Self Diagnosed Raynauds

It occurred to me this weekend as I was recovering from my run and trying to finish cleaning the house before taking a shower, that maybe there is a better way to manage the extreme cold my fingers seem to experience in every day situations. Sure, I know it’s normal to get chilly after a run, especially when your sweat dries and you are inside with the air on, but maybe not everyone’s bodies have the same reaction.

I’ve been dealing with what I have self-diagnosed as Raynauds for about three years now. I can’t actually remember when it first started happening, but I do know that it never used to happen to me until sometime during college.

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According to some hefty internet research, it seems to me that what I am experiencing is Raynaud’s Syndrome. When I get cold, even when it’s just a little chilly, it seems as though all the blood drains from my extremities and they turn a pasty white ish color. This happens most frequently in my fingers, or I’ve just gotten used to it in my toes and it doesn’t bother me as much because I can’t see it. When it happens, my fingers feel numb and almost like there is some sort of pressure happening. They stay like this for quite some time, sometimes up to 15 or 20 minutes, and then all of a sudden the blood comes back and it seems to come back in full force! My fingers then turn a sort of dark redish purple color and get all warm and tingly.

When it first started happening, everyone would tell me that I needed to go see a doctor. After talking to many others who know someone who has it, it sounds like there is no test for it and doctors pretty much do exactly what I did and diagnose based on seeing the color change in your extremities. It also sounds like there is no treatment for it, other than making sure your fingers stay as warm as possible and always having extra gloves or mittens on hand.

I used to struggle with this while running, and would get so frustrated running outside in the winter. I finally found a pair of mittens that aren’t even that heavy duty, but always manage to keep my fingers warm. They are magic! I also noticed that my fingers stay the warmest when they are in mittens without any bottom layer gloves.

The middle school band room has been so cold these past few weeks that my fingers start to turn colors in the mornings when I am there. I’ve been taking students out to work on music individually lately and many of them ask what the heck is wrong with my fingers when I point to a spot in there music and my finger looks a funky shade of white.

If anybody has any experience with this sort of thing I would love to hear from you! I think I have finally figured out how to manage the cold without obsessing over it, but would love to hear if anyone else has some tips.


And on a random note, I found out this weekend that our local (kind of local, 20 minutes away) ice cream parlour is back open for the season. This is a true sign of summer! It serves giant, heaping scoops of ice cream and has the best service. Hello my new weekend home 😉

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Hope your Monday was surprisingly awesome and your Tuesday is off to a great start!

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