A question about "The Wall" lyrics and certain illnesses.

Roger Waters, I believe sings on “Nobody Home” on The Wall, “Got those swollen hand blues”. And also Gilmour sings on Comfortably Numb (which I believe Waters wrote the lyrics) these lyrics, which are, “When I was a child I had a fever. My hands felt just like two balloons.”. Now, for the question.

What disease/virus/sickness is he talking about that makes you have or feel like you have swollen hands? Did he really have such a thing as a child, anyone know? Or are these lyrics strictly made up for entertainment?

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?
Kawasaki Disease?

Those two seem to pop up by seaching for ‘fever “swollen hands”’.

If it help any, the video for Comfortably Numb showed the boy handling a sick rat before the fever hit.

When my sister was a child, she had an allergic reaction to penicillin. I was too young to remember, but everyone says that her hands swelled up enough that she couldn’t move her fingers apart from each other. I’d guess that other fevers could produce swelling, depending on circumstances.

When I was a child, I had a fever, my hands felt just like two balloons.

This is a true statement. I had a high fever, but it didn’t cause my hands to swell - they just felt that way. It was a very odd hallucination. I didn’t think much about it until I heard the song many years later.

According to Wiki, Comfortably Numb was inspired when Waters had hepatitis. His doctor gave him a shot to perk him up so he could go on stage. He was still too beat to lift his arms, he says.

Not that that’s what the song in its final form is about, necessarily.

I had exactly the same experience. I had it more than once when I had fevers from various childhood illnesses. My hands felt gigantic. Apparently it’s a common phenomenon.

I hear it happens to Mickey Mouse all of the time.

Me three.

A friend of has told me of having the exact same experience.

I seriously thought that the line “I’ve got the swollen hand blues” refered to masturbation. In fact, I remeber a radio interview with Roger Waters and that late-night syndicated DJ who was on Water’s Radio K.A.O.S. (or whatever it was called) album discussing it on air.

Me five. I didn’t have a fever though, it was just an inexplicable sensation I sometimes had, most often when just settling down to sleep so possibly brought on by tiredness. It wasn’t restricted to my hands either.

I’ve felt it, too. I mainly associate it with being kind of sick/feverish. It’s not like my hands actually felt swollen. More like, in my mind, I had this feeling of having hands like that. Bizarre feeling.

That’s right. It’s hard to describe exactly but that sounds like my experience. It was a bizarre and, for me, extremely unpleasant sensation.

Swollen hands can also be a sign of long term heroin use.

Swollen hands are common in heroine users and ex heroine users Hepatitis C is often from sharing IVs. Hepatitis C is a liver disease causing a protein deficiency which causes swelling. Both hep and heroine were common for rock stars in the time this song was written. Oasis has interpreted the term “Swollen Hand Blues” this way and written a song with the same title. However, someone who has punched a lot of concrete walls may have a different interpretation of this. I believe the relation to the “hands felt just like two balloons” is coincidental as there is no evidence the fictional Pink was using heroine as a child.

On the other hand, when you are hypnotised a common thing that they do when putting you under is suggest that there is a balloon attached to your hands and they are getting lighter and lighter, and then they start rising.

This post has been “Me Too”'ed by the Me Too’er

Jim Ladd

I also had this as a kid. Massive fever; couldn’t hold anything down; and all sorts of very interesting hallucinations.

From an interview with Waters referenced above;

(Bolding mine)