We often hear from fellow sufferers who share their stories with us. This one is from Jacki in Virginia, and we could truly empathize with the issues she faced dealing with Raynaud’s symptoms while working on the farm!
“In the winter of 2011-12, we had a bout of strong winds and temperatures in the 20’s that lasted a few days. They always warn about wind chill, but I had never given it much thought since I always dress in layers to go outside to do chores. I live on a small farm in Northern Virginia and my chores consist of feeding hay to the horses, mucking stalls, feeding chickens and hauling water. Both morning and night, I move about at a moderate pace since I am on a schedule; I also have a full-time desk job.
It was this particular year I began to notice, while mucking (removing manure from a stall with a hay fork) that my hands, mostly my fingers, would begin to hurt. They hurt so badly that I would have to stop what I was doing to try and warm them. I would slap them together, blow into my gloves (can’t wear mittens to do chores) and do whatever it took to get the pain in my fingers to go away! Initially I just thought I needed warmer gloves and began to try different pairs to try and solve the problem.
What puzzled me was that I could be sweating and this would happen. I thought hypothermia or frostbite would occur when one’s core temperature started to drop, so why would my body be pulling blood away from my fingers when I was warm enough to sweat?!
At times when I couldn’t take the pain any longer, I would have to stop doing chores and head for the house. The barn is about a 2 to 3-minute walk from the house, and during this walk, all the sudden my fingers would become red hot. And I mean RED HOT! Wow! How weird is that?!
Last year’s winter was mild and I had almost forgotten about that weird hand phenomena. Then came this winter with the polar vortex dipping down to torture us – my hand problem returned with a vengeance! Earlier this week, I literally broke down in tears the pain was so bad. I figured I had better figure out what is going on and what I could do about it if anything. In the meantime, I invested in some hand warmers because the animals are not going to feed and clean up after themselves.
Hence, a little Googling and I found the Raynauds Association website. Wow! A day mixed with emotions; disappointed to know that I really do have this condition and there is not a definite cure for it. But also relieved to know what it is and comforted to know there are other folks out there that have this condition. It’s nice to have a place where we can share what works for us.”
Thanks so much for sharing with us Jacki. We invite you to share your stories with us at Tell Us About You.