Raynauds and the Cold.

I was diagnosed with Raynaud's Disease/Syndrome when I was about 18 years old, but a "specialist" in Adelaide.  I had moved down to Mt Gambier, in the south-east of the state of South Australia to start my nursing training, and it was far colder than Adelaide.  

During the first winter I experienced the pain of my fingers - common with Raynaud's, and to my horror parts of my fingers would turn black as the arteries spasmed and reduced/cut off the blood circulation.  I was told that by the age of 40 years, my fingers and toes would have fallen off and there was no treatment and no cure.

Luckily, these dire predictions did not eventuate and here I am, over 50 years later, still with my digits intact.  However, I still have problems with the condition.  Here it is in the midst of winter in Brisbane and currently 14 degrees and my fingers are freezing while my feet are tucked in some winter slippers and feeling ok.

Over the years, clearly I have managed to cope with the condition - though not without some exciting times.  Living in China in winter with temperatures  at - 6 degrees, I really felt the cold, but I managed to keep my hands and feet warm. In fact, the day I left China to come home it was snowing and freezing and I was glad to fly out to a warm summer in Queensland.  Saved.

When the family had the flower farm - we grew Gerberas for a number of years - I felt the cold badly on the cold winter mornings that we had to go and pick flowers around 6 am.  I endured the pain and coped.  I used to go into the house, pour some hot water into a bowl and plunge my hands into it.  On occasions, I risked burning for I could not feel the heat.

Today is not a good day.  My hands are very cold, but I have yet to plunge them into hot water.
I could wear gloves, but that means I can do very little. 

My best gloves are thick and woolly and certainly not helpful if I want to type - so I will just have to discard the gloves and type quickly.

There is no treatment for Raynaud's, but it is recommended that one does not smoke or drink alcohol, though I was told that drinking wine was ok, but not beer.  That works for me as I am not a beer drinker and the wine can help me feel better.

Plunging hands into warm water works for me - and in every way keeping warm.  I hate cold supermarkets as I am likely to end up in pain as my blood vessels go into spasm.

One can buy special gloves - and I do wear them though they are limiting.  

Click here for information on Raynaud's and some suggestion for treatment.

Still, I have made it this far and keeping warm is much easier than it was when I was a teenager, so I am not too concerned.

The condition was named after a Dr Raynaud who first diagnosed it.  "Raynaud's Disease is a malfunction of the blood circulatory system of the body and is named after Dr Raynaud who diagnosed it. The fingers and sometimes the toes are most affected. The ailment affects more young women than men."


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