Gary Kern

Ashley jade SpiveyLike many others with Raynaud’s phenomenon, Ashley Jade Spivey discovered that she had the disorder through a circuitous route.

The 24-year-old native of West Virginia says she always had “circulation issues,” but didn’t investigate the cause of her pain until two years ago. While on vacation with her boyfriend, she felt dizzy and lightheaded, blacking out and going into convulsions. “I was burning up on the inside of my body, but on the outside, I was so cold my arms and legs were turning purple,” she recalled. After similar episodes, and visits with several doctors who were baffled by her symptoms, one doctor told Ashley she had Raynaud’s disease.

Although it was a relief to finally get a diagnosis, tests later revealed that the prevailing issue was Type 1 diabetes. Ashley does have Raynaud’s too, but the convulsions, blackouts and such were attributed to the diabetes (Raynaud’s is not known to cause such manifestations). Being on insulin has, coincidentally, lessened the severity of painful Raynaud’s episodes – but her resolve to educate others about Raynaud’s has remained strong.

“I got very little support from my doctors for my Raynaud’s,” Ash