I suffer from primary Raynaud’s phenomenon. In case you haven’t heard of this, the short version is that my hands turn white and lose sensation when they get cold. Before you tell me to put on a sweater, know that my core temperature doesn’t matter. I can be wearing multiple warmth layers, thick gloves, and sweating while outside and still my hands freeze up.
This winter has been particularly harsh, and my hands are now freezing up several times a day. That’s not only uncomfortable, but it’s a serious health risk. If I get stuck on the roadside or anywhere without the ability to rewarm my hands, I could lose the use of my fingers. It’s also a quality of life problem: going outside at all these days is problematic, and it basically means that I don’t go outside for any real length of time.
I’ve talked with my doctor about options, and the only thing beyond behavioural management (“keep your hands warm” and “try to relax”) are drugs that are normally used for lowering blood pressure (calcium channel blockers, specifically amlodipine). My blood pressure is usually in the normal to low range (120/80 to 110/60), so there isn’t exactly a lot of room there to move. They’re also unlikely to completely solve the problem just make it more manageable, and they do have the potential for side effects. That said, we’re going to try it anyway and see how things go.
This has made it literally painfully obvious that as much as I love my home in snowy Waterloo, with all of my friends and the tech scene here, I really can’t live here in the winter. I deal well with heat: 32ºC is a lot more comfortable to me than 3.2ºC, let alone anything colder. The good news is that moving is very much a possibility for me. The flipside to my current situation as being unattached both professionally and romantically is that I’m in the perfect position to make changes. Call it “lifestyle design” or “conscious living”, the idea is the same: I get to decide right now what shape I want my life to take.
So where do I go from here? That’ll be the subject of more than a few posts here as I figure that out. Everything fits together like a jigsaw puzzle, with all of the parts contributing to overall happiness.