Reynaud’s Syndrome is a not so wonderful little side effect of Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. It causes your extremities (fingers, and sometimes, toes) to turn white, lose circulation and grow incredibly cold. While it sounds harmless, it’s actually quite difficult to function normally when it acts up. From what my doctor tells me, it can also become permanent, necessitating amputation. While I have Reynauds on occasion, I’m determined not to let this happen to me. Here’s what I do to keep symptoms at bay.
Writing with Reynaud’s
As you can imagine, being a writer with numb, frozen fingers is more than just a challenge. Nevertheless, when Reynaud’s acts up, I don’t let it stop me. Instead, I adopt a “show must go on” attitude. I rub my fingers together, vigorously until some of the circulation returns. Then, I just go ahead and write. Usually, after 15 minutes or so of writing, all my circulation comes back. I think it’s important to keep those fingers moving so I don’t lose them altogether.
What’s up with those computer friendly gloves?
When I first saw gloves made to type and use your phone with, I just thought it was another invention to keep kids from engaging in real life. After all, there are a lot of those out there. Now, with Reynaud’s, it seems like a pretty smart invention. If my symptoms worsen, I may be able to use them when I write with numb fingers. I guess new technology is good for some things.
Keeping Reynaud’s from coming on.
What makes Reynaud’s more likely to rear it’s ugly head? It’s the cold. This could be cold weather, pulling an ice cube tray from the freezer or even taking a load of cold, wet clothes out of the washer. All three of these things have caused Reynaud’s to make an appearance in my day. In fact, doing anything that involves my hands getting cold will do it. So, what can be done to prevent this from happening?
When I know that I’m going out in the cold weather, I wear gloves. That makes sense, right? Still, it’s more than just wearing gloves like everyone else. No, I persistently, consistently, wear gloves. There is no room for error, because when I forget, I suffer tremendously. Have you ever tried to drive a car with no fingers? It just doesn’t work. So, I have gloves in the car. I have gloves in all my coat pockets. I have gloves everywhere. It’s just a given at this point.
What about when you can’t wear gloves?
You can wear gloves when taking something from the freezer. You can’t wear them when washing produce or taking clothes from the washer. It just doesn’t work. So, I use other solutions. I use warm water to wash produce. I wait to take the clothes from the washer until they’ve warmed back up. I put insulated covers on my cold drinks. It keeps them cold and keeps Reynaud’s at bay.
How about those toes?
Thankfully, I don’t have Reynaud’s to the point where it impacts my feet often. Or, I might. You see, I have a love affair with “fuzzy” socks and slippers. So, I don’t spend much time in my bare feet unless I’m outside on warm days. My feet don’t ever really have a chance to get cold. At least not cold enough for Reynaud’s to set in. So, if you do, I suggest you get yourself some nice warm socks. They also make some just for Reynaud’s sufferers. In fact, they have all kinds of products for this issue. Never hurts to check them out. Meanwhile, stay warm, stay dry and keep moving. It helps.
More from Jaipi:
Finding New Hobbies When Chronically Ill
5 Awesome Shower Cleaning Tricks for the Physically Limited
Gardening Closer to the Sun with Lupus