I’ve always been someone who feels the cold, but since being diagnosed with Raynaud’s I’ve realised that it’s not something I should tolerate, or allow it to control my life. There are things I can do to help make my life a little easier. That means I can do some weird things that other people might not get. I mean, we all do weird stuff don’t we? But before I ramble about us all being weird and the meaning of normal, here’s the top 10 weird things I do because I have Raynaud’s.
- I turn the shower on extra hot at the end to give me warmth once I get out. It’s probably a good job we have a shower that attaches to the taps, otherwise R would get a shock.
- Use the same hand dryer that someone else has just used when in a public restroom. Because it’ll already have heated up. The same goes with taps.
- I leave the heating on in the car on full, even when I’m getting hot (because I’m wearing 5 layers and a scarf, hat and gloves) on the way home from the pre-school run so that when I get in the car for pick up it might not be quite so cold.
- Take 3 blankets for yoga for the 5 minute relaxation at the end of the session so that I don’t get cold. I already wear yoga socks and yoga gloves.
- Gloves! At the supermarket. Just so that I can rummage in the reduced section of meat. And y’know, pick up a carton of milk without getting numb fingers.
- Take vegetables out of the fridge about 3 hours before I need them so that the cold doesn’t hurt my hands when I chop it.
- Pack slippers in my bag whenever I go to someone else’s house. I also pack extra layers (including extra socks even though I’ll already be wearing tights under my jeans and a pair of thick wool socks).
- Wear jumpers and jeans in the summer, especially if going to the supermarket – or anywhere with air conditioning! I even got cold in Thailand.
- You’ll find blankets in my living room all through the year. Hygge – not just for winter.
- Forego breakfast to scrape the car so that I can then sit by a radiator afterwards to warm my hands before I drive.
Do you have raynauds? Is there anything you’d change? What’s your top 10 weird things?
The thing with being a Raynaud’s mum is not many people know what Raynaud’s is. When you go out all bundled up with your child wearing shorts people look at you like you’re crazy. Like some kind of irresponsible parent for taking the time to ensure you’re warm but not your child. There are so many things I have to consider before leaving the house and I put so much thought in to what I’m wearing it’s unreal. Thank goodness I’m not #instaglam because I’d have real issues! Then there are the other things associated with being a Raynaud’s mum…
What Raynaud’s actually is
For those who don’t know what Raynaud’s is a quick summary would be that it’s something that affects the circulation or blood flow in your extremities. That includes the obvious – fingers and toes, and not so obvious, ears, nose and nipples! I get it in all but the latter, but it’s been a while since Oliver stopped breastfeeding! Temperature changes really impact it, cold weather and stress/anxiety are also huge factors.
For me, that means my fingers and toes go white and numb. It means that I get immense pain through my hands and feet. I also get numbness and pain in my ears and nose. I have to wear loads of layers and keep my house warm. I have to wear slippers pretty much all year round. When it’s cold it takes me a long time warm up.
What being a Raynaud’s mum means to me
Being outdoors in autumn and winter is genuinely uncomfortable for me. It becomes so difficult that it affects my mood. I’m grumpy, I’m tired and I am just in so much pain I can’t do anything. That makes it hard for me to do things like puddle jump walks, collecting acorns and conkers. Going to the park when it’s cold. Days out that involve being outdoors for periods of time. Especially in exposed areas where it’s windy. The cold that you’re thinking of is probably the frosty chill in November, but that is the cold I feel in September.
At home when it’s ‘cold’ I’m often found under a fleecy blanket. Our living room is North facing which means it’s not very warm. The floor is also concrete which makes it even colder. Leather sofas are a no-no. The kitchen floor is also really cold too and even with slippers on I get numb toes. That means I’m not very fun once the cold sets in.
Raynaud’s mum guilt
I feel awful for much of the year for how boring I am. I can’t do a lot of the things that Oliver wants to do. He loves the outdoors. He loves nature. It’s really not fair on him that we can’t do the things he wants to do. I’m starting to invest in things that will help make my life easier. The only thing is that all of these things cost money. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for years and we don’t have a great deal of disposable income. We’re not impoverished or anything, but we are living on a single income and planning a wedding.
Have you ever heard of Raynaud’s? Do you suffer from it too? Do you have any tips to help me overcome the cold?