Monday, November 1, 2010

Mr. Raynaud

He is quite the guy. Likes to make my life even more complicated than it already is. During the summer, he is not as present. But seeing as it is no longer summer, he has come about again. More an annoyance than anything else, he pesters me on a daily basis.

Raynaud’s phenomenon can come along with having lupus. I have it. Basically what happens is when my hands are exposed to the cold (air conditioner, outside temperature, anything cold, even ice cream) or if I get stressed the blood vessels in my hands and sometimes toes go into spasm. This cuts off the circulation to my hands and toes. There is a very distinct color change that occurs. First my hands and toes turn blue from lack of oxygen. Then white from a long time without oxygen. At this point the amount of feeling I have in my hands is close to none. Quite literally I feel like my hands are made of stone, they’re heavy but I can’t really feel them. What happens next is the worst part of the whole thing. Circulation returns. My hands turn BRIGHT red and feel like they have been slammed in a car door. The tingly burning itching sensation is crazy.

Some other notable things that happen when I have an attack is my core temperature drops dramatically (how does 91 F sound???). It’s almost like I have hypothermia. I become extremely tired and foggy. If it’s a really bad attack, my lips turn blue as well as my hands and feet. Sometimes I feel like a human Popsicle. The kind with the blue, white and red flavorings.

Now, there are things a person can do to help prevent attacks. Staying out of the cold is a good idea. I wear extra thick socks year round to help keep my feet warm (I have really bad circulation to begin with, Raynaud’s is just the icing on the cake.) During the winter months, I keep a heater going in my room. Only problem is, when I leave my room the temperature change causes an attack. Wearing thermal underwear helps sometimes. Gloves are wonderful. To hide an attack, to prevent an attack, to just stay warm, gloves are truly amazing. Stay away from stress. I can and have had attacks from just getting stressed. As a matter of a fact, I got diagnosed with it after I had an attack right in front of my GP. It was spurred from all the stress I felt from seeing the doctor. Perfect timing!

Having Raynaud’s is not the end of the world. It’s just very annoying. I just bundle up and go about life.

No comments:

Post a Comment