Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cold Hands, Warm Heart (and Feet)

After weeks of Weird Winter Weather--capitalized because we began to speak of it that way--we've been plunged into a deep freeze. One day I walked the dog wearing only a long-sleeved t-shirt (and jeans); the next I bundled up in parka, woolen gloves, and scarf. More significantly, I opened up my box of disposable foot warmers.

I have Raynaud's Syndrome, which shuts down the capillaries in my fingers and toes if the temperature drops below a certain point. I'm not sure what the point is, but my fingers can turn white while peeling a carrot taken from the fridge. I've had the condition for years, but it has grown progressively worse. In the past couple of years, I lost fingernails each winter. Last winter I also developed open sores that can lead quickly to gangrene.

My feet, however, are fine--thanks to those disposable foot warmers. And thanks to Walmart's post-winter sales and good old eBay, I buy them economically and in quantity. If I could wear mittens all day every, I'd use the warmers inside them, too.

Everything's a trade-off, though. (That's my philosophy of trade-off after another.) When the thermometer dips below freezing, I'm reluctant to leave the house wearing anything that doesn't keep me warm. The temperature was 10ยบ last night. I went to a jazz club and my jeans, Land's End all-weather mocs, wool socks, and foot warmers. It was not the most graceful of dances.


Indigo Bunting said...

Susan: I've got Raynaud's too. Or so it was once decided. And I worry it's getting worse. My feet are up against a space heater right now...

Jenny Hill said...

Hey, I think I have that! Ok, I'm blog-diagnosing, but my thumbs go numb sometimes for no real reason, and completely white. It's mostly fingers, although my feet get beastly cold too.

Susan said...

Allow me to confirm your diagnoses. But I do so reluctantly! Raynaud's is No Fun. I highly recommend disposable foot warmers. I buy them in bulk on eBay and on sale at Walmart at the end of the season. I go through at least a pair a day in the winter.

I pray our fingers never get so cold that we can't type!