Shelby Barker from Facebook delighted us with her story told in a blog post on Odyssey titled “My Life With Raynaud’s Disease: No, I’m not just a wimp in the cold.”
She identifies the cold as her life’s enemy since she was about 16 years old. One reason she may have been fortunate enough to be diagnosed so early is that her mother is also a sufferer. (Experts still haven’t proven a link to heredity, but those with Raynaud’s in the family are better at spotting the symptoms and linking them to a medical cause.)
For a lay person, Shelby does an excellent job of describing the process of a Raynaud’s attack, drawing an analogy to the Fight or Flight syndrome (as we do with those who are new to discovering the ailment), and she recognizes how the symptoms and triggers can be very different for individuals – textbook descriptions are just not always the case. Sadly, her analysis is better than many sufferers often get from their own doctors…
Most Frosties will easily identify with Shelby’s frustrations and experiences on the job and in everyday life. The last line of her post ends with a statement that’s nearly verbatim from one in our educational video: “So from now until April, if you see me clenching my fists and walking too briskly, wearing too many layers, or taking off my shoes, you won’t have to wonder how crazy I am. Really, I’m just cold.”
Shelby, thanks so much for sharing your story and helping to spread the word about Raynaud’s. We’ll all benefit from your efforts!