Fortitude

It’s Just A Thing

I played high school football in northern Michigan where the cold weather comes pretty early in the fall. As a QB and part time receiver, it was important to keep my hands as warm as possible so I could feel the ball and handle it properly. I remember being so frustrated that my hands were freezing (like numb and stiff freezing) while it seemed like everyone else was fine. The rest of my body was warm enough, so what was wrong with me? Every snap from center hurt, like someone punching a bruise on my arm over and over. Basketball season wasn’t much better. Though the gym was warm and I was sweating, my hands would still be ice cold making it difficult and uncomfortable to handle the ball. I thought that’s just how I am, until it got worse.

It seems the older I get, the more sensitive I am to the cold. It’s so bad now that I prefer to wear gloves while working on the computer. My mouse hand gets so cold! I’ve always said I would much rather be hot than cold. Raynaud’s disease is a big reason why.

I didn’t know this was a thing until about 5 years ago when my doctor figured it out. I’m glad there’s a name for my condition, but unfortunately there isn’t much I can do about it. I’m not sharing this to seek sympathy, but to raise awareness. Maybe you have the same trouble as me and don’t know why. It’s actually quite common. I’m not a freak!

Check out this short article that sheds some light on what it’s like to live with Raynaud’s and endure a cold climate for nearly 1/2 the year. If you shake my hand and wonder if I’m alive, or you see me in gloves or heavy socks at strange times, it’s not because I’m nervous or ill, I just have a hard time keeping my hands warm. Compared to other awful health conditions some normally healthy people have to deal with, I’ll take Raynaud’s. It doesn’t keep me from doing anything and it’s not a threat to my life. It’s just a thing.

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