Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Does this happen to anyone else?

Last winter when I was out in the cold walking Izzy, I totally bundled up - scarf, face mask, gloves, layers of shirts and a coat, insulated shoes and 1-2 pairs of socks depending on the condition of my feet. Even with all of this, my feet, ears, nose and especially my hands got terribly cold. For my hands it was extreme. I got this feeling of panic that if I didn't get inside soon, something bad would happen. I have even had to run home before to get inside because the panic was so fierce. Once inside, I took off my gloves and my fingers were beet red and very painful as they warmed up. I have read it is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and circulation. Last year was the first year I experienced it but even this morning, I had a mild bout of it. I discussed it with the rheumatologist last winter and he of course had a medication for it. The side effects are drop in blood pressure, swelling, etc. No thanks! If you have experienced this, how do you deal with it without taking medications and without avoiding the outdoors?


  1. Is it like a panic disorder type of thing? Not the pain but the feeling you get? When I was pregnant with Jace I would get really panicy at night because I couldn't breathe. It really scared me because I thought the bigger I get and the more he pushes up on my lungs the worse its going to get. Fortunately, I found Breathe Right strips and it immediately took care of my problem. Have you tried buying those hand warmers that you put in your gloves? Earl uses them for work somethimes because he is outside for hours at a time in the winter. You might try some and see if it helps.

  2. Hey Cathy,

    I have the same issue with my fingers and toes. They get a bluish/purplish color, feel completely numb, and it feels as though I could bang them on the counter and they may break off, but I would not feel it. Finally the feeling comes back and it feels a little tingly until the circulation is finally normal again. Sometimes it is not that bad and they just get a little numb and purplish, but it depends on how cold I get. It normally happens for me when I am outside in the cold or wind, but sometimes it has happened inside and I am just chilly. I have asked my doctor about this before and it is called Raynaud's Phenomenon. Here is a link to an overview about it: http://arthritis.webmd.com/tc/raynauds-phenomenon-topic-overview

    Hope this helps. I do not do much for mine except try to keep them warm in the first place, such as wearing gloves and warm socks even when it seems as though they are not warranted. When they do get that cold and numb, I try to run luke warm water over them, and move my hands and toes around in order to get the circulation back to them.

    Anyway, that was a long comment...sorry. I hope that it helps and I am sorry that this annoying experience happens to you too. It is not like we have nothing else to worry about or anything...haha!

  3. Thanks Sherry for the reminder on the gloves. I forgot my rheumatologist had recommended those as an idea too. I have never heard of hand warmers so maybe that is why I forgot about them. Where does Earl buy his?

    Gabriele, thanks for the link. I will try using water to warm them up! We are planning a few extra outside events this winter and I want to be prepared so I don't miss out on anything!

  4. He gets them at Wal-Mart. I think they might be back in the hunting section??