What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Friday, January 25, 2013

These are Spirit Fingers

Winter can be a bitch. You know those days that feel like -20F wind chill factor and everybody bundles up. Well they feel like -100F to me. It is because I have Raynaud's phenomenon.

So what is Raynaud's?
It is a circulatory disorder. Blood circulation is reduced in cold weather causing discoloration.

What causes it?
Secondary Raynaud's can be triggered by diseases like Lupus. But the most common Primary Raynaud's has no known cause.

Is there a cure?
Primary Raynaud's has no cure. The triggering cause of Secondary Raynaud's can be treated.

Have I always had Raynaud's?
No. I was perfectly fine for several years. I used to even shovel snow in shorts and tees sometimes. This just started a few years ago. It creeps on you suddenly with no cause.

Does it hurt?
You might as well ask if one breathes. It does get better over time as your body gets used to the sensation.

The phenomenon cycles through phases. The first phase is when the digits turn white or the "death fingers" Back in the day my skin would prick and throb at this stage. Now it is a mild just a numbing or tingling sensation.

My Death fingers

The second phase is actually when the oxygen is cut of due to poor circulation. That is when everything turns blue or the "Terminal Blue". Don't be fooled because the terminal blue looks less alarming than the pasty white death fingers. The Terminal Blue is a real motherfucker. There was a time I would cry and writhe in agony if I hit this stage. Sometimes I still do. But now it just is a dull throbbing but bearable pain.

 My Terminal Blue

The final stage is when you get warm again and circulation begins again. This time the fingers turn red. Usually, it doesn't pain. But occasionally, I get a sharp shooting pain for a flash. 

What does one do to manage Raynaud's?
Simple logical stuff. Dress warm with thick woolen gloves and socks. Double up on wind chill advisory days. Avoid caffeine. Avoid staying out in the cold too long. Some people swear that extracts like Ginkgo Balboa help. I've never tried it though. 

I don't take as much care as I should. I have thick Brahma workman boots I wear during winter. That is it. I wear a thin pair of touch screen gloves. I'm supposed to wear another mitten, but can't be knackered. Sometimes, I even forget gloves. You get used to it. 

Once the discoloration sets in you can do various things to warm up your hands. The best warm up is sticking it a body cavity like armpit or by your crotch. Or run room temperature water over them. And I didn't make that shit up. The Mayo clinic website also suggests it.

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