I don’t mean in terms of my personality, although sometimes I am a bit frosty. I suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome.
It has been a long journey from the first symptoms to a sort-of diagnosis. The consultant has more ruled other things out than determined it unequivocally.
Raynaud’s is actually a fairly common condition (hello to any fellow sufferers!). You can read more about it on the NHS website. It affects the blood supply to the extremities; my blood vessels go into a sort of spasm and block the flow of blood. That spasm is, for me, almost permanent. My feet were often blue (they looked like they belonged to a zombie) and my fingers were completely white.
I spent about 6 months permanently cold, and I don’t mean a little bit chilly – I mean agonisingly, bitterly cold. I developed a vitamin D deficiency because I spent so little time outside unless I was completely wrapped up. I often need a hat, gloves and big coat just to make going outdoors bearable.
I have tried three different medications so far with varying levels of success. The first left me warm but with the uncomfortable sensation of strongly feeling my own heart beat and legs that looked like I had been boiled. The next took away the pins and needles and the stabbing pains in my hands, but left me cold, achy and with excruciating pains in my feet. The current medication seems to be having little effect at all – I’m having trouble moving my hands and I think I am experiencing life at about 10°C lower than most other people.
There is one more medication that the consultant thinks I could try. I will ask to give it a go at my next appointment in May. I’m currently sat in bed under a big blanket, feeling sorry for myself. Some of my future posts will likely be related to dealing with and experiences of Raynaud’s, but I will try not to make them glum!