Nuisance and Danger


I have Raynaud's. They don't know what causes it or how to cure it. And it sure hurts at times.

It may be a failure of the circulatory system or in the body's neurology. The symptoms are cold, white and numb fingers and toes - the extremities and, for some parts inbetween. When being rewarmed, say under warm (not hot) water, they feel as if they were all flame, all on fire.

Cold weather is of course an enemy; winter has been lost to me - at least in terms of outdoor activities: skating, skiing, walking in winter woods - all which I have loved and lost. A moment getting milk or cheese from the fridge, holding an ice-filled glass and beverage, air conditioning in a store or restaurant - all can trigger the cold and numbness of my response. You've perhaps frozen your feet from skating outdoors, playing hockey into the late afternoon; or you've quickly shoveled snow from a bit of the walkway without your gloves on, and you come in and blow on your white fingers and feel the pain as the blood re-circulates. You could get the same effects, but who'd want to(?) by putting your hand in and along your freezer, holding a frozen meal perhaps, for five or ten minutes; you're fingers will respond accordingly - ouch!

When I rake leaves as I will in a few weeks as Autumn comes, my jaw goes white, blue, grey - and numb, as if I've been to the dentist. My ear-lobes are blue and then white. Again, it takes about 40 minutes for my face to recover when I return indoors and the red-beat of my skin, the blotchy red-grey-blue in various parts, does not enhance my already-fading countenance.

I wear heated Grabber toe-warmers three out of four seasons and the same in my gloves. I'm typing now as if dragging the little finger of my right hand, which is cold, white, blotchy - and insensitive to the fell of keys. So every other word must be retyped as I hit or miss a key without knowing it, or the one adjacent.

I had a sypathectomy a few years back; didn't work. It's the attempt to interrupt the sympathetic system (the fight or flight response) of the body. It's what happens when one is freezing in cold or northern times and the body moves to retain heat at its core, even if you lose your toes or nose to frost-bite. So, it's like an allergy in that sense - too much of a good thing, not needed, unecesssary and doing work that I have not asked of it. Sympathectomy was to keep the brain from telling my fingers to keep circulating blood. (With Raynaud's, the tiny capillaries spasm and close rather than allowing free circulation as should be.)

It can be merely nuisance; it could be life threatening. I give it due attention and stay indoors mostly in winter now; I keep warm and warm what I can as soon as I can.

Even in Florida or Arizona, air conditioned buildings do me in; but thanks for asking.



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