I was really grateful to be diagnosed with Raynaud’s about a decade ago. No, not right way, but as soon as the dust settled, it was actually a relief. I was in such pain whenever it was cold, and it was truly unbearable. I’m sad to say I blamed myself for years, because I thought I was doing something wrong or just complaining too much. As a teen I was at track meets with purple hands and feet, and sometimes my lips and face would turn purple! Since everyone else was okay, so I assumed that I just was whiny and needed to toughen up. (why do we do that to ourselves?) So it was actually a huge weight off to find out that there was a real reason the cold was so painful.
But then part 2 is, okay then, now what?
I’ve been able to make a lot of changes by what I do and what I wear.
The best purchase I think I’ve ever made was a heated floor mat. I got a small one (above) which was about 2 foot by 3 foot, and it was a complete fail. It was catted in about 60 seconds flat, and G would not share with me. So now I have a big one, and it’s often catted as well, but there’s room for the three of us. Yes, it’s pricey, but I honestly think it’s the best investment I’ve made in years in my health, and as soon as I started using it, I had many fewer attacks. I think that’s made a bigger difference for me than anything else. I am pushing for heated floors for my workspace at home (eventually) but because that’s so expensive, it’s going to be a while.
I also have a ridiculous amount of clothes from Under Armour that I wear every day under my normal clothes. (no financial link–I just find it works really, really well for me.) My favorite? The base 4 leggings. They’re supposed to be for going outside in “brutal cold”, I need to wear them even INSIDE daily, just to avoid the numbness and tingling. And for super duper cold days? They have extreme coldgear leggings, which are thicker and not as comfortable, but they’re such a huge help for my circulation so I don’t mind being bulky.
It’s annoying, but such a big help! It’s kinda painful to spend $90 on a pair of pants, but I wear them every day so it kinda-sorta evens out. The UA site also has an outlet which I tend to stalk to get more stuff. I also really like that they have pants for short people like moi and that they have the leggings numbered by coldness rating. I did try out the leggings from Nike and I found the site really hard to navigate and didn’t like how those leggings fit, either.
I’ve got the UA gloves, but I’m not crazy about those and still looking for something that may work better. Suggestions are welcome.
The combination of wearing leggings/warming shirts under my clothes and using the heated floor mat daily makes all the difference in the world. I honestly can’t imagine how I managed to deal with the pain and numbness all those years…and I can’t believe it took so long to realize how simple the solution was!
So weeks like this one aren’t super comfy, but they’re doable. Between all that stuff and an ungodly number of blankies, I’m all good.
I know most people don’t have to go to such extremes, but honestly, I can’t believe that it took me so many years to realize that this was a necessity for me and take it seriously, and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there. *knock on something* so far, I haven’t had a single attack this year and it’s been a cold one, so I’ve been tremendously grateful.
And, as an added bonus, I was grateful that most of the roads were clear of ice today, and that I’m home safe and sound.