse, and we have to hold on to the things we still CAN do.
    i’m relieved to hear that i’m not the only one! it gives me a strange sense of comfort.

  • Laura73
    2 years ago

    OMG I have started having issues with my hands and never thought it was a MS thing. I also go to sleep and make sure my hands are not in fists. It started one day when I woke up and I one finger would not open. The next day another finger on the other hand. The next day same thing but after that my hands are just so stiff when I wake up. I have to open and close them many times in the morning before they are ok. Thanks for posting this I will tell my doc about this on my next visit.

  • tfs
    2 years ago

    Thank you for writing about “baby hands.” Although I have noticed the numbness and curl of the whole hand, it is the first time someone else has identified it. Thanks.

  • clsuhre
    2 years ago

    I added a bedtime mantra: “Must not fall asleep with fists!” Deliberately relaxing my hands before I sleep seems to stave off waking up with stiff, curled fingers. I wish I could do the same for my calves and foot arches!

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    I try to do the same! Great minds…! 🙂

  • kathym
    2 years ago

    I never thought of calling them baby hands but it makes sense!! I don’t notice the “baby hands” during the day, but when I wake in the morning I realize that I have had baby hands nearly all night while sleeping. I have fingernails that have dug into the palms of my hands and my fingers hurt. I am glad that I am not the only one that has this problem, I feel like a person with rheumatoid arthritis with the hands curling like this. 🙁

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    I totally understand, kathym.. Totally.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi Kelly.. You’re welcome and thank you so much! I appreciate you guys publishing my stories!

  • Nancy W
    2 years ago

    Thanks Dianne. I like your attitude. Ms Sucks! Rant over.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hello, Nancy! I find a positive attitude helps deal with the challenges MS brings because you’re so right….it sucks!
    Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • Kelly McNamara moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Dianne,

    Thanks for sharing another great story with the community! I always look forward to reading your submissions!

    – Kelly, Team Member

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi, Kelly.. You’re welcome and thank you so much! I appreciate you guys publishing my stories!

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